Beads, Markets

Setting up at a craft show (and another Bead Soup delay)

A couple of days ago I did my first craft show with my jewellery—The Handmade Show, a monthly market for handmade goodies. While it wasn’t a roaring success—I sold four pieces, all to friends—I was really pleased with how I set up my stall and I got some lovely compliments from people about both my designs and my display! So I thought I would show you how I set things up.

But before I get to that, I need to update you on my Bead Soup Blog Party reveal. Our gracious hostess Lori Anderson has had some pretty serious health issues this year and with great reluctance, she had to delay the third reveal by another week. So it is definitely, definitely going to happen this Saturday 27 April—come back then to see, finally, what I made with the beads that Jane Pranata Lim sent me.

Back to the show. The internet is of course a great resource for seeing how people display jewellery at home, at craft shows and in galleries, and I have a Pinterest board set up for jewellery display ideas to save images that I like (feel free to follow it!). I also wanted to keep the boho feel that I think my jewellery designs have in the way I displayed them, so I have been collecting bits and pieces here and there for a few months now. Happily for me, the vintage-y, boho look is quite in at the moment, and some of our local chain stores had some good props.

Here is a picture of the whole table, just before the show opened. My sign is on a little chalkboard—I have no banner as yet. The table covers are seersucker tablecloths in a somewhat lighter seafoam blue than in this photo (which has a lo-fi Instagram filter on it).

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After I took this photo, I put a little blue bird (about 6 inches high) at the back, behind the display tray in the middle, with a bracelet draped across it. It had been moved behind the other displays by accident.

The tray in the middle comes from Kaisercraft, a local scrapbooking and craft company that has an outlet in my local shopping centre. Here’s a closer, although slightly blurry picture. It comes as a bare frame, which I painted with acrylics and lined with scrapbooking paper (isn’t the faux wood cool?). It’s meant to be hung on a wall, with interesting knobs to hang your jewellery from, but I think it works well for my purposes lying flat. I might have to make another one to hang on my bedroom wall though!

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I found paper-maché busts at the local big-box craft store and painted them for necklace displays. I also had several clipboards lined with scrapbooking paper as necklace displays. That was an idea I came across on Pinterest. I propped them up on metal display stands I got for $5 at a discount store.

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The earrings in the picture above are pinned using mini clothes pins onto one of those wire jewellery trees that are so popular in the shops at the moment. It worked quite well, but the other earring display I had was even better:

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This was from a chain of hipster stationery stores called Typo, and is for hanging on the wall to stick cards and photos into for display. I first thought I could dangle each pair of earrings from the little hearts, but then I realised that my business cards, which double as earring cards, would fit in very nicely! It holds 24, although maybe it’s a bit crowded with one pair in each slot, what do you think?

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Kind of behind and next to the earring display, I had a wooden mini-crate (also from Typo) which I stood on its end so I could put a small display of bracelets inside it and also one of necklaces on top. It also came in handy for putting all of the display bits and pieces in when I was carting stuff to and fro from the market. Did I tell you it was literally around the corner from my house? I walked there in less than five minutes! Here’s a picture of me all packed up and ready to head home at the end of the day.

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All in all it was a fun day, and a learning experience. I already have ideas on how to improve things next time (I’m doing it again in June and August). Any suggestions will of course be gratefully received! Hopefully next time I won’t be right in front of the entrance—I found that people walked in and either turned down one way or another and never really came back to see me. Sigh.

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Beads, Markets

The Handmade Show

The Handmade Show button

You might remember me saying something last year about making more of an effort to sell my jewellery. Up until now, I’ve only sold a few pieces, largely to family and friends. Last year I took part in a little craft market at my kids’ school, but at that market I mostly sold jewellery to little girls.

Well, at the end of January, I applied to a local handmade craft market called The Handmade Show, and last weekend I was notified that my application was approved for the three dates I requested, in April, June and August. It’s a small market, run by artists, and doesn’t cost a lot to participate. And it’s literally around the corner, I can even walk there!

So now, I need to put my head down and try to make as much jewellery as I can for the next few weeks, as I will be away on holidays for a couple of weeks prior to the show. I just hope that what I like to make is something that people want to buy!

I’ll have more details on the show in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be madly making new stock, finishing off a couple or three challenge pieces, and putting together a nice display. Any tips from the veterans appreciated!