Creative Leisure News
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Reports on shows, trends, and more
Diary from the Tucson Bead Shows
Lots to do and people to see.
by Scott Remmers, Brea Bead Works (February 18, 2013)
We had not been to Tucson in two years, so we
were looking forward to it. First thing up was a meeting with
Swarovski to talk about the Southern California Local Bead Store
Association and the CHA Bead Section. After that we were treated to
hear about their 2014 Trends and product line.
Next was the Tucson Bead Show at the Windmill Hotel. Disappointed!
This show has been declining over the years and maybe that's why the
Whole Bead Show moved to the Viscount Hotel. The Windmill had many
nationally known teachers holding classes in their own suites, but
on Wednesday the attendance at these workshops was very minimal.
Then we went to the Congress Hotel to set up for the CHA reception.
I believe we had 75 people or so there. Store owners, designers,
trade publication folks, vendors, and the CHA folks. It was a great
social time and [CHA President/CEO] Andrej Suskavcevic led off with
a great introduction and reason for the reception. Membership VP Sue
Turchick took a few minutes to introduce the membership side of the
CHA. I was introduced by her to talk about our association here in
So-Cal and to talk about the bead section.
All went pretty well until someone asked who was eligible to be part
of the section. Andrej said everyone, including big-box stores. We
got into heavy discussion about that and a few folks were not on
board with that idea. Others stood up and said we should not be too
concerned with the Wal-Marts, Michaels, Jo-Ann's; they have their
own agendas, production time is 18 months out, etc. I would say 95%
of the people will be on board.
All the vendors are excited to hear more, and
the designers are looking forward to working with the stores and
giving support to them. I believe we got people to become members of
the CHA that night but Sue will have those numbers.
Overall, it was a big success. I would walk the
show floors in Tucson and many vendors asked me how the reception
went. They had heard about the meeting and were on board with the
this, we went over to the Double Tree Hotel for the True Blue Bead
Show. This has been a very good show in the past and pretty much
held up again to be a good show. This show has a wholesale section
in which vendors are much like the CHA show with ticket orders
versus cash-and-carry. Not sure how this show could grow, however,
because space and parking are limited.
Thursday we went to the Best Bead Show. Very low attendance; glass
artists were not well represented like years past. It's tough to
sell any glass beads over about $45 these days. The main room at the
show had the usual vendors, but outside in the two tents it was
awful -- not completely filled with vendors. One tent had food
vendors along with a sit down area with tables and chairs. I would
not be shocked if more people leave this show.
Friday, went to Gem Mall and Holidome. Gem Mall was pretty busy as
usual and bigger. Holidome on Friday late afternoon seemed to be
slow, but we heard on the first day the lines were huge to get in.
What I noticed this year was the number of finished jewelry vendors
at the shows. The gemstone dealers seemed to be doing less business
and some of the quality we saw was lower. Not every vendor had low
quality, but a lot more vendors offered low quality for very low
There were new vendors such as
The Lipstick Ranch with rusted-steel, laser-etched dog tags,
letters, charms, and more.
C-Koop Beads offered enameled flowers and beads.
Kabella Design offered filigree beads and findings, and beads in
I'm sure we went to other shows, but those are the big ones.
Overall, it was a great time to meet with friends and chat about
business. The hot topic with everyone is the CHA Bead Section.
We did not buy the usual gemstones, pearls, etc. We bought things
different from whatever we carry on a regular basis. Will be doing
an unveiling we hope this weekend on all the new product.
(Note: For more info on the CHA Bead Section, email Scott at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Turchick at
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