The Emergency “Nearly No Cost” Booth Set Up

by Terrie Marcoe.
(New Paltz, NY and Joshua Tree, CA)

A friend of mine, also frustrated with our seemingly lack of online selling ability, said “We should do shows.” She had a short timeline for action – like, that weekend….

Shop Signage!

Shop Signage!

For me, this was absurd, since I was so close to broke I knew I’d have trouble financing even the fee for the space. But, her partner offered to make a few displays from scrap lumber, and how could I decline?

We did that show, and got a very warm reception, although my friend wasn’t able to do shows in the upcoming weeks, since she was headed off to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Closer view of the "Earring  Step Display"

Closer view of the “Earring Step Display”

Buoyed by the sales I had made, I decided to go it alone. But, the displays we already had weren’t going to do it for me solo. The biggest problem was wind! My lightweight earrings had taken wing from the easel-style boards and I knew that if, on a day with the light breezes we had that they were swept away, I needed a fix.


The next day I found several 2 x 6 boards next to a dumpster, and the stain color was a very close match to the current pieces! I pieced the boards together(no glue or nails, just …pieced, and created a series of steps. I set each earring card into the slot made between each rise.

Incorporating Commercial Display Elements

Incorporating Commercial Display Elements

These still would not withstand real wind, and of course earrings should be displayed in a vertical position, but was okay for the “small time” shows I was doing,

The good news is that the concept gave me an idea for “real” earring displays, which I will be designing to have made this summer. When I head to California for the winter of 2015/16, my friend and I are again intending to do shows, but ones more apt to bring in a better chance at making money. We need professional-looking displays to get past the jury selections.

Overal view of my "Nearly No Cost" display set up

Overal view of my “Nearly No Cost” display set up

Nonetheless, I though that the set up I am showing for this post were pretty darned okay, considering the biggest cost was fabric for table covers!

Terrie Marcoe
Talisman Too at Etsy
WhileAway Blog

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  1. “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, and you did a great job coming up with a way to keep your earrings in place. I love that you didn’t let the short deadline prevent you from doing the show – you just created a display solution and went for it! Good work, Terrie, and it sounds like you’ll be poised for success with your shows this Winter!

  2. Nice brainstorming and use of what was at hand. I’m thinking if you had time and access to an adjustable table saw, an angled slot down the length of your boards would allow the cards to stand up and stay put.

  3. Thanks Rena, and Maxine – good idea! I am going to have slots cut in wood planks, top and bottom, which will be fitted within a frame which will orient the earrings in a vertical position. The planks will be much thinner than the 2 inches the boards in picture are (huge weight savings). I don’t have the tools, but I will design the fixtures and hire someone to make them.

  4. Andrea Wikso says:

    I find that mesh screens stretched over wood frames are great for displaying earrings. You can spray paint the mesh and wood trim in colors you like that will set off your products. Attach an easel-like post in back with a hinge to stand them up. You could even attach cup hooks to the back to connect a weight to help keep them from blowing over.

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