Studio Saturday with Humblebeads

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. 
This weeks winner is Ellen Lambrix. Congratulations! You have won a beautiful collection of copper findings from the Curious Bead Shop. 
Send Rebecca an email with your address and she will get them right out to you.
This week we are stopping in for a late night visit in the Humblebeads Studio with Heather Powers.

I have an abundance of jewelry and live within an hour distance of several weekend farmer & artisan markets. So my plan for the rest of the summer is to sell at a market each week.  It’s a great way to reduce my inventory, make way for new fall jewelry and to stuff my pockets with some extra cash for summer fun!

I thought I would share a few booth tricks with you this week. My #1 booth secret is to use PVC pipes to create a tall counter out of a regular folding table. You can have the pipe cut to size at the hardware store or use a saw to do the job at home. Alternatively, you can pick up a set of bed risers to do the same job. 
I pin a table skirt made of a fabric panel that is the height of the extended table and wraps around to the back. I pin the skirt to a regular table cloth with straight pins. 

I never lay anything directly on the table. We had some particle board squares that we covered in fabric like a canvas and glued it with a glue gun. You could do the same with foam core board for a lighter option. Think layers and textures when displaying your jewelry. Go for neutral fabrics that don’t compete with your wares. 

A banner really makes a nice impression. I love Vista Print for banners – you can upload your own images, they are inexpensive and the quality of the outdoor ones are really nice. You can have several printed with different images of your jewelry and one with your logo for maximum impact. Use metal shower curtain rings to attach the banner to your tent. 
Share your favorite booth display idea or just leave a comment this week for a chance to win one of my Hydrangea Pendants. One random winner will be picked next Saturday.  

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14 Comment

  1. Patricia A. Hawkenson
    July 14, 2013 at 2:44 am

    You can't go wrong with good halogen lights that make everything sparkle. It's worth paying the extra charge for electricity.

  2. Kristen
    July 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I plan on doing some craft shows in the future so thanks for the tips!

  3. Divya N
    July 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Its an easy guess that white forms and busts show off jewelry the best, but they get dirty very easily. Thats why, These days I am loving options like jute and linen. Also a good display cannot be at just one level. But as tempting as it is to put up more vertical displays to conserve space, I have learnt not to do it the hard way. A gush of wind or an excited child runs to your stall to grab a colorful bracelet, everything tumbles on to the floor, leaving behind broken beads and bent clasps. So my rule of thumb is to not use displays that are more than 8" in height and put unbreakable items on vertical display and breakable precious one on slopes or flat ground

  4. Kathy Lindemer
    July 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Light is important when doing an indoor show. I always like to position my table near a window if I am fortunate enough to have that option. I also take battery operated candles and place them around my table. This also attracts attention. It is especially nice around the holidays!

  5. Maneki
    July 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I don't sell jewellery so I don't really have any good tips of my own, but I thought I'd share as story from a buyer's perspective that can perhaps be useful for sellers.

    A few years ago my sis, her friend and I attended a summer market. While browsing the stalls, I spotted a jewellery maker. It wasn't easy to see was she was selling, though: being a tad shy and not liking to feel pressured to buy something, I prefer to first glance from a distance, judging if a stall is worth approaching or not. I couldn't see much as her stall was unusually tall and her textile bracelets were displayed flat on the table. But there weren't much people in the aisle so I could take the time to really look and then go closer. Once there I found here jewellery to be very nice and relatively unique, not just the usual simple strung jewellery found in venues like that. Unfortunately, I didn't have much cash as money was low and I wasn't planning on buying anything more expensive than market sweets or a donut. What to do? Well, grab a business card with her info on it, of cause! Only she didn't have any. Just a framed card on the table displaying her website URL and business name. I had no paper and didn't want to make contact with the seller (for various reasons) to ask if she had any — besides the other two wanted to move on so I had to leave. The bracelets were lovely and I did try to memorize here URL. Worked for an hour, then talking to the other two, looking at stalls etc consumed me — and the name was gone. Couldn't remember it neither for my own sake, nor for my habit of sharing newfound jewellery makers with others (that might've been better customers than I). I can't have been the only one doing something like that after seeing her stall. It's been a handful of years, but I still remember some of her jewellery — and especially the feeling of having lost something good with the vanished URL. While her display and stall was remembered for all the wrong reasons and that is my overpowering memory of it, I also remember her work because she made jewellery that attracted me more than anything at the fair.

