It’s show season in jewelry-ville. Online sales have dwindled a bit. People are gearing up (believe it or not) for summer and that means that for some of us, the sales will typically slow down a bit. Mother’s Day, you would THINK, is the biggest day of the year in sales…but only for flowers and brunchy places. Not so in jewelry-ville. Holidays, that’s where the money is at (for me anyway)
The past few years of selling jewelry have taught me that you have to follow the money. This means, even if you’re not getting sales, to keep creating inventory. Etsy sales are better if you have a minimum of x amount of items in your shop.
During the holiday season I have learned to keep my selection broad and apply for a well attended arts and crafts show, even if the booth fee is higher than normal. People save up for these shows in the hopes of scoring deals. If you have a wide price point, it might be a sweet deal for everyone all the way around!
Farmers Markets are opening up everywhere. I’ll be scouting out Farmers Markets because they’re constant, whereas arts and crafts shows are hit and miss. Being new to Oregon I’m like a fish out of water because I don’t know which shows are popular, if they’ll be indoors or outdoors.
Being a vendor in Southern California was fun. Learning to put up an EZ up (and eventually an Undercover canopy) by myself. Packing everything and the kitchen sink into a 1997 Rav 4 (the two door car!) and schlepping it across fields and parking lots.
The bad thing?
Setting up in 90-110 degree heat.
For. The. Love. Of. Bananas.
I’m heat intolerant.
These two did not go together but I packed, sweated. Schlepped, sweated. Set up, sweated. Sold while sweating. Tore down, sweated. Drove home and for the love of holy jeans… could not WAIT to take a cold shower and drink 24 gallons of ice water.
Swore I’d never do that again, but did anyway. It is so much fun!!
Fast forward. We now live in Oregon.
Instead of heat, I’ll have rain/mist and wind to deal with. We sold and gave away 99% of my display stuff so I get to start over. Not a “have to start over” whining moment here…I GET to start over. How fun is that!?! It’s kind of like starting over with new furniture…or something like that lol
After having a display that was a mishmash I decided I wanted to go big or go home and keep it simple but elegant and …sigh…simple and easy is more like it.
I found a small 4′ table that has telescoping legs, great for my needs. If you’ve ever set up, you know your back is grumpy at the end of a show. And if you’ve ever been an attendee at a show, then you really appreciate taller displays, right? Yep, I know! So for me, a tall table was a no brainer.
And because I was sick of the table cloths fluttering in the wind, cheeto stains from kids, ice cream drips from kids, pee from dogs that mark (YES!! pee from dogs at Farmers Markets!) on my tablecloth, blah blah blah. All the drama that comes with a white tablecloth, I swore them off. No more white. Ever.
Found a great little nifty FITTED black tablecloth, no more fluttering. At least THAT tablecloth drama is settled 🙂 I’ll deal with all the other drama in a later post 🙂
Driftwood and au natural will be part of my display from now on. I mean, come on…I’m less than an hour away from the Coast.
Backstory, when my sweet Mr. Bobinda and I would go on our yearly road trip, my favorite place to be was on the Oregon coast. I literally sobbed the last time we had to head 1,000 miles home to California from Seaside, Oregon. It broke my heart. I cannot describe the dispair I felt. Weird, right? Hey, when a place feels like home..it just IS.
So, I’m less than an hour from the coast, THE COAST!! Not just any beach, but the Oregon coast. There’s nothing like it. There are these spots where the ocean meets cliffs meets forest and the forest meets the road. There’s elk, wild waves and clean air. And if I can channel a cool sounding hippie for a moment it’s like “Wow, man, this is groovy.”
I forgot my point so we’ll go to the next thing I found…
THIS! A small miniature pie safe at a local goodwill… There’s absolutely nothing wrong it with. I painted it and will use magnets to hold earrings on the metal mesh in the doors.
Um…be warned. This took me about 5 coats of chalk paint. And a lot of sanding. Hand sanding. Boring. Very very very ohmygawdinsertbigyawnHERE boring! The blackboard paint was about 3-4 coats. Painting during rainy season …in Oregon…could I have picked a better time? I’m being sarcastic, it took 2 days for all these layers to thoroughly dry. Took forever!
Oh, let me tell you WHY I had to have chalk paint as opposed to regular simple paint. You’ve seen those distressed pieces of furniture, right? That’s what I was shooting for. My thinking is, it’s a display piece so it’s going to get transported…a lot. I needed a distressed look to hide the beating it’s going to take. Then, of course, I didn’t distress it. It just looks so much better than the original wood…AmIRight?
This makes for easy peasy transport! I can fill the inside and outside with stuff during transport and then for display. Yay!
