Friday, August 22, 2008

Buying for BeadFX

Today was the first day of the Market at Beadfest. This is the day that jewellery designers and buyers like myself do our power shopping. There are two floors of vendors here, so there was a lot to see.

I headed straight to my favourite stone bead wholesalers and grabbed some of their nicest stuff before it all got picked over. So you will be able to see more Iron Zebra Jasper, Fire Agate, Rainbow JAsper, Onyx, Porcelain Jasper, Snakeskin JAsper, and Rhyolite to mention only a few. My personal fav is undyed Chrysocolla from a new find in Madagascar.

There are dozens and dozens of booths selling stone beads, but most of these are just selling ordinary stuff you can get any old place. Some of these vendors seem to just be in it as a business. For all they care, they could be selling used cars or garden hoses.

I also restocked on sterling clasps and Kazuri beads and picked up some interesting Thai silver pieces.

After that, I started going through the booths in a more systematic fashion. Some major manufacturers such as Beadalon and Softflex have demonstration booths at the show, showing off their newest stuff. We will be carrying a new beading line called Wildfire. I had gotten some samples of this earlier and the beaders among us are raving about it.

I ran into Maria Rypan's booth. She sells her patterns through our store and teaches there on occasion.

i still have half a floor to cover which I'll do tomorrow before my class.

This evening, there was a Meet The Teachers Reception in the Grand Ballroom. This is where the teachers sell their kits to people who were not able to take their classes. It's interesting to note that the teachers who are teaching seed-bead type classes and wire-working classes were both mobbed with people.

Generally speaking, the vendors I spoke to said they were having a good show and the overall atmosphere at the show was upbeat. Lots of people were leaving with full bags and happy smiles, so I think this bespeaks well for the beading world. We are alive and well and still having fun!

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