Love My Art Jewelry just had a blog post on Jewelry Displays. I think every year at this time (with my first show just weeks away) I begin to think.........how can I make it better this year?
It is my torment. I don't think I will ever be happy with it!
Here are some things that I have changed over the years and why.
Originally, I had my tables set up in a U shape (just your typical wide, heavy, low, folding tables) so that people could walk into my tent.
Anyway- I wanted something closer to the front, to grab peoples attention, not to mention, I have increased my inventory over the years, and needed more table space to display it. (I am a bit obsessive about having something for everyone in a couple of color choices)
A friend had these tables and I just drooled over them. I am a tall woman, so I like things a bit more at eye level. These are adjutable height, not NEAR as heavy, they fold, AND they are narrower, so it gives me more room for the customer.
To make up for the narrower table, I got more shelves, to create more space for displays. You can find the tables here. I get my folding shelves at Ollies for about $40....otherwise they are $79 online!!!
Over time my displays went from hanging my necklaces in a row, where you can't really see each necklace, to each necklace being displayed flat. I found these displays were perfect for that. Not only can you display a few necklaces on each one, but, to pack up, I just made little covers for them, and put a rubberband around it and stack them all together and drop them in a tote.
I have also found that good displays don't have to cost much. Here are a couple that I have made over time using drift wood I found on the beach or branches from a tree in my back yard!
The picture on the left shows the drift wood bracelet display I made and the one below to the right is made with tree branches.
I also got this display case at a white elephant sale for $8. It was locked and there was no key. So my husband drilled the lock, and I painted it! I made a shelf for the back to keep the glass angled. Voila!
1. Do not have anything near the walls of the tent
2. Make some weights to hang from each corner using cement and PVC pipe (much cheaper then buying weights, and they are heavier then what you can purchase online).
3. Stake your tent down TOO, and if you are on the street, screw wood to the bottom of each post with large washer and then set bags of sand on each corner (I put mine in brown pillow cases with ribbon so they look nice)
4. Have lots of hand clamps in case you need to clamp your table cloths to the legs of the tables. When they blow, people are likely to step on them and bring something off your table.
5. I added velcro to the bottom of my flat displays, so they stick, AND put a half of brick on the back / bottom of each so they don't become kites.
6. Always have extra rope and duct tape and bungies, you never know what you may need to rig to survive the day!!!
This above picture show the tent with the wood and sandbags as weights.
My biggest tip for saving time is to do a complete set up at home before the show. Lay out all the tables, cloths and all, shelves, jewelry............. set it up true to size (10x10 for most outdoor shows). Then you can make sure it works, you can check your prices, polish things that need to be polished, ect. Then pack it up and all you have to do that morning is set it up. No arranging and re-arranging, or finding you have no room for a new display. No extra stuff to take along that you didn't need.
I have really moved away from an artsy display to a functional one. I really don't think it has effected my sales at all. I sell more now that I did with the more natural and creative displays, and I am happier at the show because I can open on time and be relaxed, instead of a panic on how to make it work that morning. It is about displaying your work in a way that is easy and eye pleasing...because, lets face it, your work is the star of the show, not the display.
Here's some through the years shots of my booth (they are not in any kind of order). I couldn't find the really old ones. I bet I got rid of them!
1. Make your display fit your style~ both as a designer, and functionally
2. ALWAYS use floor length table cloths- it just looks best, and most good shows require it
3. Leave a place where you can deal with the customer, so when they buy something, there is a place for them to write a check or set their purse down
4. Have a spot with a GOOD SIZE mirror where they can try on jewelry
5. Have items clearly marked with signs explaining different materials, ex: Metal Clay Jewelry
6. And have fun. Talk to people. Talk about what you do, where you find your stones, how your designs came to be.....the BEST selling point of your display is YOU. People love to meet the artist, and find out what makes you tick. Most often they buy your jewelry, not only because they like it, but because they like knowing how or why it was made.
So~ now I am off to obsess a little more about my upcoming shows!!!!
Do you have a show secret you'd like to share???