7 Tips for How to Create Dazzling Jewelry Displays

Business Saturday: Interview with Angela Olsgard Tiernan, owner of Angie Star Jewelry, a custom-jewelry boutique in Boulder, Colorado, on setting up jewelry displays.

7 Tips for How to Create Dazzling Jewelry Displays

Q: How did you decide what kind of props would best complement your jewelry?

A: Our jewelry is newly created but has the look and feel of something from an older time. The props I choose also have an aged appearance. One of my favorite jewelry displays is vintage glass bottles. They are wonderful for laying necklaces over or displaying earrings on. Another favorite is old doors and windowpanes. The peeling paint and old fixtures give the surface a funky vintage feel, as well as make a great backdrop for your jewelry lines!

7 Tips for How to Create Dazzling Jewelry Displays

Q: Do you have a sense of how your propping has helped sell your jewelry?

A: I think the display tells a story about your work. It expresses who you are, what you find beautiful or moving, and sets a tone for your collection.

7 Tips for How to Create Dazzling Jewelry Displays

Q: How often do you change out your props?

A: In the beginning, I bought so many pieces. Now I have my favorites, and I keep them fresh by moving them around a bit, turning them upside down, hanging them on the wall.

Q: Would the same advice apply to farmer’s-market booths, home trunk shows, etc.?

A: Oh, yes! I started in trunk shows, farmer’s markets, and outdoor events long before I ever
opened the shop! And I use the same design principles now that I did then!

7 Tips for How to Create Dazzling Jewelry Displays


  • When I am displaying jewelry, I always make sure the table in front of me makes sense—that there are a few props, but they are understated and well-balanced.
  • The props should only serve to make the jewelry look good. Stay away from heavy color, prints, or reflective backgrounds.
  • I like to keep my displays somewhere between hip and belly height—not too much bending over and no stepping on tippy toes.
  • I try and wrap the displays around the shoppers so that the props point in toward them, and the jewelry is laid out nicely and simply on the props.
  • Stay away from props that require too much fixing with pins, tape, or Velcro. Fussy displays seem to keep people from wanting to touch the jewelry, and we want it to be touched!
  • If you’re set up among other artists, ask yourself: Does my booth stand out? Does it draw people over to take a closer look? Does it express something about me and my art?
  • Also, cleanliness is key! Keep your display looking tidy and well-stocked for everyone, not just the early birds, throughout the whole time of your show, so everyone has the feeling of “discovering” you!

Photos courtesy of Angela Olsgard Tiernan.

Article originally appeared in Jewelry Stringing, Winter 2008.

For more great advice on setting up jewelry displays, check out these On-Demand Web Seminars:


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