Presenting Beads For Sale – Necessity Breeds Invention

Yesterday’s post showed you how I set up for shows but I am acting on a new idea that has been rattling around in my brain.  It’s been a long time coming (mainly because I couldn’t find one necessary component locally and had to order it) and it follows the minimalist approach.  What is that old saying?  Necessity breeds invention?  This is a case of that.  I love showing my beads in trays.  Here are a few benefits that I’ve found:

  • Fondling.  Probably the most beneficial aspect…People are more likely to pick up your beads if they are laying in a tray and that helps sell them.
  • They Fit.  You don’t have to worry about beads fitting or not fitting into compartments like some of the segmented trays.
  • Neat and Easy.  Put in a velvet tray insert and you’re good to go. No messy beans and rice to scatter everywhere during the show, nor do you need to find a grocery store before set-up or lug kilos of dry goods with you.  You should lint brush the trays every morning though!
  • Fast Pack up.  Trays are easy to put into their travel tote too so that makes for fast tear down at shows.
  • Visually appealing.  There are not barriers, boundaries, bowls or other display objects that compete with your beautiful beads.

Now, that said, I have also come up against some obstacles with this method.  Last year in Tucson I was in a tent and condensation accumulated overnight.  While this probably wasn’t a good thing for anyone, my velvet inserts warped.  Not too attractive as a display.  They finally settled down but that is one thing that set me looking for another option.  Also, after a little use, the velvet starts to crush, and not in a good way.  Also, I like to prop the trays up a little so that they’re easier to view.  However, if I raise them too much, they act like a slide for my nice, shiny beads.  So those are two more reasons why I’m revising my tray tactics.

I think I have it and I will try it at my next show.  Who knows until it’s tested?  So the solution…

I’m going to use those same trays but I purchased thick tiles of cork that I will glue to either lightweight foam core or to the ready-to-retire velvet inserts.  I’m covering that with a nice neutral canvas looking material that will go nicely with the black table skirting that I love.  Why the cork?  Because I am going to come up with some easy to transport contraption that will tilt the trays up more and use jewelry display pins as ‘shelves’ for each individual bead.

Hard to envision?  I’ll share the process as I start to build the components.  I’m even considering finishing the edges of the fabric so it can be removed and washed, as needed.

Whaddya think?  Good chance it will work?  Did I make sense? What do you find that works in your booths? I have seen some really really REALLY cool done up booths that really catch my eye which is also a benefit if you are not one who can keep it simple.  (I wish I had that kind of flare).  Tell me about your experiences!  Leave a comment.

7 thoughts on “Presenting Beads For Sale – Necessity Breeds Invention

  1. Pingback: Bead and Jewelry Booth Set-up — Bead Nerd

  2. Paticia

    How about raising the tables instead of the trays? I use pvc pipe.
    I know you would need larger table cloths, but
    maybe you could add extra fabric to the existing ones.
    Love the look of your booth now. Clean, neat, uncluttered.

  3. lorigreenberg Post author

    Thanks Patricia! I do raise the tables too. I use bed risers from Bed Bath & Beyond. My goal is to make browsing as easy as possible for people so I don’t want them to stoop one bit…I want them to be able to almost look straight on…thus, the tilted trays.

  4. Sheila Morley

    I really like the way Margaret Zinser dispalys her work at shows. (
    She has trays with foam that is cut into little shelves in the tray. Each little shelf is on a 45 degree angle witha pin. The focals stand up straight, no tray raising is required. The viewer can see each bead straight on.
    The funny part; in order to make them, she used foam from the fabric store, and she purchaed a turkey carver to cut the foam in angles. She really stressed to me that the turkey carver makes this work. (lol). (It is always the least expected thing with these bead people…lol!) Good luck!

  5. Lynnie

    Hi Lori,
    GREAT BLOG entry!

    I too have wanted to do the “loose bead” display method. But, until now I’ve kept them on mandrels or string because I am concerned about theft. It’s hard to watch all those beads while selling too!

    Do you have any thoughts on how to prevent theft while leaving your beads out to be fondled?

  6. lorigreenberg Post author

    Thanks Lynnie and Betsy. I’ll do a post about theft, Lynnie! Thanks for the question.

    And you know I’ll be showing proud mama pictures when these displays work out perfectly. (I’m trying to convince myself…sometimes you just never know what you’re going to run into).

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