Professional Jeweler Archive: Prop it Up

February 2000

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Prop it Up

A designer’s tips on using props in displays and windows


You probably know the golden rule for using props and accessories with jewelry in windows and cases: Don’t distract from the jewelry. Beyond that, though, how do you decorate with effective, inexpensive props?

Linda Cahan, a visual designer with Cahan & Co., Fairfield, CT, offered tips in an article in Visual Merchandising & Store Design magazine. They include:

  • Consider the product before picking the prop. No matter how fabulous the prop, don’t buy it unless you know what to do with it.
  • When you buy props, think how they can be reused. Can you paint or rework them to use again?
  • Use artwork, but place it out of the customer’s reach.
  • Don’t be afraid to use non-jewelry products. Cahan once constructed a dress out of Microsoft packages for a CompUSA store window.
  • If you plan to rent props, think about how long you’re going to use them. You probably can buy them for the same cost as renting.
  • Think about life span and preservation of props. Foam core tends to warp when stored, and silk flowers require cleaning and maintenance when stored a long time.
  • The beginning of the new millennium will inspire props that evoke safety, comfort and empowerment, Cahan says. For example, images of tarot cards or crystal balls will help people feel in control, she says.

– by Stacey King


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications