With the luxurious days of summer coming to an end and the cool breezes of fall fast approaching, everyone seems to be in a hurried rush. Last minute road trips are being taken, school clothes and supplies are being bought, and for some, preparation is being done for upcoming fairs and festivals. Here on LMAJ, our very own Marsha Neal and Staci Louise Smith have been prepping for Bead Fest Philadelphia. It starts today and ends on August 24th, 2014. This is a huge event with over 200 workshops and more than 350 vendors.
Staci will be teaching tomorrow on how to make these Painted Polymer Fossil Talismans. We are so proud of you Staci! Good luck to you both!
I also have been prepping. The largest event for me right now is the American River Music Festival. I'm busy checking inventory, making new jewelry, and getting my booth ready.
This year, I have created pieces that are more expensive using gems and sterling silver. This has presented a challenge. I want to be able to have these items on display but I worry about theft. Some of them took me over two days to make. I poured my heart and soul into these creations. If one of them were to get stolen, well I would be crushed. Last year at the American River Music Festival, my booth neighbor left all his items in his tent overnight. They have security but the event is right next to a busy road. Someone got into his booth and stole an untold amount of jewelry, rock gems and fossils he collected from all over the world. It was awful, and he was in tears all the next day. There are those that target craft fairs for an easy buck, but if we are diligent, we can do things to protect our wares. The reality is though, there is nothing you can do to stop all theft.
Having a locked display case is the number one effective way to stop thieves, so here is my latest project to prevent some of my pieces from falling into the wrong hands.
The wine barrel, locking Plexiglas box and base were individual items that my husband brought home from work. His company throws away used advertising displays. The box was silver, the wine barrel unfinished, and the base was blue. All had company logos that I had to sand off. I then painted, distressed and finished everything and put it together as a locking jewelry display case.
I think it's important to have jewelry out on display for everyone to touch and try on, but having at least one case is a good idea for those expensive creations.
Here's a little tutorial on how I made the logo.
First, I created the image on Photoshop, then transferred it to the Silhouette cutter which did all the work cutting out the card stock. You could also cut your logo out with an exact o knife.
I then taped the logo to the barrel and just eyeballed the placement.
I traced the edges of the logo with a permanent sharpie.
I then used this wood burning tool to burn in the logo. Wood burning is definitely NOT my cup of tea. I burned myself once. Only the whole tip of my finger, to which the skin is now peeling off. Just painting the logo is a painless alternative!
Here is the finished detail.
Another way to protect your profits is to hide and secure down your cash box. This table is always in the back of my booth. It's tall enough for me to stand at when working and it has a hidden area. I keep a director's chair in front of it as well so it's not easily accessible.
Here are a few more tips for preventing theft.
- Greet every customer that comes in your booth, this will make customers feel welcome and also deter thieves.
- Have a helper. This will allow you to take much needed breaks and also your helper will be able to greet and keep an eye on things.
- Booth setup. Creating height is great for display. The only problem is if you are behind your high display, it will be hard to see people's hands and what they are touching. When designing your booth setup, just make sure there are no blind spots, and that you can see all that is going on.
- Secure your items. Clips and pins are a great way to deter thieves because they have to undo them first, and run the risk of being caught.
I would like to hear about any special tricks you use to protect your jewelry or beads at fairs & festivals. Please feel free to share!