by Ann Nolen.
(Santa Rosa, CA)
I have been an avid reader of Rena’s books and website for several years now. It has helped me to develop a professional looking booth much faster than I could have possibly imagined.
I started at first using jewelry trays like Rena shared from her booth (see my previous article, Using Many Tips to Build the Booth of My Dreams).
I used business cards for my jewelry cards, as described in that article, and then cut them down to 3 inches long so they fit in 2×3 inch compartments in the jewelry trays.
I load the trays in an aluminum rolling case, just like Rena, so set up and tear down can be accomplished in record time.
The last fun tip came when I read an article by Chris showing very cute mannequin necklace displays she made herself by painting faces and adding hair and “bits and pieces.”
She mentioned she was trying to solve what to put the heads on to make them look right in her display. She was using upside down clay pots, and that gave a very casual but cute look.
I loved the mannequin faces in her photo, but knew despite her claims they were easy to make, that it was not a project I could pull off. So, using the comments on Rena’s website, I asked her if she would consider making more of them and selling them to me.
Our online conversation was very funny at first. Chris’s reply back was that she was willing to make them, but did I realize she was in Australia? Well, I am in California so that was a surprise.
We got along nicely, and we worked out a deal by email. Chris made them, I paid her using PayPal, and she shipped them to me. I was so excited about having my “laughing ladies.”
When they showed up, they were delightful!
But now I had the same problem that Chris had… what to mount the heads on. I’ll admit I drove all my family and friends nuts trying lots of different things and obsessing over this.
Finally one day I was at a bead show and I spotted something perfect. I was in a display supply booth, and they had a headless bust that stood about 12 inches tall and was elegantly covered in black velvet.
I bought 3 of them and took them home sure they would work.
They happened to be hollow, so I drilled a hole for the wire from the mannequin head on the top of the display form. I solved the problem of varying the height by using a cute wood box to elevate the middle mannequin.
Everything stands sturdy and looks great.
I have used this in my display for a few shows now, and I have to admit they draw a lot of admiring fans.
After people walk over to check them out, I get a chance to tell my story of how they came from Australia.
I have found that rather than distracting from my jewelry, it starts conversations and draws attention that have resulted in extra sales.
Happy mannequin jewelry displays
Ann, these laughing ladies are such a cool and friendly touch for your jewelry booth! I like how you’ve positioned them there at the corner, showing people coming from both directions how much fun it is to wear your coin jewelry.
The black jewelry busts are perfect “bodies” for the gals – it looks like they’re wearing black turtleneck sweaters, and your jewelry shows up really well against them.
I’m so thrilled that you and Chris connected here, so that her artistry could become such a wonderful touch for your jewelry display!
Thanks so much for sharing the story of how these happy mannequins became part of your fantastic jewelry booth setup!
Ann you have done a wonderful job setting up your smiling ladies. I am so glad they are working well for you and all the way from Oz too. Well done.
Kind Regards from Chris N