Monthly Archives: January 2013

Surviving Your First Bead Show

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Surviving Your First Bead Show

by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Whether you’re attending The Bead and Button® Show in Wisconsin (the biggest retail bead show in the world) or one in your local scene, there are some survival tactics directly from bead veterans I’d like to share with you. Preparation is key to survival! Like kids in a candy store, the sensory overload of a bead show can traumatize even the best of the beadaholics. So, if you’re a holiday jewelry maker (making jewelry for gift giving), a die-hardseed beader, or you sell your jewelry as a business, you’re sure to find treasures and expand your jewelry-making knowledge at a show!

Walk

It’s a close run between comfy shoes and protein bars as to which one is the second most important thing to bring to a bead show. The first is the ker-ching my beady friends! Bring an empty credit card and lots of cash. Some vendors don’t take credit cards and some vendors will make you a better deal if you pay cash (be sure to ask as it can’t hurt!). As far as shoes go, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this area having worked and walked many huge trade shows, and crocs are the best hands down! Of course they’re not the most fashionable so you’ll want to snazz them up a bit with a clip-on embellishment. Make your own with resincrystals and seed beads or convert old brooches and pendants into shoe clips by gluing them onto the pad of clip-on earrings. Embellishing your shoes, what could be beadier? Check out these great design ideas.

Haul It 

Collapsible purses and totes are a must for your shopping adventure. Keep one of these in your purse and you’ll be happy to pull it out when you’ve slipped so many bags of beadalicious goodies in your purse and the handles are moaning and groaning as much as your feet are! You can bring rolling totes into some shows and they’re a saving grace–be sure to check ahead of time so you aren’t stuck schlepping the tote back to the car.

Ouch

Pain management is a popular topic although not commonly discussed among bead show attendees until it’s too late! And then, sadly, your feet prevent you from doing even more damage to your pocketbook. Prevent this global bead shopping malaise by popping an Advil® or aspirin before entering the bead show (or get roller skates). Either way, you can cover more ground comfortably.

Yum

Some shows offer the tastiest nibbles around but you can’t bet on it, so throw a few protein bars and a bottle of water in your purse, just in case. You can usually find chocolate and coffee readily available. They know you’ll need a jolt or two! Before opening any of your bring-along treats, be sure to check house rules–sometimes you need to enjoy your own fare outside or out of show limits.

Learn

Always be sure to check out the classes before you go. Many times they’re sold out and you don’t want to miss out on a great learning experience! Go to the show’s website and see the class line up. They may have demos going on as well, so take a peek at the schedule. If you want to get really organized for your bead show adventure, take a look at the vendor list (if posted) and make a list of all your “must see” vendors and boothsbefore stepping foot in the bead show zone. If you don’t, you will surely get sucked into the delightful frenzy only rows and rows of vials of beads can provoke and you might just forget what you were looking for.

Read

Show programs are super important so don’t just buzz by them as another thing to carry. Circle all your “must see” booths then keep the map handy as a reminder. Write down the numbers of the booths you want to return to. Keep it handy as you’ll most likely fall in love with some beady goodies and want to return to that booth. You’ll think there’s no doubt you’ll remember this booth (especially if it’s early in your shopping day), then by the end of the day there will be dozens of booths to return to and you have NO idea where they are since your eyes are spinning in spirals like Wile E Coyote when the Road Runner bonks him on the head! You’ll also be glad to have this program two months later when that strand of beads that was the only blue you’ve ever seen in those shades haunts you and you wish you’d bought it at the show but can’t remember the booth name and you simply must have it … trust me on this one!

Simplify

Don’t forget, once you leave the show these pretties need a happy home. Here’s a great article on organizing your seed beads. Nothing is more fun than sorting out your beloved purchases afterwards and fondling each and every beady delight, except buying more of course!

 

 

What bead shows will you be attending this year? Have any tips to share with us?

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Crystal Jewelry Inspirations Blog Hop

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What an honor to be one of the contributors to this FAB book that just came out! My fellow Swarovski Ambassadors and I designed some of the most wonderfully creative pieces I’ve ever seen. Karin Von Voohees was the “lucky” editor to corral this blingy bunch of talent and produce this book. One my fave parts is that each project comes with all the steps you need to make it yourself!

Below is a list of all the Ambassadors in the book so you can “hop” on over to their blogs.

LOVE this book and so will you!

Crystal Jewelry Inspirations Blog Hop

Monday, 1/14 June Beach Beach Haus Designs www.beachhausdesigns.blogspot.com
Lilian Chen Gold Gatsby Design www.liliangoldgatsby.blogspot.com
Fernando daSilva Modern Expressions www.modern-expressions.blogspot.com
Marcia DeCoster Mad Designs www.maddesignsbeads.blogspot.com
Stephanie Dixon The Dixon Chick www.thedixonchick.blogspot.com
Tuesday, 1/15
Katie Hacker Katie’s Beading Blog www.katiehacker.blogspot.com
Monica Han CYS Dreambeads www.cysdreambeads.blogspot.com
Wednesday,1/16
Diane Hertzler Diane Hertzler Beading Experiences www.dianehertzler.blogspot.com
Val Hirata CBY Sparkle www.cbysparkle.com/blog
Jamie Hogsett Jamie Hogsett www.jamiehogsett.blogspot.com
Tamara Honoman Artfully Inspired www.thonaman.com/Tams_blog_dir/blogs/index.php
Thursday, 1/17 Lisa Pavelka Lisa Pavelka’s Creative Musings www.lisapavelka.typepad.com
Margot Potter Margot Potter www.margotpottertheimpatientcrafter.blogspot.com
Pat Riesenburger Urban Stitch Studio www.urbanstitchstudio.blogspot.com
Leslie Rogalski Sleepless Beader www.sleeplessbeader.blogspot.com
Nadia Sanchez Ramos Fou Fou Chat by the Terror Sisters www.foufouchat.blogspot.com
Renata Sanchez Ramos Fou Fou Chat by the Terror Sisters www.foufouchat.blogspot.com
Debra Saucier Debra Saucier As The Crystal Turns www.debrasaucier.blogspot.com
Friday, 1/18 Brenda Schweder Brenda Schweder www.BrendaSchweder.com
Debbi Simon Debbie Simon www.debbisimon.blogspot.com
Kim St. Jean Studio St. Jean www.kimstjean.blogspot.com
Laura Timmons Therabeading www.therabeading.blogspot.com
Kristal Wick Kristal Wick www.kristalwick.wordpress.com
Diane Whiting Sparkles and Smiles www.sparklesandsmiles.blogspot.com