Pick Up Sticks Display Ideas – Jewelie

Wow!  The response to Judy, our full-size black mannequin loaded with Pick Up Sticks, has been incredible.  We never knew that adding a loaded Judy to our catalog would be such a great idea. If you missed our post on Judy, check it out here.

Because of the overwhelming interest in Judy, we decided we’d better add a loaded Jewelie to the mix.


Jewelie is our 20 inch tall counter-top mannequin.  Think of her as Judy’s little sister. Equally as eye-catching, just not quite as big.  If you don’t have space enough for Judy, order a couple of Jewelies to grace a tabletop or counter.  Or consider her as an add-on to your Judy – a complimentary bust form loaded with Pick Up Sticks that will create even more interest.

We’ve heard from lots of retailers that Jewelie’s a great point-of-sale display.  She just might be the perfect way to turn on-the-fence-buyers into jewelry-purchasing-customers.


One of the most frequently asked questions when we’re at market is:  “How should we display Pick Up Sticks in our store?”  It’s also the highest search engine term that takes customers to our blog. And because we’re in the business of helping retailers sell our product, we want to give you the chance to display Pick Up Sticks in the most profitable manner. That’s Judy and Jewelie.

Now you have the chance to order Jewelie fully loaded.  She’ll come with our best-selling two-sided bubble charms and photo charms, our 12 best-selling word candy, our 12 best-selling dot initials, our 12 best-selling trinkets and spacers and 20 assorted necklaces and bracelet chain. She’ll also be wearing our very popular logo price tags. Call the studio today to get the price on this great display value.

Everybody needs Pick Up Sticks!

Everybody needs Pick Up Sticks!

Simply order, unwrap and display.  And start selling!

Pick Up Sticks – Valentine’s Day Ideas

We’re exactly a month out from Valentine’s Day, and if you’re like most of our retailers, you know that this holiday is a sales opportunity you don’t want to miss.  According to a 2012 study by the National Retail Federation, “Love may not cost a thing, but consumers this year are set to spoil their friends, family and loved ones this Valentine’s Day in a very big way. According to NRF’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday will shell out $126.03.”

To help you steer your customers in the right direction,we’ve put together a collection of great ideas for anyone on your Valentine gift list.  At Pick Up Sticks, we believe in showing your love to your best girlfriends as well as the women in your family.  Check out our favorite charms for best friends. . .

bestfriend valentines day copy

As well as Mom. . .

mom valentines copy

And Grandmother. . .

grandma valentines day copy

And Sisters. . .

sister valentines

February 14 is an especially good time to catch the impulse buyer, the last-minute shopper who runs in the door looking for inspiration. It’s our suggestion that if you haven’t already, you add a display near your cash register or check out area with a few necklaces put together, or have your employees wear a fun necklace or two reflecting a very personalized “love you” message.  One of our floral retailers offers an initial charm tied with a ribbon around each vase that goes out with a dozen roses.

We’d love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day sales as well.  Feel free to comment here or send your photos to marketing@pickupsticks.net.

And of course, Happy Valentine’s Day from Pick Up Sticks Jewelry!

Pick Up Sticks and Winter Markets 2013

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

As I write this blog post, Sabrina and Bruce are in the midst of packing their bags for the Atlanta show, which starts on January 11 and continues through the 15th.  (Atlanta International Gift Market – Americas Mart, Merchandise Mart, Booth #802, Atrium, Handmade, Building 3, 2nd floor).

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

They’ll be traveling next week, carting two weeks worth of warm outfits, fur-lined boots (Sabrina will be, anyway. . .) and all the pre-market excitement that accompanies Pick Up Sticks when someone from the company heads to Market.  From Atlanta, the two of them will head to Chicago to the Beckman’s Handcrafted Show at the Chicago Market ( Booth #8-6030, Jan 19 – 22, 2013).

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

And just a few days after Sabrina and Bruce return to New Mexico, Glena and Candace head to the New York International Gift Show at the Javits Convention Center, which will run from January 27 – 30, 2013 (Booth 8531, Personal Accessories).  Later in February, Glena and Candace will be in Las Vegas, NV, at the Pool Trade Show at Mandalay Bay from February 19 – 21.

It’s our bread and butter, the market season. We love seeing old customers and meeting new ones, cultivating the community that makes up our very loyal, creative and fun retailers.  Our greatest goal is always to help you build your business and make your retail space a success (well, that, and finding just one more amazing new restaurant in each city we visit. . .)

