Friday, February 20, 2009

A Weekend in Tucson

Well...I had to take a day at home to get all caught up on computer stuff. I've checked, answered and deleted e-mails. Added a photo to my Facebook. Filled out an application for an on line writing position. Down loaded a contract for a publishing release. Now I'm trying to update my blog, and then I need to add some jewelry to my Etsy account because suddenly stuff is selling. In between all of this, I've done laundy, cleaned up again and again and again etc. etc. after our new family member, a Boston Terrier pup with health issues, waxed my daughters eye brows, built a train track for my son, and done many trips to the refrigerator to satisfy his every dietary desire. How do people work at home!?! It's crazy! My dryer just now I have to go do that. I'd rather be at work, it's easier.

Now...about the bead and jewelry world. We went to Tucson on a very short trip. We did not exhibit this year. With the down sizing of our shops deadline, the economy, and a broken transmission in our motor home, we decided to cut our loses and just do the teaching for Swarovski and a quick meet and greet with some of our friends and suppliers that we only see this time of year. As for the show, there wasn't anything new that jumped out at me. The stone that I saw the most of was turquoise, both fake and real, unfortunately in some cases "I'm sure unintentionally" miss labeled, buyers beware! There is not a thing in this world wrong with "fake" turquoise, as long as it is marketed as such. The colors that I noticed the most were bright fall colors. This was available mostly in dyed magnasite(a turquoies imposter.) The colors are bold and beautiful, even to a gal like me that likes organic, Earthy colors. There was bright orange, burnt orange, red, burnt red, green, sage, yellow, gold, brown and more! The magnasite holds the color very well, and the natural brown veining lends itself to these awesome colors perfectly. There were so many shapes and sizes you could have filled an entire showcase in nothing but this stone and some vendors did just that. The best thing about these stones however is the price! They are very inexpensive. You could purchase several strands and still be able to afford lunch, which cost more than the stones at the outside show vendors.

One thing that we took note of this year that was new, was the fact that anyone selling sterling silver in any of the GLW shows had to have a sign posted in their booth stating that their silver was in fact .925. With the rise in silver last year, some people were not the most forth coming with this information. If not asked specifically, is it .925, and just, is it silver, the answer was often yes! For indeed, it was "silver" in color. But when tested, some of the material tested out .675, nickel, pewter and "German silver." Now if we could just do something like that for the stone buyers that are often dupped with reconstituted stones, dyed stones, and resine stones sold as natural. If you are going to take the beading business seriously, and consider yourself professional you must become educated. Read magazines, books and take classes. Learn how to ask the right questions and build relationships with vendors that have good reputations. Price is not the most important issue in buying, you get what you pay for. Not just in the items purchased, but in the reliability of the vendor once you get home with the product. Will you be able to purchase more of the same item? Will someone that answers the phone when you call the number from the card or invoice be able to understand your question and answer you clearly when you call?

On a fun note. We went to the Swarovski Cocktail party again this year. It is always the high point of the show. It is the who's who of crystal designing and sales. Margot Potter, Katie Haker, Fernando DeSilva, Lisa Palveka, Laura Timmons, Anna Dreagars and many more outstanding designers, authors, publishers, show promoters, shop owners and friends were there, not to mention the wonderful Swarovski staff! It's so much fun to meet up with all of your peers and share! We usually all meet like this twice a year, during the Tucson show and during the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee in June.
Well, I'll save some more for the next time I can steal the time to write! I'm going to be better this year than I was last year. I promise.


Margot Potter said...

Welcome back to bloggy land! It was great seeing you. What exciting things you're doing!

Keep kicking arse and taking names my friend.


Fernando Dasilva said...

It is very hard to work at home...I did like the pastel shades of died wood beads for winter but I did not buy a single strand.