    And the real tragedy is that all these things could've been so easy and not too expensive to fix! She might have lost several potential costumers that way.

    As a buyer or more correctly show/fair/market visitor, by the way, I'm all for displays that show off the jewellery from afar when there are a lot of people and booths that aren't so crowded that the individual designs get lost. I also like it when colours are put together or set off by the colour of the display/table cloth so they really pop and draws the eye towards them. Design is something you see close up, colour can attract from the other side of the aisle! Same way with banners, logos, displays and booth designs that emphasizes the style of the jewellery: those things are easy to see from a distance and makes me interested, thinking there will be goods in my style and I have to get closer — even if there are lots of people in the way, which might otherwise deter.

    Here's an interesting example of a display that catches my eye and make me want to get closer: http://pinterest.com/pin/109634572150000157/ At first I only see a fairytale tree, a silvery weeping willow. It's not until I get up close I actually see the delicate jewellery designs. Displayed in another way, I might have missed them, but here the display attracted me and it still displays the jewellery without overpowering it.

  6. Despina
    July 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I love linen busts and original displays for earrings, like vintage cheese graders in pastel shades

    [email protected]

  7. Erin S
    July 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I don't do shows, but I just saw some cool jewelry displays at a gallery. white porcelain tiles floating on top of smaller wood bases, which were sitting on top of large ceramic floor tiles (with texture like slate) which had been spray painted flat black. Jewelry was laid flat on top of the white tiles. It was very simple and striking.

  8. KayzKreationz
    July 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I haven't done any shows yet, but I saw this neat picture frame that had window screen stapled/attached to it on the back side and then they could hang lightweight earrings in the holes in the screen to display their earrings. Thought that was really cool and intend to make me one of these before long. I have used the pvc pipe to extend table legs before for other project, thought. It's very easy to do, also.

  9. Meadowland Designs
    July 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hello Heather!

    You just had to start with one of my favorite tricks: raising the table!

    Another thing I'll do is to highlight a particular design with a dark colored piece of organza on my neutral tablecloth: it works to draw attention from both far away & close up.

    Love the style of your recent pendants!

    ~ Catherine

  10. becca
    July 15, 2013 at 5:50 am

    My sister and I regularly sell at our local Farmer's Market-

    One tip is to display your brand/business name prominently and make the sign/banner as unique & beautiful as possible. We painted our own sign on a light piece of plywood and use wire hooks to hang it. Our customers remember the sign & our name and come back. Also- our sign reflects our cards…

    Another tip is to not let your display get too fussy- I've seen tents where all you see is the display, not the jewelry. We went for black, white and gold display items to keep it unified and neutral…

    Also- Don't lay your items on the table. It makes them look like you don't care about them or think they are special. I want pieces that the creator cares about and presents as special.

  11. Angi
    July 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I don't do craft shows, but as a buyer, I can tell you what catches my eye. A banner with the booths logo is one of my first draws. I love multilevel displays. They really force me to slow down and browse. Also, neutral background so the jewelry just pops! A mirror! You would be surprised how many booths don't have a mirror! I want to be able to try these lovelies on and see if I look fabulous! Last but not least, business cards! I want to be able to sign up for on line newsletters and specials. Also, I want to be able to share your info with my friends/family!

    Angi Mullis [email protected]

  12. Shaiha
    July 16, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Thank you so much for the tips. I haven't sold any in person but plan on starting next year. Or at least my hubby will be doing the selling.

  13. Susanna
    July 18, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Thanks, really appreciate this blog and your post.

  14. Sarajo Wentling
    July 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Some great tips from you blog post and the comments! I'm still fairly new to doing craft shows, etc (have my 3rd next weekend!)

    Giving your display varying height is super important. In my other life I'm a librarian so I'm happy that I found some great fake books (you know the hollow ones that are really boxes) at Michaels in great colors that work with my business cards, etc. I can stack them in different ways to get my jewelry higher and they stack together and are pretty light.

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