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

We’ve written about Market many times before, and it bears repeating.  When you show up in our booth, we’re going to treat you with respect and we’re going to help you buy within your budget.  We very clearly mark our best-sellers so that you’ll know what works for our other retail customers.

And as always, your credit card never gets charged until the day we ship, which is a date you choose. If you need a quick ship, we’re all about trying to get your order out within a day or two of your order being placed.

Be sure to take a look at our post from last year, in which Glena and Sabrina list their Top Ten List of Tips for Buyers. A buying plan, comfortable shoes and carrying lots of business cards are just some of the great advice you’ll find in that post.

Chicago booth

Pick Up Sticks is all about fun and whimsy and human stories and great connections. Going to Market reinforces all of those qualities and we’re always excited to get in the booth and show you our new designs while we hear your stories about satisfied customers, display plans and how much you enjoy selling our jewelry.

To check out our official calendar, go to http://www.pickupsticks.net/US/press_show_sched/press_show_sched.html.  If you’re in Canada, Pick Up Sticks will be in Toronto at the CGTA Show, Toronto International Centre and Toronto Congress Centre, North Building, #11359, (Tani Investments), from January 27  – 31, 2013.

For those of you in the UK, find us at Top Drawer Spring, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Olympia, London, England – Stand ZA 31 from Jan 13 – 15, 2013, and at Spring Fair International, Birmingham, England, Listed as Absolutely Devine, Hall 18, Stand 18D66, February 3 – 7, 2013

If for some reason you won’t be on the road this year, feel free to check out our online store at http://www.pickupsticks.net.  Call the studio for ideas or with any questions.

Otherwise, can’t wait to see you in Atlanta, Chicago, New York or Vegas!

New Designs AND a Discount for Exclusive Pick Up Sticks Retailers

1-photo charms 2013

It’s crazy to think about it, but in just a couple of  weeks we’ll be opening our booth at Beckman’s Handcrafted Show in Chicago.  Before we head to Chicago, we’ll be in Atlanta from January 11th to the 15th.  More details to follow on our market schedule in just a couple of days!

So, yeah, we’ve been a bit busy for the past few weeks.  And Sabrina’s been busy all fall, designing some amazingly fun new charms for the Winter 2013 show season. We sent out an e-mail blast in December with news of these designs and a reminder that exclusive retailers would, as always, receive a 10% discount on any orders placed and shipped before January 11, 2013.


If you missed that e-mail, here’s how it works. If you’re a Pick Up Sticks Jewelry exclusive retailer, we’re going to give you a bonus of a 10% discount on any order placed and shipped by 1/11/13.  It’s just our way of saying how much we appreciate your hard work and your loyalty to Pick Up Sticks.

1-letters (2)

Being an exclusive retailer is easy – you just have to order $1,500 within a 12 month period. Once you’re in that category we’ll protect your zip code and place your business name on our website so that Pick Up Sticks fans can find you.

And who knows?  You may be really close to that status.  Just call the studio to find out what it would take to get you to exclusivity.  Once you’re there, you’re entitled to the discount as well.

Don’t you love these new designs? We’ve had an overwhelming response to all of them, and we’re pretty sure your customers will love them too.


If you’re headed to market, we’ll see you soon.  If you prefer to order from home, just be sure to hurry and get in on this amazing discount – it ends next Friday, January 11, 2013!

Pick Up Sticks Retailer of the Month – Mary Jane’s in Estes Park, CO and Hawaii

Colorado Store Interior

Our retailer of the month for October, Mary Jane’s, 356 E. Elkhorn in Estes Park, Colorado, has all the style and charm we’ve come to expect from Pick Up Sticks retailers.  Their Colorado store is fun, upbeat and filled with eclectic gifts (especially if you’re looking to treat yourself). But they’ve gone one step further than most of our retailers. They’ve opened a second store. . .in Waikoloa, HI at 250 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Unit K10.

Colorado Store Display

Yes, you read that correctly.  Colorado AND Hawaii. Don’t you think we all need to field trip ourselves to that second location?  Not that Estes Park isn’t one of the most scenic settings in the country, but Hawaii? We’re totally into visiting that store. . .

Mary and Steve Smithson opened the Colorado store (http://maryjanesinestes.com/)   in 2005, hoping to bring a very unique shopping experience to Estes Park, a small town of about 8,000, which expands every year with approximately 3 million visitors. They’ve devoted themselves to finding a great mix for both their local customers as well as all the tourists that find their way to the gorgeous mountain town. We can only imagine how much fun they’ve had filling the Hawaii store. . .

