Here’s what my previous, outdoor booth was like:

The main display area had three collapsable cardboard columns, with caps on both ends that added stability.  These were set up and then covered with a custom made slip cover and wood boards, covered with the same fabric, were put on top to make a counter height display!

This worked really well as it was relatively light weight and fit in the small car I had at the time.  The company that sold the columns is no longer in business, sadly, or I’d tell you who they were and give you a link.

Now I’m only doing indoor shows.  The one coming up in November provides tables, so that’s pretty simple, all I have to do is style a single table.  I know I’ll want a table skirt that goes all the way to the floor.  Costco and lots of other sellers sell these that go all the way to the floor and are make from an easy care polyester.  With that much fabric, I want something that’s not going to wrinkle.

What else do I need to think about when designing a new display?

While in the past I’ve used black velvet, which silver looks great on, my new bronze jewelry looks better on linen, natural materials and wood.  In fact, linen is interesting, because in a meeting of my local craftsperson-support group, the members looked at my jewelry and helped me figure out who my ideal customer is.

The group feels that my ideal customer is a woman who wears clothes from Eileen Fisher, they make a lot of linen clothing.  Linen display units will connect those ideas and link the idea of clothing and fabric choices with my jewelry.

Looking for ideas for my new display, I turned to my Rio Grande catalog, of course, and I also turned to Pinterest.  Much of what I found on Pinterest was repetitive and there were even some “don’ts” that I came across.

One idea that came up a lot on Pinterest that may be getting tired is using a vintage suitcase to transport your items and then using it as a display. While that might really work for some artists or jewelers, I don’t think it’s a match for my ideal customer.

Here’s my challenge for setting up my new display:  I”ll have lots and lots of necklaces, earrings and bracelets and how do I display that in a way that’s interesting and shop-able?

Necklace busts are nice, but they’re pricey and could look boring if I have a ton of them.

I know that it’s important to raise the height of your table, when selling from a table, to counter height. You can do that by putting PVC pipe leg extenders on the table legs, but then your standard issue table skirt won’t be long enough.

I’m planning to use risers to raise the height of much of the table. Years ago at a bead show, I saw a display that used crates, turned over, open side down, covered with a nice wool felt. Think custom slipcovers for the crates, in wool felt. You wouldn’t have noticed that they were crates unless you were a fellow craft show person who can’t help but see that kind of thing.

What have I figured out so far?

The materials that work well for my line of bronze, steel and stone jewelry are materials that are natural or evoke natural. The fabric should be a cream color, perhaps a textured upholstery fabric – but nothing too interesting! The displays should be natural colored linen (I can get these ready made) and perhaps I can mix in some wrought iron and wood. I’m not sure about the wood, that might be too many textures.

My main take aways from my time on Pinterest are:

Creative people really like making displays! Sometimes their displays are too nice and interesting, and distract from the product.

The best displays are consistent, clean and a little bit boring, but they draw your eye to the product, the jewelry, which is the whole goal here.

How about you? What do you use for your display pieces? Have you made any yourself? Photo sharing and tips are always welcome in the comments!

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