The chalkboard earring cards are held on with tiny magnets. No more flying off the table when the wind picks up.
A closer view. Each door can hold about 12 pair of earrings on the inside of each door. I can also put some on the outside if I wanted to do that. Chalkboard paper makes it easy to see what I’m selling and chalkboard pens are bright and fun to write with! I can change up what I write on there from show to show depending on my needs. Fun!
I make rather wide rings so a ring display was uber important and I never found one that made me happy. The ring displays that people normally use just looked too funky with my wide bands in them.
Then, after months of checking
casually obssessively on Pinterest, I finally saw a photo, followed stalked the photo to a blog where a brilliant woman used scrabble tile holders to create a ring holder. Brilliant I tell ya!!
Scrabble tile holders. Glued and roped. I am not sure if I like this rope look but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you can see the ring facing UP.
Wide band ring displays can be challenging to find so making your own is a fantastical way of making it just for you!
You can find the tutorial here. She has some great ideas and has an awesome blog! I contacted her to ask her permission and haven’t heard back from her yet. Credit given. She’s also on Etsy as well. Metsy Made 🙂 Smart smart cookie!! Uber creative and I’m ever so grateful for the brilliant idea! Thanks Jess in Canada!!
Oh, I remember what I was saying (bright shiny things!!) – since I’m in Oregon, I can drive for less than an HOUR to get my OWN driftwood. It’s amazing. There’s nothing like walking on the beach surrounded by gray skies, cranky seagulls and looking for driftwood.
I’m picky though, they had to have some sexy curves and a certain washed out color.
These washed up beat up pieces of wood are great for rings, cuffs and other items as well. Driftwood is great!
Setting up a display is sort of like…well, it reminds me of playing house. I’m a total dweeboroonie when it comes to dressing a window or dressing a table in my own home so I had to look at a LOT of Pinterest, a LOT of Flickr photos and
casually looked through obssessively hunted for any and all photos to get “that look” I was shooting for.
I know I wanted a natural, earthy and organic look. It has to be kept simple or the clutter in my house gets maddening. It has to be kept lightweight because I’m the only one at shows 99% of the time doing set up. I wanted to keep it classy and streamlined.
Sometimes I make myself crazy. That whole “gotta get an “A” on the test” mentality really drives me up a wall. But, hey, it’s another opportunity to practice the whole “I am enough” stuff, right? 🙂
I keep forgetting a display at a show can be an evolving thing. We’re all growing!
Oh, magnets. How could I forget MAGNETS? (said in my “talking into a fan” robot voice)
I revert back to 7 years old when I’m around magnets. They have neodymium magnets that are just way too much fun to play with. I have them everywhere in my studio and my house. They’re especially wickedly helpful in a booth. One time I took 2 tiny magnets and put them on each side of Mr. Bobinda’s earlobes. Just for fun.
He was not amused but I thought it was funny! If you’re not careful you can get nipped by them. The pull is strong and they just SNAP together when they find each other. It’s wild, really.
I have yet to put the whole display together so it’s bits and pieces for now.
See the tiny magnets? Those are the neo magnets. I use them EVERYWHERE. Life is too short to not have fun :~) They’re great on the fridge and in the studio for small tools.
I’m still looking for a canopy and for a display racky thing for my agate art. I’m thinking along the lines of a windchime display or a stained glass display.
Here’s some agate art. I love the Tree of Life! It’s basically a slice of agate, then I take and make a frame and design a tree from there. They are all different. Most of them have a “moon” in the upper right corner and some have a small wolf …howling at the moon.
They’re fun to make, meditative and at the same time, very stressful on my hands and fingers.
Show season is a lot of work but it’s so much fun and when online sales are slow, it’s a reality you might have to face if you don’t want to just sit at home and look at a bunch of inventory and wonder when it will sell.
I’m sitting on a bunch of inventory, which is nice…but there’s no money coming in and that’s why I do what I do, right? Well, mostly. 🙂 I do a lot of it to inspire people and remind people of their value but the money can be good too!
These are pics from shows in the past. You can see I went with the non wrinkled velvet coverings. They cleaned up nice but everyone had them. Which meant I blended in.
Beans are great for displays and so are bright dishes and whatever else your creative display musey person comes up with.
I was selling eyeglass holders and wire wrapped bracelets at the time. Looking back my display looks like I could have really used a mentor!! Too many rings in the ring display area!!
See? Lost on how to display the pendants. Too many in one area, they’re totally lost in the material and eh…just not working is it?
So there ya have it. It’s show season and so it’s time to get crackin!
Have fun, enjoy the creative process, allow yourself the room to make mistakes and grow. Take chances and encourage other artists to take chances too. Shows can be fun and are sooo worth all the hard work!!