JEWELRY DISPLAY #1: Thinking Outside the Box

When it comes to displaying your handcrafted jewelry, you have a lot of choices. There are tons of commercially-made products available to you. The choices can be overwhelming.

They range in price from the incredibly cheap to the ridiculously expensive. (By the way, those inexpensive stands are cute, but not very stable. If you use them, you might want to attach them to a larger base of some kind.)

You can find displays made of white leather, black steel, wood and plastic. You can find display stands with feathers, glitter, sequins and in twelve colors. You can find styles like contemporary, country, funky, whimsical, Victorian, romantic, techno, whatever your little heart desires.

There’s a fine line between displaying your work creatively without overpowering the work. I’ve seen displays so elaborate, it was hard to tell what was being sold–the jewelry or the display.

But simple, repetitive display can be boring. I’ve seen displays so monotonous I didn’t even want to stop to look them. One awful example is a common one: Row upon row of white necklace bust stands lined up in a straight line, every one holding a single necklace, each necklace the exact length and design.

It’s mind-numbing to see these “jewelry soldiers on parade”. And yet it’s possibly the single most common jewelry display I see at craft fairs.

One problem with jewelry is, if you display it on an upright display (like the white necklace busts) so people can see it from the aisles, it’s hard for people to actually look at the work easily. You have to sort of bend over to get it back at eye level.

If you display it at a good viewing level, and laid flat (on velvet pads, for example), it’s easier for people to look at. But it’s hard to catch the attention of people out in the aisle. They may not even be able to tell what you’re selling. (Good over-sized photos/posters of your work on your walls can help overcome this.)

Even if you find the perfect commercial display product, if it’s too popular, your display ends up looking like everyone else’s.

I’d like to show you some ways to mix up your display, using commercial and non-commercial display products. Some weren’t even meant to display jewelry at all.

Excuse the not-ready-for-prime-time photography and set-ups. I just wanted to give you some quick examples of non-traditional display pieces and ways to mix and match components without your display looking all over the map.

This vertical necklace stand by Vilmain is one of my favorite display units. It’s upright, stable and holds several necklaces. It’s relatively flat for easy packing and shipping to shows outside your area. It’s pretty sturdy–no fussy little parts to break off or get bent. The black painted steel is neutral, and allows your jewelry to take center stage. It could work with many different styles, including contemporary, funky, elegant, or whatever-style-you’d-call-my-work. (I’ve been told it’s “post-modern”, which sounds ever-so-cool, but I’m still not sure what that actually means…)

The next image shows my Ancient Bull Pendant necklace on a similar stand. It’s the same material and color as the Vilmain stand, and does a decent job showcasing my bigger, bolder designs.

But this second jewelry stand isn’t a necklace display at all. In fact, it’s something I purchased at T.J. Maxx. It originally held two pieces of shaped glass, which sort of formed a vase. I would take a picture of it in it’s original state, but I’ve ditched the glass already. Hey, I found something very similar here. I just love that Google “image” feature….

I guess they weren’t too popular, because they were marked down to less than $10. A month later, I found the same item at Marshalls’ and they had been marked down, too. I bought about four of them, and use them interspersed with other display pieces.

I’m off to pick up the images for my new Etsy shop. I’ll pick up this thread tomorrow with more tips and examples of how to mix up your jewelry display.

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6 Comments

Filed under art, booth display, business, craft shows, display, jewelry

6 responses to “JEWELRY DISPLAY #1: Thinking Outside the Box

  1. Hi!
    I wanted to make sure it was ok with you that I added a link to your blog on my blog. I’m friends with your daughter Robin, she’s been a great assistant at the BMAC Show! I miss her a lot!
    I can’t wait to see your etsy shop!
    Valerie
    http://valerieaheck.blogspot.com/

  2. spiritlifter

    Awesome post!! Im so glad I found your blog :)
    Im hoping to be going to some craft shows in the near future and was hoping Id find a way to display creatively and without spending a ton of money. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be back to see what else you suggest.

  3. Valerie, I’m delighted you’ve linked! And of course I know who you are–Robin always talks about you in glowing terms. :^) Good to see you here & thanks for the nice words.

  4. Love the suggestions…I too hate those row upon row of small white busts, but usually I see it when they have raised the tables on pvc pipe, so it is a bit taller. There are some great display ideas on some hub pages I’ve been working on (not all mine, so I can say at least some are great!). Check them out at http://hubpages.com/hub/Booth-Display-Options Enjoy and good luck with everyone’s displays. Teri PS–if you want to suggest others, contact me from the hubpage or my website

  5. Finally came up with a display that looks not too shabby. Borrowed a digital camera to take pix but they did not come out well (camera does not have manual settings that I can find). What’s unusual about my display is the combination of found and purchased bits and it’s still evollving and also I can’t ever seem to set it up the same way twice.

    It’s a table top display not a booth (yet, I have plans).

  6. Patricia, as crazy-making as a “never the same twice” display can be, it’s WONDERFUL for your repeat customers. Every time they visit your booth, they will see your work differently.

    And that’s a GOOD thing! :^)

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