Monday, June 21, 2010

Fort Bragg Festival - Part Three

The sea glass festival started on Saturday with the hours of 10-5. We already knew where the sea glass museum was so we headed over there about nine to set up our tables and little canopy. (Note - the museum is only 1 mile from center of Fort Bragg. In an earlier post I'd said 11 miles which was my mistake.) My sister, Shirley was still sick as a dog and couldn't get out of the bed so we left her at the motel. Her husband, Pat, came with us to help set up. When there are three people helping set up it goes pretty quickly. First, the canopy has to be unfurled and erected. You have to watch out for fingers when pushing the poles up into position. When I've seen others erect their tents it always looks so easy, but for some reason I always find it clumsy and difficult - ditto with the tables that have those fold out legs that can be treacherous - at least to me, anyway. Okay, so I'm not mechanically inclined, all right. I couldn't go do a show by myself unless I just threw out a cloth and laid the treasures on the ground. Moving on, after the tables, we put on the cloths then set out the jewelry. Every time, the display changes as we haven't finalized a "look," not that I'm sure you can have an elegant "look" when you need to put lots of pieces on display. This is an area that Shirley and I go round on because she wants elegant and I want everything to be out so people have a bigger selection. So far, no one has prevailed in this argument. I understand what Shirley wants, but we're in a canopy with folding tables and I just want to sell our jewelry. Anyone with ideas is welcome to comment with suggestions.
So here is the table display at Fort Bragg. Note the front table higher than the sides, this was one of Shirley's additions as she'd bought table leg extenders to raise the front table. Hmmm? What do you think? Personally, I think the table cloth on the front table looks a bit big and messy. Here are some other shots of the display area.

We already knew that there would only be three of us vendors. We were the first to arrive and Captain Cass, who owns the museum, showed us where to park and place our display. As we were laying out the jewelry the other two vendors arrived. First to show up was Kira and Gary Ruvo. They were friends of Capt. Cass and have some of their jewelry in the museum. Gary is a silversmith and his work is really awesome. His wife, Kira, sells the jewelry and finds the sea glass on the beaches in Northern California. You can find Gary's website at Here are a few shots of their display area -

Gary and Kira's display involved using glass boxes that hold their jewelry. The boxes look elegant and show off the pieces of sea glass jewelry, but Kira would have to open each glass box everytime someone wanted to see a piece of sea glass jewelry. On one hand, this sort of display really draws in the customer and enables the seller to deal really closely with the buyer. The downside is that customers can't handle the sea glass at will. The cases at a busy festival are great because they discourage stealing when you can't watch all your customers at the same time. Pros and cons to our set up and theirs. I really like the look of their displays and of course, my sister Shirley likes that the displays were elegant looking.

The third vendor was Tammy Davis. She lives in Fort Bragg and sells sea glass jewelry, jewelry grade sea glass in bulk, and sun catchers and more. You can find her website at Here are a few shots of her display area:

Tammy didn't use a canopy and her approach to display is more casual and it works. Note, the wooden box holding earrings and pendants and also the rack. Tammy had an array of items displaying sea glass and I loved her little basket necklaces with sea glass inside and her fun leather and sea glass animal collars.

As you can see there were three very different approaches to displaying our sea glass jewelry and they all worked. We all sold pieces to the customers who arrived throughout the day. Captain Cass was also selling sea glass jewelry and art inside the museum. To see his work, please go to his website at

We had a lot of fun at the festival, met some nice people, collected sea glass on the beach and ate some great meals in local restaurants. Did we get rich? No, we didn't break even, but hey, it was a mini vacation where we made a bit of money, spent time with family and had a whole lot of fun. And looking at the photos now of the displays while writing this blog, I see that we still are on the learning curve of what kind of display is best.


  1. Susannah - I love it! Thank you for the taking the time to keep up your blog. I know how hard it is to carve out time for all the tasks we would like to complete for our business. Your awesome!

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Contact Form.
    Date: Mon, June 21, 2010 1:09 pm

    Tammy, I put you in my blog. Hope you like the pictures. Susannah

  2. Such fun to vicariously participate in a jewelry business. Kudos to you. Colleen

  3. Those jewelry are awesome and it's great work of art, sea glass jewelry look more attractive.
    Diamond VA