Tucson 2018 round-up

Once again I’m reminded that this bead world of ours is a wonderful and exciting place.

Coming to the Gem Shows this year has been a much needed boost. There’s nothing like being amongst your people – the ones who inspire you, and challenge you, and with whom you can plan new collaborations and adventures.

The visual stimulation is incredible and inspiring. The beads, the jewelry, the rocks. And the very personal stories behind all of it – from the miners who are selling their haul, to the artists showing work that has taken them years of practice and design to create.

More than just shopping for beads

I finally met in person the lovely Deb Floros

Tucson is a great opportunity for me to discover new stock, see new beads up close and in person before taking the leap and buying tons of them – you can’t beat fondling a bead in person to know whether it’s the right bead for your store! To get so many wholesale bead vendors in one place is really quite incredible and there’s no other event like it on earth. The whole town is pretty much taken over by gemstone suppliers, Czech glass manufacturers and bead vendors big and small.

But Tucson really is about more than just the buying. I got to catch up with old friends, some of the greatest designers that the beady world has to offer, and I got to make the acquaintance of new friends and even friends I’ve known virtually for years but never met in real life.

My heart is ready to take on the coming year now. Tucson, thank you! I needed the refill!

What did Jill actually buy?

So what did Jill buy? Well, I said before I went that I had an idea for some new kits for some trendy gemstone bracelets, so I found plenty of parts for those including small gemstones, some Thai Hill Tribe Silver, some closeout pearls, and the tiny beads that you can see in the photos below.

I discovered stunning semiprecious cabochons – as you can see from the photos I had plenty to choose from!

You’ll be delighted to know that I’ve found some real beauties to add to the Czech fire polished range and will be expanding to add 39 colors of wonderful quality 2, 3 and 4mm Czech glass pearls! I picked this vendor for the Czech pearls because the pearls are all sorted out before being sent to the US, with the wonky ones discarded. Which means when you order 50 pearls, you’ll get 50 usable pearls! Not 42 usable ones and 8 that you have to throw out! Plus the holes on the 2mm pearls are a decent size. Several years ago I stopped carrying the 2mm pearls because I kept breaking them due to small holes. This new vendor’s quality is top notch and I’m so much happier with them.

Oh and you are just going to LOVE the druzy cabochons that I found – I managed to stop Mom stealing too many of them for herself (barely) and they will be making their way on to the website very soon. I did leave the giant geodes behind, this time…

So there you have it – lots of exciting new beads coming soon so stay tuned!

Tucson gallery

Let me show you around the booth of my favorite pearl vendor Majestic Beads…

Live from Tucson! Majestic Pearls – my favorite pearl vendor!

Posted by Jill Wiseman on Sunday, January 28, 2018


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