Colorado Store Exterior

When we asked Mary what she loved best about Pick Up Sticks, she said, “I love the sassy charms, and how you’ve given everyone the ability to express themselves differently with jewelry – everyone’s final design represents their individual interests or personality.”

“I love how people oooh and ahhh in the space that we created for Pick Up Sticks.  They stand there and find special charms and call their friends over to show them.  At times we have a whole group of women crowded around our pot rack reading the charms out loud and saying who each reminds them of.”

Hawaii Store Exterior

Best sellers for Mary Jane’s?  Chicklet initials, trinkets, and spacers.  Mary is quick to recommend that a retailer keeps a large variety on hand so that each customer finds a piece that expresses them the best. She’s also adamant that her store keep plenty of initials in stock.  Those go fast, she says.

Mary found that displaying her Pick Up Sticks from a pot rack works, and she says giving customers the chance to handle and turn the charms over is her best advice for quick sales.  “It allows us to add interest in our store with our colorful ribbon hanging down, and people stand there for long periods of time reading each one until they find their special charm.”

Hawaii Store Display

“I love the variety of designs; all the different categories that appeal to different people.  There is something for everyone.  I also love the variety of sizes and shapes for the initials.  From a retailer’s point of view, I love the promotions, the zip code protection, and the periodic new introductions.  Shipping is FAST too!”

We’re very happy with Mary’s response to our Retailer questionnaire, and we’re envious that she gets to spend her days in Estes Park, the Gateway to the Rockies. And yes, we’re especially envious that she also gets to divide her time there with time in Hawaii.

Thanks Mary for your Pick Up Sticks enthusiasm. We’re thrilled to be part of your retail space!

Pick Up Sticks Retailer of the Month – Visions Spa

Visions Spa at 26800 Beck Rd., Novi, MN is our Retailer of the Month for September, and Anne Bond, the owner, was more than happy to give us some helpful info for other retailers.  Anne says the words “unique and fun” are what always come to mind when someone mentions Pick Up Sticks Jewelry Company.

They chose our line over others because they felt like we have a wide variety of charms, with lots of artistic flair.  And who are we to argue with that?

The store at Visions Spa is a retail space of 2,000 square feet that separates a salon and spa. Citing their display as “everything” it takes to get Pick Up Sticks in the hands of customers,  Anne at Visions says catching a customer’s eye as they make their way to the cash register is the real secret to success with this line.  “Clients have fun with this jewelry – we love how it creates new interest in the store.  And it’s great fun to watch the clients read the charms.”

Anne says she’s thrilled that Pick Up Sticks is selling so well.  Evidently she took her husband along on her market trip to Atlanta and he was a bit skeptical about how quickly jewelry would move.  Neither of them has been disappointed – “Pick Up Sticks sells like crazy in our shop,” she says.

Visions Spa also appreciates the speed with which new designs appear in the line. That’s what keeps collectors coming back for more.

Check out Visions Spa at their website or like them on their Facebook page.  And tell them we sent you!

Pick Up Sticks Retailer of the Month – French Market

After a Retailer of the Month is chosen, we send them an e-mail with a list of questions, asking that they take a minute to answer those questions and then send us back a few photos of their store as well as Pick Up Sticks in their store.  It’s a pretty straight-forward process – tell us about your store and tell us what makes Pick Up Sticks work for you.  We want two things:  to give our retailers a high-five and some free publicity for being so enthusiastic about Pick Up Sticks, and to give you, our other retailers, relevant information on how to best market the product.

But sometimes there’s a hidden benefit.  Sometimes in researching our retailers, we find inspiration in how they’ve set up their retail business and promoted themselves.  Which is exactly what happened this month while checking out the French Market and Tavern’s website and Facebook page.

French Market and Tavern, 3840 Hwy 42, Locust Grove, Georgia is touted as South Atlanta’s hottest casual dining spot, and “whether you eat, drink or shop, French Market is the destination place to be.”  What this month’s retailer has done is to very successfully use the internet to entice a wide range of potential shoppers into their space.  Certainly after checking out their website, we were dying to spend a lunch hour at French Market and then an afternoon shopping in the gift shop.

They’re located in the old Gardner Hardware Store, a building dating back to 1906.  Lauren describes their store as a “rustic version of Pottery Barn,” and it looks like she and her husband combined his New Orleans love of food with her love of design in a very appealingly eclectic way.

