Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Studio Space

A few months ago, my amazing husband expanded my studio space to three times its size! It is now so much more efficient. I have an area for each part of the process of making the jewelry, getting it ready to ship, or staging the jewelry to prepare for shows. Here are some photos of my studio in use...I didn't attempt to clean it up too much for these photos. Above is the area where I make my beads and make the silver settings. I also do various stages of the assembly here.Above is the area where I do the cleaning and packaging of my jewelry. I also prepare packages for shipping in this area. Below is the area where I organize my displays for my show. It's not really set up now, but it will be later next week as I prepare for my next show of the season: Etsy at the Market in the Kerrytown Market in Ann Arbor.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Craft Show Display

I am always searching for the perfect displays. It is important to me that my displays are unique, that the displays highlight and do not compete with the jewelry, that I am able to display a lot of work in a small amount of space, and that it is inexpensive and easy to set up. My displays have changed from one show to the next based on the venue (indoor, outdoor, size, lighting), changes in my jewelry line, or from problems I encounter along the way that I want to avoid next time.

Last month I did an indoor show where I set up a six foot table and used table lights with some handmade round displays. I loved the look of my displays. The round theme worked very well with the circles I use in my jewelry. It is clean and does not compete with the jewelry. It was also open so that customers can touch the jewelry, but also free of obstructions to hopefully discourage theft. The problem was that it took a long time to plan at home and then set up at the show. I knew I was going to be doing many more show this year and I could not imagine setting this up and tearing it down every show, then repeating it for the next show and the next show. So I was determined to find a solution that could be set up and transported from show to show.

I am so pleased with my newest displays. I just returned from a show where I put this system into use. This is an old letter press tray that I painted white and fitted with colored paper inserts with white spots to highlight the jewelry and to place the price stickers. I added all of the jewelry and price stickers at home. Then I set up the drawers, fitting them with bead tray liners (with white paper inserts) then I added the necklaces and price stickers. Both of these displays were transported to the show, fully stocked. I then transported them home where they will stay set up and ready for my next show. I can easily see the inventory I have and which pieces I will need to make between shows to fill in gaps. The jewelry outside of the print tray and the drawers was a manageable amount to set up. I continued the use of my round necklace displays and glass blocks that show of the jewelry so well. It's just an amazing relief to have so much ready should I run behind in my set up at the show.

I was concerned that the jewelry recessed in the trays would not show it off to its best advantage, but customers enjoyed taking pieces out and looking at them. It looked very organized and I could also tell if something was missing or if restocking was necessary. They also enjoyed looking at the jewelry in the drawers.

I hope you enjoy looking at my photos and I hope this inspires you to come up with some ideas to make your shows easier!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two New Stores!

Last week, I shipped a wonderful selection of work to two stores that have just started carrying my work:

Thaddeus C. Gallery in LaPorte, Indiana

Johnston Gallery in Mineral Point, Wisconsin

If you are nearby, I hope you will stop in and look at my jewelry in person!

Sunday, May 10, 2009