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JEWELRY MAKING TIPS: When You Attend A Bead Show…

Posted by learntobead on April 19, 2020


Bead shows travel across the country, back and forth, and come to many of the mid-sized and larger cities and towns across the US, as well as some smaller places.

Bead shows showcase many vendors who sell beads, gemstones, cabochons, findings, books, supplies, and other things related to beading and jewelry making. Some are small and may have 20 vendors; others are very large and have hundreds of vendors. The bead show of all bead shows occurs in Tucson, Arizona every January/February, with a smaller, though not by any means ‘small’, repeat in September.

The bead shows are there to overwhelm you with choices, and get you to part with all your money — the money you brought with you, that you found hidden away under the pillows in your couch, or planned to use to buy something else in the future. Very ENTICING. Fun. Exciting. Thrilling. Exhausting. This is one of those settings where you could easily use the phrase, “the energy in the room was palpable.”

I remember my first bead show visit. There were beads everywhere. I couldn’t catch my breath. I didn’t know where to start.

To get through these shows, to be sure you’ve seen the most important stuff for you, and to be sure you survive with some change left over for buying dinner, I offer a few tips:

o Wear comfortable shoes

o Bring copies of your tax form, if you buy wholesale

o Have a mix of cash, checks and credit cards. Some vendors might take cash, but not checks or credit cards. Others some different arrangement.

o Bring a tote bag.

o Bring a small ruler or gauge

o Wear your glasses. You might also bring a magnifier.

o Bring a small notebook and pen.

o Bring a bottle of water.

Do a Walk-Through first. Get the lay of the land, so to speak.

Set a budget and stick to this budget.

Collect business cards from all the vendors. If they have a website, be sure you leave with that information.

Ask the vendors you bought things from how you can re-order items from them.

Ask the vendors you bought things from when they might expect to be back in your town.

Especially if you are buying something directly from an artist, such as a lampwork artist, take some time to talk and get to know that person. You’ll learn a lot. It’s not often you get direct access to artists.

Play close attention to the quality of what you are buying. At these shows, quality varies widely. The prices of things are often lower than what you would find in your local bead store — but the quality might vary too.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Best Way To Thread Your Needle

Bead Stringing With Needle and Thread

Beading Threads vs. Bead Cord

Turning Silver and Copper Metals Black: Some Oxidizing Techniques

Color Blending; A Management Approach

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

When Choosing Colors Has You Down, Check Out The Magic Of Simultaneity Effects

The Color Effects of Threads

Wax, Wax, Wax

When You Attend A Bead Show…

When Your Cord Doesn’t Come With A Needle…What You Can Do

Duct Tape Your Pliers

What To Know About Gluing Rhinestones

Know Your Anatomy Of A Necklace

How Does The Jewelry Designer Make Asymmetry Work?

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

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