Monday, January 31, 2011

AGTA all day

This is my first AGTA show - Elaine - a former teacher of mine who is assisting me at the show and I worked all day today putting the booth together. Up until I discovered lights that decided not to work, and other interesting things that could not be fixed with zip ties, windex or duct tape did we find ourselves driving all over Tucson to find an Office Max, Michaels and Home Depot to finish the project.

Tomorrow morning at 10 the doors open and booth 3706 will be ready. My body will have ample ibuprophen to make it through the day. I lifted, climbed, crawled, and moved stuff for many hours today and my body will tell me about it tomorrow.

Lisa Kan and I met tonight to exchange things so that she would be ready for setting up the Best Bead Show tomorrow. My planning left a lot to be desired. There are things I set aside for her that I forgot to put in the vehicle to take to her.

For someone who likes to have it all together - today has not been a stellar day. Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Beautiful Day in Tucson

I had a day off before I setup tomorrow so I walked around Tucson. I went to the To Bead True Blue show where many of my friends are displaying. The crowds looked up and cheerful and I saw many bags being carried away from the booths. - it was all good.

I then visited the motels next to Interstate 10 and saw many people in very good moods and lots of people walking around with bags with lots of stuff - that was good.

Tomorrow I setup for the AGTA show which starts on Tuesday - On Wednesday night the Best Bead Show opens and I will be there. I hope to see many happy people with lots of bags filled with wonderful things at both of these shows.

I ended my day with friends at my favorite Mexican Restaurant - we had home made tortilla chips with 4 kinds of salsa, wonderful main courses, margaritas mmmmm! and for desert Sopapillas and Fried Ice cream. If you come by my booth and ask - I will tell you what restaurant it is.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Designers are allowed to change their minds

That last clasp I posted has gone to cyber heaven. I woke up the next day and looked at it and realized that it reminded me of two paper clips hooked together. Designers - namely me this time - need to change their minds. Sometime later a better version of that clasp will come to me - or it won't. Sometimes I have gone through the whole process of designing a piece, sending it off to get a wax made, had masters created, molds made and manufacturing done and when the product was delivered I wondered what I was thinking. This time I got there early.

I am in Tucson. All the gear for two shows, my inventory, recently purchased groceries, the Yukon and the Airstream are parked in a tiny rustic RV park in southwest Tucson. The people are friendly and the price is right.

Tomorrow I get to go do a little shopping at some of the dealers in the motels along I10 and go see some friends at the To Bead True Blue show at the Double Tree Reid Park. Maybe tomorrow night I will get to go to one of my favorite Mexican Restaurants if my friends are up for it. There is nothing worse than eating a whole bowl of chips and salsa by yourself.

Then on Monday (they say it is going to rain) I will set up my booth at the AGTA show and pass off inventory and display things to Lisa Kan who will be working with me at the Best Bead Show. She will be showing her beautiful things as well as mine.

I feel good this year about the shows and the jewelry business. We are coming out the other end of the tunnel and I can see light -

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My trailer is packed and ready to go-now I get to design stuff

My living room is now clear of the two show setups. Everything is in the Yukon and the Airstream other than inventory and food. I have a moment to relax. I have been working over a design in my head for months. Everytime I tried to design in in CAD it ended up looking ugly. After I saw that I might be able to relax for a little while before I pull out for Tucson Saturday morning it came to me.

I have always liked the infinity sign - it is seen as the number 8 in Chinese. I wanted to make a design using this symbol. I wanted it to be fairly large 40x12 mm (1.6 inches by .5 inch) but light and easy to use without a mechanical movement and secure. This is how I try to design all the clasps now especially now that metal prices are so high.
Double Infinity Clasp
I like the idea of using such a powerful symbol as a clasp. I hope that the designers that use my clasps think that the clean light lines of this clasp will work well in their neckaces and bracelets.

Friday, January 21, 2011

There has been an explosion in my house-getting ready for Tucson

This year I am showing at two shows. AGTA at the convention center and Best Bead at the Kino Center with Lisa Kan. I am getting ready for both shows.

The piles of stock, marketing, displays, are accumulating in my livingroom, dining room, out on the porch. My Yukon is starting to be loaded and my 22 foot Airstream Trailer is now being loaded with clothes and supplies. This is the part where I don't know if I will be done before it is time. My nightmare is thinking I will leave my purse on the table at home and not realize it until I am entering Tucson.
This is my rig - my home away from home. My dog Pooh Bear thinks I have it so that he can have a kennel with a view. Before I go to Tucson - everything I need will go into these two vehicles. Honk if you see me going by.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Products in just before Tucson!!!!!

Fedex delivered this week. Lots of new designs to be introduced in Tucson.
Ancient Treasures
Greek Key which is also available in bronze

Chartres Circle

Dream Catcher
Creating rings is my guilty pleasure - this one is available in multiple sizes and can be ordered in your selection of metal - with or without gemstones.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tucson Tips

One of the most complete sources of information for Tucson is found on the;  If you need to find the dates of a show, a vendor, or certain kind of product, look in the show guide on line. The printed version is the size of a big phone book but the show guide on line is weightless and you can print out what you want.

Getting to Tucson is interesting. Some fly - some drive - some live there. Flying into Tucson is easy, getting a rental car isn't so easy if you book late in the season. There are shuttles and they visit some of the hotels and most of the shows. If you look in the jewelry show guide you will find out which goes where. An option is flying into Phoenix and getting a rental car there and then driving to Tucson - 2 hours or so. You then will have wheels to go where you want to when you want to go.

  • A wheeled suitcase or shopping bag is important I think. After carrying many pounds of beads from place to place you will have a numb arm or a sore shoulder.
  • Bring water and easy to carry snacks - making decisions on an empty stomach is not good. 
  • If you have a tax id and plan to purchase in quantity - bring copies of your tax license, business cards, etc. so that you have the opportunity to purchase at a wholesale discount. Also some shows that are wholesale only will not let you in without this proof.
  • Inform your credit card companies and bank that you are going to the show and that they should expect charges from all over. There is nothing worse than finding out that your credit card is frozen on a Friday night.
  • Make copies of all important credit cards and documents and keep them separate in case you lose the originals. Use the safe at the hotel.
  • Some of my favorite shows include AGTA (wholesale only),  GJX, Best Bead, the Holodome (overwhelming), the shows in the motels next to the freeway where you can find everything from genuine plastic amber to gemstones that will blow your mind. Some of the shows have great educational opportunities, many free.
  • Last little note - I have bought genuine plastic amber - and gemstones that blew my mind.
Surrounding Tucson are beautiful mountains. For those that have the time and desire there are places not associated with gemstones, beads and stuff. It is worth a visit in it's own right.