How To Display Jewelry On Windy Days At Markets.
With having attended well over 170 outdoor Market events ranging from a mix of small country markets in the Atherton Tablelands of Far North Queensland to now also being a part of curated (juried) handmade markets in our Nation’s Capital, we know exactly the frustrations experienced when trying to present Jewelry in the best possible way in all-weather situations. For us, the main weather element that caused the most trouble was Wind. We know we are not alone which is why we decided to put this article together.
Displaying Jewelry on Windy Days is one of the most difficult issues to deal with at Outdoor Markets. We had attended scores of markets before we eventually worked out a way to display and sell Jewelry whilst keeping it safe from windy weather.
Having a strong gusty wind blow over your display and toss your carefully-made Jewelry unceremoniously onto the ground is just plain heartbreaking; and having product that is now broken, scratched, or stepped on is not only upsetting, it is time and dollar expensive.
We know (for ourselves) our product can’t be “pumped out” in an afternoon and quite often there are days involved in the making of our items, so securely displaying our product safely in the wind is paramount.
As you read on you will see how our display changed and evolved into where we can now display Jewelry on windy days. As we describe each step, you may recognize similar issues with your display and if so this article is intended for you.
Flat table display – We all have to start somewhere
So many of us do this in the beginning.
This is a low cost start but hardly a permanent solution for displaying Jewelry on windy days; what we discovered is when the wind inevitably arrives it would find the corners of your lightweight pieces of card and you end up chasing your Jewelry out the door as if they were butterflies.
For some sellers, depending on your product, this display method may work and be their permanent display. However if you want to participate in open air events both large and small, then this is not the answer to displaying jewelry in windy weather.
Having cards of earrings laid out directly onto a table may seem that you are giving your products an opportunity to be seen at their best, and that’s what we were thinking but the wind was a battle. We tried to slow the wind with mesh walls on our tent but it wasn’t successful.
We ended up back at the drawing board planning our next way to combat the wind. We didn’t realize how hard it was to display Jewelry on a windy day. Read on for the next chapter.
Wooden block Card holders
Wooden block holders were the next step in the evolution of our display.
(We thought “we’ve got it this time”)
We needed to anchor the cards down to stop the wind from catching them, so wooden blocks with a slot to hold the card upright seemed logical. We even went so far as to drill holes underneath to insert weights to help. It didn’t always work, however it helped a little.
What we discovered is that wooden blocks are fine for indoor markets or clear sunny days when there is little to no breeze, however, if outdoor events turn windy the card and block system just isn’t quite strong enough. Even with the added weights.
We found we were constantly standing them back up but we seemed to have cured the butterfly effect. Now our new issue is “sail boats” blowing over.
We had our jewelry displayed this way for quite a while before sanity kicked in and we worked a little harder on a better way. Oh the fun we were having displaying Jewelry on windy days.
The take away for us so far
Flat cards = butterflies
Wooden blocks = sailboats
Don’t forget about the busts.
We had a bust that was a little rustic but was at least wind proof, however it was clashing with everything and it needed to go. It didn’t quite represent the classy vision that was beginning to form in our minds.
Now with the wooden bust gone and with keeping the Jewelry cards down low to keep them out of the wind it was difficult for customers to know what we were selling.
We decided classic Jewelry Busts would signal what we were about so we set about tracking down wind resistant versions. The open wire pattern caught our eye because it lets the breeze through and shouldn’t block it like our little sail boats.
We embellished the busts with the material in front to highlight the pendants as well as to create a soft resting spot for the Pendants.
We didn’t realize at the time how much space we gained with these new busts and they worked as people could see from a distance that we sold jewellery.
We can mark these busts down as a success as they are still with us today. However the issue with the cards and earrings remains. We know flat on the table doesn’t work and the wooden blocks were a fail, so more research was needed.
We know we are not the only people with this problem. There must be something out there somewhere. We needed a solution on windproofing our jewelry display.
Jewelry Tree Display Stands
By now Jewelry Trees were a possibility if we could make them wind proof. What we had seen in our research showed potential but still looked like it wouldn’t stand up to displaying our Jewelry in strong wind. By the time we had reached this point we had attended many markets and were always changing and improving in some way each time; now was the time to look at our problem in a more formal manner and write down a plan.
We were now ready to tackle the first major make-over. These are the criteria we were looking at.
The requirements to displaying Jewelry in Windy weather
- The Display base had to be heavy
- It has to be able to withstand big gusty days as well as the steady and constant windy days
- It needs to fit in well with existing products and displays if any
- It needs to be easy to set up and pull down on Market days
- Customers must be able to look touch and feel the product with no hesitations
- No matter the wind, the product must stay put and not fly away
- Small footprint for a lot of product on display
- It must be cost efficient.
Our Jewelry Display Trees
These were a success.
They covered all the points from our list. Most importantly customers could now not only see the products clearly, they could feel how light the earrings were and see how they hung. This is exactly what we wanted to have happen.
