Inside the Studio with Gardanne Beads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process, or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you will leave  comments!  As an incentive, we offer a PRIZE each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think.

At the next Inside the Studio post a WINNER is chosen at random from all eligible entries.
Here are the results from the last Inside the Studio post.

Anvil Artifacts is the winner of a $20 gift certificate at Swoondimples!!!
Congratulations! Please contact Heather to claim your prize.

Hi from Gardanne Beads, since I just returned from Bead Fest this past weekend I thought I would take you on the road with me instead of in my studio.

I can’t believe I have been exhibiting at the August Bead Fest for the past five years, along the way I have picked up some show and display tips that work for me. 

First tip is to get one of those gel mats to stand on behind your booth, most of the floors at large venues are concrete. So good shoes are a must, but these gel mats definitely make for more comfortable legs and feet. Those are my feet on the right, can you guess whose pretty feet are on the left?

I would also recommend a 24″ folding stool, if you need to sit you will still be at a comfortable eye level with your customers. I forgot mine on this trip and my legs were extra tired from all the standing.

When you run out of space on your table, instead of investing in a larger table go vertical.

I invested in some handmade display racks a couple years ago from a fellow ETSY seller called Moxie Metal, they make a variety wonderful jewelry displays in all shapes and sizes.

My tip is not the metal display rack but the gauze fabric I have draped over the top rail of the display. I drape this fabric on the back of the display to act as a solid back drop for my beads and/or jewelry. By doing this I have eliminated the distraction of what is going on behind my display and the customer can focus on the beads.

If you are not familiar with bead shows, at the end of the show day everyone covers their items in the booths with fabric or plastic. I never did understand this practice, but everyone does it.
I did not plan on this added feature, but the first time I used the gauze fabric on my display racks I discovered that I could just flip the fabric over my items on the vertical display and they were covered for the night.

If you are selling jewelry components it is super important to have jewelry samples containing your beads so your customers have some inspiration on how to use your components. 
I purchased these linen displays from Nile Corp, they are very inexpensive so as they look tired just get new ones. My earrings made with earwires hook into the linen, for an easy display solution.

The linen necklace displays came with some paper stands so they could be used on the table top. I wanted to hang them on my vertical display, so I took off the stands and added the 3M clips, intended for power cords, to clip them to the top of my display.

The last tip of the day is an apron with multiple pockets that was intended for my hips but is more functional tied to the back of my table. I keep all my bills in the separate pockets and it is easy to access when giving change. I never liked the cash boxes they would tip over when opened and I never felt to comfortable walking back to my car carrying a cash box.

Hope you have found these tips helpful. You will find that your display will evolve to meet your needs and also change depending on what type of show you are doing.

In the comment section tell me what your favorite tip was or maybe you have a favorite tip of your own you would like to share.

A winner will be selected at random from the comment section and will receive a $20 gift certificate to spend in my ETSY shop, Gardannebeads.etsy.com

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16 Comment

  1. beadrecipes
    August 26, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Thanks Anne, some great tips that I think can be adapted to jewellery stalls as easily as bead stalls!

  2. Kathy Lindemer
    August 26, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I love the tip about an apron with multiple pockets tied to the back of your table. I am going to use that tip at my next craft fair. I am always digging around in back of my table looking for my cash envelope, Square, etc. Thank you for that tip.

  3. Katherine Thompson
    August 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Your suggestion of going vertical is mine because that is what I discovered! I covered ceiling tiles with felt and lean them against table easels and standing easels. Great space saver and my husband made me boxes to put the boards in so I don't lose anything. I can carry 3 to 4 boards in a box. They travel safer and I can pull out a board when ever I want.

  4. Karen Z
    August 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Love the linen tip.. I am going to add it to my revolving earring display rack. I made it by spray-painting 3 heart-shaped wire wall shelves, wiring them together to make an interesting 6-tier unit, and placing it all in a pottery base on a lazy susan. Since my display is beach-themed, the base is filled with sand, seashells and beach glass for weight, stability and cuteness. (works b/c my items are in a shop… not carted about with all that sand and shells LOL)

  5. Michelle
    August 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Great tips! I really like your money apron idea. Cash boxes are so clumsy and take up a lot of space.Thanks for the great tips!

  6. MRT
    August 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    The having samples made up is a great reminder

  7. Kristina
    August 27, 2016 at 4:14 am

    I love the cohesiveness of your displays. It really makes your components stand out. Putting the fabric behind your displays is so smart.

  8. Veralynne Malone
    August 27, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I really love the metal bar stand that you can use to go vertical. I don't have a picture of it, but I have what I am guessing is a towel rack that is about 3'x 3' when folded up and 3' x 6' when unfolded. We put little cup hooks spaced out on the rods and when I do a craft show in town I use to hand my necklaces and such on. I am not sure what it is as I got it a thrift store, but it sure comes in handy!

  9. Erin S
    August 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I like the tip about the apron with the pockets–I'm sure this would come in handy for many things!

  10. Mary @ MaryMorrisJewelry.etsy.com
    August 27, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I am so excited, I get to go to Fall Beadfest. My favorite idea was the way you use the 3M clips. I use a cash box but purchased a rolling case with it inside as well as lunch and purchases.

  11. bairozan
    August 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    All tips are valuable for a newbie like I. I don't even know if I am going to have my first show this or next year. The tips for the display are vary valuable but the advice on what to wear and what to bring to make your stay comfortable is priceless. I really like the apron with the multiple pockets.

  12. Cynthiacc
    August 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

    What a wonderful post! I would love to see your booth in person, and shop your wonderful beads 🙂

  13. Bijoux Gems Joy
    August 28, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I like the tip on the gel mat. I had heard this before but always wondered if it really worked. Thanks

  14. Victoria Lee
    August 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Thanks a ton for this awesome blog post. I love to try new things and I am thinking of buying Artisan Initial Necklace online too. I was looking for a discount on something as unique as it is and I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon artisna.com. Did anyone try it yet?

  15. gloria allen
    August 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Love the tip for Gel mat, apron with pockets and going vertical I need all of this before my holiday shows, thanks for sharing.

  16. Sarajo Wentling
    August 30, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Lots of great ideas here! I especially love your use of the apron. I have to admit I'm having a bit of a "duh" moment with the gel mat. I made my husband buy two for our basement when we had it finished (tile on top of cement is not easy on the tootsies!). He was resistant, but now after many a night spent standing for hours on end behind his bar, he's grateful I pushed the issue! Next time I do a show, I'm totally "borrowing" one for my own purposes!

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