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Do You Or Don't You?

Here Are Some Great “Why Didn’t I Think Of That” Display Ideas For Your Showcases

This is what other jewelers are using for display props.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you use props in your showcases?

Yes: 66%

  • Props add interest to the cases and gives them dimension. Kind of like adjectives in a sentence. — Rick Sanders, Sanders Jewelers, Gainesville, FL
  • I troll Instagram for prop ideas. I want the cases to be picture worthy. — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Everything from wood to rocks … colored gemstones scattered and shells from the beach. I think that the showcases that have no props often don’t tell the stories they need to tell to help folks envision the “why” in their decision to buy. For example, a strand of pearls over a beautiful shell from the beach in the summer months can take a customer down memory lane of their long walks on the beach with someone they love, and a pearl necklace will always remind them of those moments. — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • Depends on the merchandise. For some of our fun fashion pieces, props can help tell the story. For example, we display some of Cynthia Desser’s bracelets on a piece of coral, which complements the texture of the stingray cuffs and the boho beach vibe. We also have several designers that use druzy and displaying them with sections of geodes provides a deeper visual dimension to the geologic origin. We have also used paint rollers to display our wrap bracelets. They hold several, so you can group by color, number of wraps, or stacking options. They add a great tactile element because we want people to touch, hold and feel the jewelry. — Jessica Rossomme, Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry, Peachtree City, GA
  • We use props for visual interest and contrast. Often rough stones like slate and crystals. I especially like using broken pieces of slate as risers. — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • We don’t want to take away from the jewelry, and if the case looks too busy, we delete. We are starting to carry antique and estate jewelry and have used some really old photos of my family in antique frames. It has been a good way to attract attention and begin a conversation. — Robin Lies, Burnells Creative Gold, Wichita, KS
  • A lot of my inspiration comes from what I see in fashion magazines, Pinterest, etc. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s have a ton of great items to use as props if you think outside the box (i.e., NO flower petals!). When you catch a customer’s eye and draw them to a case, you’ve already overcome half the battle. The rest is up to you! — Kelly Doyle, Beverly’s Jewelers, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • I sometimes use seashells, fossils, and mineral specimens in my cases. I think people need that visual reminder that yes, it’s a real stone they are buying. It’s special, and it’s unique. — Erin McMichael Hess, Extinctions, Lancaster, PA
  • We use rough stones and rocks in the cases where the custom jewelry is so they can see an uncut stone. People really enjoy seeing them. — Karin Burg, The Corner Studio, Sheboygan Falls, WI
  • We are known for my daughter Diane Alfille’s fabulous displays, each time accompanying a new collection with a distinct theme. They are organized by color and mood, with a great sense of humor. She looks for interesting pieces at antiques shops, but also the likes of TJ Maxx. — Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • In my estate case, I use antique trinkets. In my engagement ring case, I’ll use various “love” related props: a huge diamond ring paperweight, heart-shaped Murano glass, a hand-painted sign, actual wedding snapshots of clients. — Traci Hill, Got Rocks, Harrisonburg, VA
  • We use themed props, so holidays and seasons are the big focuses of our props. Lego displays have been our most successful props. They get people to look at specific cases. — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • Vintage mesh bags, historical photo album, Cartier playing cards, Hermes taro cards, scrimshaw box, historical tin types. — Elizabeth Kittell, Pretty In Patina, Omaha, NE
  • We use various colored round crystal balls on stands coordinating with the gemstone’s color. People like it and we sell the balls if people ask. — Lyla Ismael, Lyla Jewelers, Oak Lawn, IL
  • Our studio is in a rural area of Wisconsin, surrounded by dozens of lakes. We do a series of lake charms and use maps, small boats, and water-centric things to promote that case. I also inherited a large antique bookcase, which stands in the design area of our studio. My mother’s doll collection, an antique marble collection, and a few unique things we have bought as scrap but could not bring ourselves to melt down occupy the shelves, along with unique pieces of jewelry. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • Over the years, we have hired industry professionals to help with showcase displays. One in particular was a John Hardy designer, and she took us to Walmart and we bought a bunch of bamboo cutting boards to use as baseboards under some of our jewelry displays, looked awesome. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • We only use props in our antique jewelry showcases. Some historical pictures of our street to remind the customers of our heritage (four generations). We also have a sign in showcases pointing out our 10 best and favorite items. — Mariana Hay, Croghan’s Jewel Box, Chas, SC