Here’s what they had to say about Pick Up Sticks:  They love the flexibility in design, and they suggest that you display everything at eye level, with the jewelry set out in a way that allows your shoppers to touch and turn the charms over.  Lauren suggests that your salespeople comment on the uniquely personal ways in which Pick Up Sticks can be added to a piece of jewelry, in essence telling a customer’s story. And she says that she loves that the line keeps people in the store for an extended period of time, searching through charms to find exactly the right initial or charm.

French Market does a great job of retailing Pick Up Sticks. But the bigger take-away here may be that French Market does a great job of promoting their entire business on the web. Their Facebook page is an example of how to use that medium to get buyers in the door.  Frequent posts, gorgeous photos, incentives to customers for checking in. . .this is all textbook stuff on how to grow your community and following.

We applaud French Market on being our Retailer on the Month for July.  They’re doing a great job selling Pick Up Sticks, and as you can see from the photos, the displays make the jewelry very accessible and enticing to the customer. But even better, they’re doing a great job of creating an atmosphere that buyers want to experience.

Next time we’re in Atlanta, we’re putting a visit to French Market on our bucket list. Their website makes our mouths water.  And we plan to follow them on Facebook to get ideas from their very successful social media strategy. Want to join us?

Making Our Skeleton Dance: Where We Came From. . .

Ruth and Ade Johnston, Gallegos, New Mexico (circa 1920's)

George Bernard Shaw said, “If you can’t get rid of the family skeleton, at least make it dance.”  That’s one of our favorite quotes.  In fact, Sabrina once designed a charm with that written on the back.  We love it because it tells part of the story of who we are and where we came from.

Logan, New Mexico (circa 1907)

Homesteaders.  Hardscrabble.  Hungry.  Tough.  Tenacious.  Those are all words that describe Glena and Sabrina’s great-great-grandparents.  The Osborns and Johnstons traveled to New Mexico from Missouri in 1906 in a wagon train with several other families, headed west with a promise of prosperity in their steamer trunks and saddlebags.  They landed in Logan, a tiny village in northeastern New Mexico, and settled on a section of land north of town, where water was scarce and the weather was frequently threatening and almost always unpredictable.

Logan, NM - crowd photo from 1911

But they persevered.  They were trailblazers and they were adventurous.  There’s a story about Tralve Johnston, Glena and Sabrina’s great-grandfather – when no one else could get a wild black stallion across the Canadian River, Tralve climbed on and then he held on.  It was a rodeo in the river, the old folks say, the craziest ride of the trip.  Tralve became a legend, renowned for his own wild and fearless behavior.

Ruth (right) and her cousin Opal in the 1920's

After staking their claim near Gallegos, New Mexico, Ade and Tralve Johnston tried their hand at dry-land farming.  For those of you who don’t know it, dry-land farming is a truly fearless endeavor – you plant as soon as the rains end in the spring (if the rain shows up at all) and then pray for moisture (but not too much) all summer long.  Sometimes, if you get extremely lucky, you actually make a crop.  It’s dry and dusty work, and seldom rewarding.  But it gets you land.  It gets you roots.

Logan Train Depot

They raised chickens as well, and sold the eggs in town.  Tralve took a job in the 20’s driving a truck, and when he started misbehaving and staying away from home too long, Ade divorced him.  It was scandalous, unheard of in those days, especially in rural New Mexico.

But she was stronger than the scandal; Ade just held her head high and worked harder at raising her daughter Ruth to be as tough as her mama.  Eventually Ade and little Ruth moved into Nara Visa and opened a restaurant, cooking for the locals to
make ends meet.

Nara Visa, NM, circa 1906

When times got tough there, she sold out and moved 24 miles southwest to Logan, where she opened a more prosperous café.  She didn’t quit.  She didn’t go home to Missouri.  She just kept working and building a business.  It was the 30’s – when most folks sold out and moved to California, she stayed.

Ruth and her cousin Opal (top row) in Tucumcari New Mexico

And that’s part 1 of how we make the skeleton dance here at Pick Up Sticks.  Instead of focusing on the negative parts of our history, we celebrate it.  We’re adventurous (who in the world would have ever believed we could create a jewelry business from thin air?), we’re tough and tenacious (those early years were almost unbearable – have we told you some of our scary early market stories?), and we believe in strong women because that’s where we come from.

By celebrating where we came from, we also celebrate you.   We celebrate your own family stories, the adventurous genes coursing through your veins, the hardscrabble tanacity you share with your forebears.  It’s our goal every day to help you feel happy about who you are and where you come from.

