Creating Effective Jewelry Displays: Expert Advice from Betsy Lehndorff

Whether you are setting up displays in your store or preparing for holiday craft shows, creating effective jewelry displays that will show off your jewelry can be a challenge. Luckily, Betsy Lehndorff, owner of Hubbard Lake Silversmiths, has expert advice on finding your audience and making them look at your jewelry.

A Little about Betsy

Q: How long have you been making and selling jewelry?
A: Nine years. This sounds a bit dramatic, but my mother died in 2007 and left me some money, so I quit my job as a crime reporter (no kidding) and started taking beading classes because I wanted to make beautiful things. Despite the recession, I became a silversmith.

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Betsy Lehndorff, owner of Hubbard Lake Silversmiths

Q: Where do you primarily sell your jewelry?
A: I sell my jewelry at four to six cooperative galleries.

Creating An Effective Display

Q: What is the most important thing to consider when creating a jewelry display?
A: Definitely lighting! My pieces are typically pretty expensive, so I show them in glass cases for security. Because of this environment, the pieces don’t come alive until I turn on the lights inside the cases.

Q: What percentage of your merchandise do you recommend putting on display, and why?
A: I create themed collections and price points for each gallery, so each piece in a display relates to the other pieces. I typically have twenty to thirty pieces per gallery. With four galleries right now, I have most of my jewelry out there working for me.

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Q: How can an effective display turn “lookers” into customers?
A: If you eliminate all visual distractions, the way a good jewelry-store display does, you have a better chance of getting a potential customer’s eyes to lock on to your work. But the best way to turn lookers into customers is to stand by the case and talk to them in a warm and genuine way. I think that as an artist, I offer a service and an experience rather than just a product.

Q: What common display mistakes do jewelers make?
A: They put too much “stuff” in the case, thinking they have something for everyone. I made this mistake for a while—but once I really narrowed down my focus and knew the audience I wanted to attract, I started selling.

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Stringing magazine. To find out more about Lehndorff and her jewelry displays go to the Hubbard Lake Silversmiths’s website. Photos courtesy of Jim Lawson.

For more great advice on selling your jewelry go to the Interweave Store.


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