© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved.
Jewelry displays either spark people’s interest to take a good look at your wares – or they fail to attract attention and potential customers keep right on walking.
Effective jewelry displays fade into the background while the jewelry itself entices customers to come take a closer look.
How can you present your work to its best advantage? It’s a fine balance between style and restraint.
There’s no single “right way” to display jewelry, but the following tips should give you some food for thought:
Jewelry Displays Should Match
the Personality of Your Jewelry
One feature of good jewelry displays is that they reflect the style and personality of the jewelry line – and the taste of the targeted customer!
jewelry display stand A display with a lot of personality
can be a perfect element for your booth.
Be creative with the props, backgrounds, and textures you use in your jewelry displays.
For ideas, flip through catalogs that feature women’s fashions and jewelry. The idea is not to copy the way the catalogs display jewelry, but to use their settings as a springboard to a great new display of your own!
Other interesting sources of inspiration for jewelry displays are antique shops and trendy clothing boutiques.
Displaying Jewelry Professionally
Although you can use all kinds of neat props for jewelry displays, I’d like to emphasize that your jewelry should stand out plainly as the star attraction in the display.
Don’t get so carried away creating a cool setting that the display itself steals the scene! It’s easy to let your creative zeal run away with you when you work on your jewelry displays.
Picture an entire table filled with bamboo stalks, tiger-print fabric, and driftwood under and behind every piece of jewelry.
Ugh! It’s busy and visually cluttered, and even if those elements do communicate the style of the jewelry line – you feel too overwhelmed to shop before you even take a look!
Instead, consider displaying about 80% of your jewelry attractively in jewelry cases, gift boxes, trays, necklace busts, bracelet / ring trays, or earring racks . . . and then accenting the table with the rest of your jewelry pieces featured on the bamboo stalks, tiger-print fabric, and driftwood.
Now your accent props communicate your style of jewelry without overwhelming the display and the customer. Your props will look interesting and professionally designed if you exercise restraint!
Jewelry Should Not Disappear
in Jewelry Displays
Jewelry should show up against whatever props and background materials you use.
A clear crystal quartz pendant would be practically invisible on a leopard print silk scarf, but a chunky silver cuff bracelet on the same scarf would stand out smashingly.
A background that contrasts visually with the jewelry will help the jewelry stand out as the star of the scene you create for it.
For a Professional Image,
Create a Unified Look
For the most professional appearance, display jewelry in an overall design scheme.
Choose no more than 3 colors for your display elements and tablecloths – for example gray, white, and blue. Each item you use for your jewelry displays would be one of your 3 colors.
Also choose no more than 3 textures – for example stone, lace, and linen; each display element would be one of these textures.
Now your jewelry will stand out in your professional-looking display, and everything will flow together.
Hodge-podge definitely has an amateur look – but a unified theme will attract lots of positive attention, turning your display into a mini-boutique and raising the perceived value of your jewelry.
Again, leaf through catalogs to get ideas of color schemes and textures.
Look at photos advertising other merchandise besides jewelry to see what techniques professionals use, and what strikes your fancy for jewelry displays in your own booth.
Create Visual Interest in
Your Jewelry Displays
I started out by displaying my jewelry completely flat on the tabletop.
Some friends kindly pointed out to me that my display needed more height variation. They were right!
I followed their recommendation by varying the heights of different parts of my display – and WOW! What a difference. It took out the monotony and added a lot of pizzaz.
You can use all kinds of things to vary your heights in your jewelry displays, so experiment.
Other ideas for visual interest are to put things at unusual angles, and set props at a diagonal. Diagonals are always dynamic.
Another very effective and professional looking attention-grabber is a poster of one or more large photos of your jewelry, mounted on the wall of your booth or sitting on an easel behind your booth.
Portable Jewelry Displays
Unless your jewelry displays are in a permanent showcase in a shop or studio, I recommend devising a display that’s easily taken down for transporting and storage.
That means it should consist of elements that are durable enough to stand up to a bit of travel, lightweight enough to be carried by the weakest person in your group (if you have help when you do shows), and compact enough to fit into a box, bag, or trunk.
Also consider that you probably don’t want to display jewelry on props that take forever to set up and take down if you do a lot of shows or parties. Efficient setup time is another important feature.