  • I love creating a theme or color palette for each case so that they are all different. Adding flowers into the cases really helps it feel like spring. — Karen Hollis, K. Hollis Jewelers, Batavia, IL
  • We keep a few antique items around the store. Many people come in determined to not enter into conversation with the staff. The antiques catch people off guard and get them to ask questions: “Is that a real English Police Helmet?” We go from there! — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Flowers always make the cases prettier, as well as small mirrors. Since we sell antique jewelry, we sometimes will include old tin type pictures, an old typewriter, etc. — Patty Gallun Hansen, Dorothy Gallun Fine Jewelry, Cedarburg, WI
  • I like to theme my cases where appropriate to highlight our best selling categories. I use a lot of vintage children’s alphabet blocks to spell out messages. — Laura Sipe, JC Sipe, Indianapolis, IN
  • When we bring in new items, we like to highlight those pieces by accenting our baseboards with new fresh fabric and adding something interesting to draw the eye. It isn’t always a prop; sometimes it is the arrangement of the collection. But when it is a prop, I try to choose original artifacts related to the pieces. Take pearls: Incorporating genuine sponges (cheap at any paint store) for displaying pieces makes a great prop and won’t damage sensitive skin! In men’s cases, I love the idea of industrial schemes: large nuts and bolts, tools, etc. Those are always a great Fathers Day look! I’ve also used distinctive ties to cover baseboards or rolling them for bracelet pillows to draw the eye! With women’s jewelry, line the bottom of your show case with coffee beans, aquarium gravel or thin marble tiles, great contrasting looks for highlighting colored stones! I love the look and texture of suede for rich bold pieces. Cover a neck or an element and accent with a cool cord knot for some added drama. I find tons of inspiration from Pinterest and national department stores who hire professionals to stylize their goods. Silk flowers are fun and can add some whimsy, but take caution, they can be overdone or stale. Whatever elements, fabric or relics you chose, pick something interesting that starts a conversation so you can start asking closing questions and make those cash registers sing. Oh and most important, throw your display elements out often. Throw away tattered or worn pieces. Customers notice details, so let those items you choose to display empower excitement, interest and desire in your clients! — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • I have three props. A diamond ring the size of my hand was given to me years ago from a woman I dated. A ring from the tallest man in the world, Jack Earle, who was with Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. And a five-pound piece of meteorite cut in half. These are all conversation starters. — Bruce Goodheart, Goodheart Jewelry Co., Overland Park, KS

No: 34%

  • I don’t use them because I am a guy with no creativity. Miss having a woman in the store. — Eric Ohanian, Leon Ohanian & Sons, Boston, MA
  • We’ve used props in the past but haven’t used them recently. We find that they quickly look tired and you have to rotate them a lot. For us, this is more work than we have been able to keep up with, and we tend to leave them in far longer than we should. We do love the use of props, in general, and are looking to use them more again. Also, we find it difficult to have some props look professional instead of tacky. — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry, Brandon, FL
  • Don’t have the extra funds to waste. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • Props tend to distract from the jewelry. The jewelry should be the star. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • Occasionally, we use a prop or two, but in most cases, we have way too much merchandise for props to fit. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • We used to, but we feel like it detracts away from the merchandise. — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • Props take away from the jewelry. Best prop is space, let the jewelry breathe. — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH
  • This can get too gimmicky or cheesy. Better to just keep it clean. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • We sell jewelry, not junk to clutter the cases. — Karen Fitzpatrick, Harris Jewelers, Rio Rancho, NM

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