We were very happy with our trees.
They were popular with so many people and the rocks added that natural vibe to the timber earrings on display.
Instructions for how we made these Jewelry Tree Displays.
- The base is a clean granite rock with a fairly flat bottom. Using a hammer drill we drilled a 16mm hole in the centre of the top about 1/2 the way through the rock.
- To make the “tree” you will need some wire. We used a coil of plastic coated gardening wire 1.57mm diameter. This can be found at hardware stores.
The size of your rock (big or little like in photo as an example) and the size of the hole that you drilled will determine the maximum amount of wire that will fit in the hole to make a tree. The height needed to hang your jewelry will also determine the length of the wire that you need to cut.
Most of our initial trees were made with approx. 8 branches, i.e. 4 pieces of wire folded in half.
- Work out the height of each “branch” that you want then double it and cut the wire to that length. (It is easier to make the wire strips too long and cut to shorten than too short and have to re-do.) Fold in half to make a U
- Each of those four U shaped wire pieces I then squeezed at the half way mark using pliers to make V shaped pieces.
- Now gather up these 4 folded pieces of V wire, and bundle them together to form a nice tight “tree trunk” I suggest some tape to help hold them all together temporarily.
- We are now going wind wire around the “trunk” to make it sturdy. To avoid confusion we will call this the wrapping wire
- Decide where you want your trunk to stop and the branches to start. This is the starting point for winding the wrapping wire around the bundle of V wires to form the trunk
Start winding the wrapping wire from the top for a cleaner look.
- Begin by making a right angle bend in the first 50mm of wrapping wire and poke this into the bundle of V wires that you have taped up. Then start winding the wrapping wire around the bundle very neatly and tightly all the way down the V wires to form the “trunk”
- The bottom of the “trunk” needs to be tied off. Tuck the loose wrapping wire end in where you can so it is hidden from view when on display
- An alternative is to use some heavy tape to finish off, but be aware it will scuff and will need replacing occasionally.
We are sure there are “correct” ways to wire wrap, however we found this the most effective way after the many we made. Feel free to do what you think will work for you.
The end goal is to make a sturdy and strong “Tree Trunk” that will fit snugly into the rock hole that you have pre drilled, in preparation to shaping the branches.
- To finish the branches, you simply use a pair of needle nose pliers and create a curl on the end of each wire branch.
- The finished look of the wrapping wire may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, so you can cover wrap the trunks with your stall colours. We used a simple black suede cord. Let your creativity soar, after all this is all about displaying your Jewellery to protect it from the wind, I’m sure you have some of your own great ideas. As you get better at these you might do larger Jewellery trees. One of ours we made held almost my complete range of Resin Pendants. It was huge.
How to carry rocks to and from market?
We solved this problem by making a box out of ply with dividers inside (little pigeon holes) Each rock fitted into its own little space so we didn’t have rolling rocks in the vehicle. The downside was this was heavy. 2 or even 3 boxes may suit depending on you, your vehicle and your display. We had 8 rocks….note we said had!!
When setting up our display in the morning, the rocks were removed and the display box was placed on the table, covered with a tablecloth and used as a rear step riser prop for other Jewelry Tree displays. (See in the images above and below)
For pack up and ease of travelling, the wire “branches” I would pull up together, tie with soft twist ties, and place individually in their own pillow case or bag. This would stop all the “end curls” getting caught.
When setting up at a market, as I pull each tree from its bag, I would then place the Wire Tree Trunk in the rock hole, bend out the pre curled “branches” to where they needed to be and start hanging our earrings and pendants on them. So very easy.
We even tried hanging the trees upside down from the tent frame like a chandelier. They were in the customer’s line of vision as they walked past and in the early morning light the pendants sparkled like glass. Quite lovely.
So in this last photo you can see how exposed to the wind we could sometimes be. Should the wind pick up, the wire busts, if needed could be dropped down and be protected by the “rock box case” riser, and the Jewelry trees can just stay put.
It took quite a lot of perseverance, trial and error to get to this point but it was well worth it. We used these Display Trees for over 100 markets and we were very happy with them.
Overall these trees were a success; however with our earrings being a thin timber they were very prone to flipping over and occasionally falling off but only in the strongest winds. For heavier earrings and pendants they may be all you need. Be aware your Jewelry card hangers will show signs of wear if in constant windy weather. Ours did and so for us as professional market vendors, it still wasn’t efficient enough and effective enough for the strongest winds.
We were now attending 7 markets a month and had to make our display set up and pull down a little more time efficient. We now only had a slight wind issue due to the lightness of our earrings and could confidently display Jewelry on windy days. The trees were fantastic for everything else and we received many compliments from customers and stallholders alike.
Since then we have finally solved our problems but it took a second major re-build that will be in our next article as it involves applying for and being accepted into curated/juried markets in our Nation’s Capital. It was time for us to get serious with the display. A sneak peek is the first image of this article.
Cheers from Tui and Tim
Pickers Ridge Hardwood Designs