Jewelry Displays Should Be
Quick to Set Up and Take Down
I’m a big fan of efficiency. I like to have jewelry displays that I can pre-load with my jewelry at home, and bring to the show or party all ready to just set on the table.
Before one show, I had only 45 minutes to carry everything (including my tables) into the building from my car and set up my entire 10′ x 10′ booth – and I managed the whole procedure with about 10 minutes to spare!
The jewelry artist across from me came earlier and took more than 2 hours to set up her booth.
And although I know that makes my display sound like it was thrown together, I sold more than twice as much jewelry as she did at that show.
You can see photos and read more about my 30-minute jewelry display if you’re interested. What works for me may not be your style; but for me, it’s extremely efficient and makes great sales.
Keeping Your Displays
Pre-Loaded with Jewelry
In the past I’ve used (and loved) revolving earring racks for hanging my earring cards on.
Earrings have always been a great bread-and-butter item for me, and on revolving earring racks you can display a lot of earrings vertically where they can be seen, without taking up much of a footprint on your table.
When I used these rotating earring racks, I loaded them completely at home.
When they were full of earrings, I slipped the loaded display into a large plastic trash bag along with some no-tarnish strips, tied the bag shut, and slid the whole thing into a large plastic wastebasket container.
So I always had fully-loaded earring racks ready to go at a moment’s notice – and I didn’t have to worry about tarnish (I changed the no-tarnish strips every 4 months).
The plastic wastebasket protected the earrings and the rack for storage in the closet between shows, and it could be transported safely to my next show or party.
You can keep other displays loaded with jewelry and ready to go, too.
I’ve kept necklace busts loaded with pendants on neckwires, slipped them into plastic bags with no-tarnish strips, and stored them with the rest of my display in large plastic tubs with lids.
Another big advantage of having your displays pre-loaded is when someone wants to come to your home to shop for jewelry.
Instead of spending a couple of hours getting your jewelry out of all kinds of boxes and bags to arrange on a table or guest bed, you’ll be able to say, “Come on over!” and just take your loaded displays out of their boxes and set them on the table or bed before the customer arrives.
They’ll be amazed at the way you display jewelry so professionally in your home, like they’re shopping in a pleasant little jewelry store.
And you won’t have spent hours setting up a display for a customer who turns out to want only one pair of earrings. You will have saved your energy for taking good care of your customer! :o)
Feature Your Best Pieces
in Your Jewelry Display
Your very best, most eye-catching jewelry should be one of the first things customers see when they pass your display.
You want to excite curiosity and interest from a distance, to draw people to your table!
Once I made a sterling silver wire pendant setting for a luscious, extremely large designer charoite gemstone.
I displayed this piece prominently at a show, and people made a beeline for it from several booths away when it caught their eye and they wanted a closer look.
Of course, after that their eyes traveled to my other jewelry too, and the charoite pendant was a great conversation starter.
So choose your eye-catchers carefully, and be sure to place them up high and facing outward!
Your Jewelry Booth Needs Lots of Mirrors
You have a much better chance of selling a piece of jewelry if the customer tries it on. Customers need to see how jewelry looks on them before they buy.
They like to hold up earrings next to their faces to see how they go with the color of their skin, eyes, and hair. They need to know if the length of the necklace is right for them.
Once they’ve touched it and especially once they’ve tried it on, they start to feel a sense of ownership. And that translates into sales!
To encourage trying on jewelry, have plenty of mirrors among your jewelry displays. I recommend one mirror every 2 to 3 feet of table length.
When you set up your display, stand in front of your table, right where your customers will stand, and angle the mirrors toward your face, so the mirrors will be convenient for them to use.
Experiment with mirrors at different levels and heights in your display too.
Also ensure that your mirrors don’t catch the direct glare of any lights, as a blinding flash is an unpleasant surprise to shoppers.
Of course, you’ll need a way to surreptitiously clean and polish your mirrors during a show or jewelry home party. People always leave fingerprints on them, and smudgy mirrors don’t give a good impression.
So bring a small cloth (or paper towels soaked in glass-cleaner) to keep your mirrors sparkling during each show or party.