Thursday, August 1, 2013

RETAILERS: Handmade Soap Display Ideas!

Many retailer clients ask "What do you suggest for how to display the soaps?" Gosh there are SO many options and creative things you can do! I welcome anyone to share pics of their own displays if you like!

Because our soap is natural and an ancient craft, I always gravitate personally toward displays that reflect that; rustic or antique-ish displays. And depending on whether you order your soap as bars or bulk logs, ....tiered, cubby-hole, or staircase-style displays maximize space usage for bars, whereas logs can be displayed on something as simple as wooden cutting boards. But some ideas for you are:

- Visit reclamation shoppes for great finds and buys on antique furniture, fixtures (like antique sinks, foot baths, fountains, etc.) usually salvaged from old construction sites, teardowns, etc.

- Flea markets, swap meets, garage sales, of course can all be wealths of great finds for items that will suddenly appear as the *perfect display item*, when that is what you are looking for. Old armoirs, book cases, ball & claw tables, tabletop hutches, wall-hung small bookcases, all make perfect places to stack soap bars and logs, as well as ready-made gift packs! Mirrored backs of bookshelves can multiply your abundance! Sometimes the more "used" looking, the better--shabby chic!

- Inexpensive and always natural-looking are woven baskets, trays, and bushels attractively scattered about your shoppe or booth display. And always have one right near the cash register with an attractive assortment of last-minute-buy items like two-bar soaps tied on a soapdish. This often prompts Customer that he/she needs to pick up a birthday or thank you gift needed that week or for an occasion coming up! Or...because they simply can't resist it for themselves!

- I personally am addicted to wooden boxes and have a fairly large collection, ALL different sizes. There's just SOMETHING about boxes! From jewelry-box size, all the way to antique trunk style, or travel suitcase antique reproductions with an array of international travel stickers on them....all make wonderful displays! Soften the bottom with a bedding of natural grass excelsior available at most packing vendors like nestled in antique linens, towels, or other bathy-type items.

- Large wide ceramic bowls--bowl & pitcher type, or colorful Mexican style, or antique yellow ware bowls all look beautiful also with a bedding of excelsior and filled with soap varieties!

- Metal or galvanized buckets, tubs, mini-bathtubs, cauldrons, cookpots, all make great soap containers, displayed alongside a collection of bath accouterments like washcloths, scrub or nail brushes, bath oils, candles, or other potions!

- Your local home improvement center can often provide inspiration in both the home as well as nursery/garden departments! Tabletop fountains go well with soap displays!

- Antique wooden dough bowls or trench bowls are large and also look so natural filled with handmade soap! These can be found on ebay, or reproductions of them called treenware can be found less expensively!

- Disc jockey supply houses online are a great source for bubble machines! A fun "attention-getter" for soap displays...but may be best positioned at the outdoor entrance of your shoppe so that a constantly-running stream of bubbles doesn't sticky-up your ceilings.

- Used deli cases (you can find at industrial equipment houses) make a perfect venue for soap logs or buy-by-the-ounce deli scale soap displays. Rolling island tables with cutting board tops can be moved conveniently around your shop!

- Find local design centers in your area (I use "Shinoda", and they are online also) and pay a visit. I could spend hours walking their aisles being inspired with design and seasonal display ideas! If you can't find a center like this in your area, sign up on the mailing list of one and get their pictorial updates to get ideas!

- can be a wealth of display ideas!

- Simple items like a colorful cotton table cloth, muslin, burlap, hand-woven table runner, or discarded lace window panel can "dress-up" a display with minimal cost...rediscover what's hiding in YOUR linen closet! Or drawers! I have a lovely lace shawl that makes a beautiful display table topper! Handmade paper, and bolts of fabrics like tulle can give you all kinds of fun textures to play with!

- Depending upon any themes you have to your store or business, this can lend lots of ideas for creative display items...and I have seen some very interesting ones! Especially for seasonal or holidays times of year! The guiding guideline being HAVE FUN with it!

Hope these ideas help light a fire in your imagination! And again---other ideas welcome, please add!

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