By definition, the word “vintage” means several things:  “No longer modern.”  “a wine, especially a good one,” and “recognized as being of high quality and lasting appeal.”  We created our jewelry line with a vintage feel for a lot of reasons – most of it having to do with our history with our great-grandmother, Ade Johnston (we called her “Mother,” and you can read more about how she influenced Pick Up Sticks here).

But we also felt that by taking images that were no longer modern and combining them with the best of quotes and inspiration, we might just create something that had lasting appeal to you.  History, especially your own, is always important, and it’s
generally beautiful.  Even if there are skeletons.  Just be sure you make them dance. . .

There are more stories and more skeletons.  We can’t wait to share them with you.

Pick Up Sticks Retailer of the Month – Terry’s Floral of Logan, New Mexico

Betty Terry of Terry’s Floral and Gifts, located at 1001 Yucca in Logan, New Mexico, might seem to have a distinct advantage over most Pick Up Sticks retailers.  After all, her shop is located in the hometown of Glena and Sabrina, the team behind Pick Up Sticks.  In fact, it’s in the converted garage of Sabrina’s childhood home and just down the street from where Glena grew up.  Just by virtue of her store’s location, you might think there’s some Pick Up Sticks creative brainpower floating around in the air.


And of course, she knows Glena and Sabrina personally.  They grew up with her daughter, played in her yard, ran their car up and down her driveway, even ran through her front door for years, either in search of Bunny or something to wear out of her closet.  Betty knows the why and wherefore of Pick Up Sticks because she knows the why and wherefore of Glena and Sabrina.  Sounds advantageous, doesn’t it? 

But then there’s the size of Logan – not such a distinct advantage.  With a population of approximately 1,100 (yes, you read that right.  Glena and Sabrina grew up in a village without stoplights, crime or a movie theater. . .), Logan lacks what most retailers need most:  buyers in large numbers.  Despite this lack, Betty became an exclusive retailer just a few months after she began selling Pick Up Sticks. 


So we decided to make her our September Retailer of the Month.  We figured if Betty and Terry’s Floral can become an exclusive retailer and order $1,500 of product in a year’s time (although truth be told, she’s way past that number), anyone can do it.  We asked her for tips to pass along to you, and here’s what she told us:

“It’s all about getting charms out there where everyone can see and touch them.  My business is primarily floral, and for a small town, people in Logan really love to buy flowers for one another.  When I put a loaded  Judy bust form on the floor right in the path of every shopper, Pick Up Sticks started flying out the door.  My Judy’s an eye-catcher, and once she stops them in their tracks to take a look, customers are hooked.”

Terry’s Floral also has an active Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/oNGBQ8) on which Betty posts lots of Pick Up Sticks images, news and links to any new blog posts.  She makes sure her fans know when she gets a new shipment, posting several times each week so that collectors don’t miss the chance to buy something new.  She says if you’re not using Facebook to promote your product and your Pick Up Sticks, you’re missing a great marketing tool.

Finally, she offers initial charms on a ribbon to go with floral arrangements.  It’s a relatively inexpensive add-on that makes a bouquet immediately more personal. 

And of course, when she heads out to the Post Office every morning to pick up the mail and visit with her neighbors, Betty’s wearing her Pick Up Sticks.  “Sometimes I think I sell as much on the street as I do in the store,” she says. 

“I love selling Pick Up Sticks.  My shop is a hodge-podge of new and old things – a fun place to shop.  Pick Up Sticks is very popular here – possible because the owners/designers are local gals, but most of all because the charms are unique.  Every customer can find one that fits her personality or that of a friend.  They are great gifts for any occasion – some are quirky, some are serious, and I find that most shoppers want several to mix and match.  And the new clips are great – they make charms easy to exchange quickly.”

Great tips, and great job, Betty.  Congratulations to Terry’s Floral and Gifts of Logan, New Mexico (575-487-2420), for being our September Retailer of the Month.  Terry’s is proof positive that anyone anywhere can be a successful Pick Up Sticks Retailer!

Pick Up Sticks – More Display Ideas

Today we’re finishing up the New York International Gift Fair, and one of the comments we keep hearing in the booth is that our retailers love our display ideas.  So, here are a few more.  We just have to give full disclosure – these aren’t our ideas.  They’re from our fabulous Pick Up Sticks retailers!

These are just a few of the entries we received in our display contest.  We thought we’d pass them along – maybe one or two will work in your store.

We’re always amazed at the multitude of incredibly creative (and effective) ways retailers find to display Pick Up Sticks.  If you have additional display ideas, feel free to send them to us by e-mail and we’ll try to include them in a future blog post.

Now you can see why we had such a difficult time choosing a winner. . .

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