After many many years of making my own handmade jewelry, I am finally committed to making the journey to the Shangri-la of beads and stones... the (almost mythical) Tucson Gem Show!
This mass meeting of gem and lapidary shows from around the globe converges on Tucson Arizona every year in late January, early February. I'd love to hear stories and TIPS PLEASE from any beaders/jewelers out there who have gone to the show. How to get around? Where to stay? Which shows are not to be missed?
I'm looking forward to meeting fellow designers, meeting new supply vendors, and visiting the massive spreads of my current vendor friends.
Tips I've gathered so far:
1) Book lodging in advance. Well in advance. Many of the shows happen in local hotels and there is shuttle service between many of them.
2) Register as a wholesale seller in advance of the shows.
3) Have plenty of copies of your wholesale paperwork to show to vendors
4) Watch your belongings carefully! It's a big crowd with a lot of cash floating around -- and when there's cash, there's theft.
5) Bring a wheelie bag or other means of carrying your goodies around. There's lots of walking!
6) Remember the basics of visiting a gem show.
I'll keep posting on any updates or cool resources as I research more into the journey (can you say ROAD TRIP???). It's a *little* early to start planning, but I am determined to get there this time. Won't you join me?