Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tucson, heading home...

It is always a bittersweet ending when I have to leave Tucson... and deal with the fact that it is now 358 days until next years show... and I am thinking of only going every two years or so... so that means there is no next years show for me... ::insert sad, sad, sad face::: I am sure I will blog about that as the time nears, who knows, maybe Bella Vita will have an amazing year and I will HAVE to go! until then, enjoy my post about previous years.

This was my fourth year to attend the Gem and Mineral Show. The whole experience is so completely overwhelming and visually exhausting!
I remember my friend (and former employer and second mom/big sister depending on what we are agreeing on or disagreeing on) Holly telling me about market and all the cool stuff she would bring back for the store and she would always slip a little something in for me. It was so exciting, then one year she invited me to come with her and her mother. So, I did, it was great! I am pretty sure my budget was $300 and I got so many "new" and "cool" beads I was beside myself. I think I actually still have some of those beads. 
A college degree and a taste of my "first, big, real job after college" and of course, after loosing that job... Bella Vita was born. 
I couldn't think of a better way for my life (or 2-3 years of it) to have worked out. 

I took a break from making jewelry between high school and college and didn't pursue jewelry design in secondary school because I really  thought it was all a phase I was going through. I think I was also really burnt out on "jewelry design." Maybe it was that summer I lived a tourist town and made jewelry all day everyday that didn't help. Don't get me wrong it was an amazing summer where I learned a lot about life and made some of my very best friends, and had an awesome apartment for an 18 year old!
Fast forward 6 years to 2009, I was planning my own trip to Tucson market. My mother and I loaded up the car and drove 19 hours, just the two of us, to our destination. We met Holly and her Mom there, they chose to fly. It was so exciting to arrive in the bright blue skies and the 70 degree temperatures that are common to Tucson this time of year. I think this year my budget was only $1,000, for materials. I remember buying a lot of "stuff" I never used and new "stuff" that took my jewelry designs in a whole new direction.
The second year (last year) it was just my Mom and I and we decided to fly. I am not a big fan of flying but traveling in February is so if-ey and we decided it would be safer than driving in potentially snowy weather.  Flying turned out to be fine, the plane didn't crash, obviously... This time my budget tripled and I bought a lot of new stones and other unique items, quite possibly the most exciting year for "awesome" purchases...
Finally, 2011, my Mom (Kathy), her best friend Kathy, and I drove again. The weather was terrible... we beat the colossal storm of 2011 on our way there but had to be cautious navigating through its wrath on the way home. All in all the drive turned out fine, it was just extremely nerve wracking! 
My budget was quite a bit larger than it was last year and I found myself buying larger quantities than normal. Like I have said before, it is hard to know how much to buy because when I am shopping I am not sure exactly what I am going to make with the materials but I know I like them... I have shared a lot of my purchases in previous blog posts. 
This week I spent counting, cutting strands, sorting, organizing, and pricing my loot. I think my studio is FINALLY where I want it and I can start making new designs next week. I have been slammed with custom orders this week so I haven't had a chance to play with many of my new stones and beads. I did slip in some new stones to a couple of the custom orders I finished this week. Check out tomorrows post to see them ; )


  1. Since i first heard about it two years ago I've be yearning to visit. I've got my sight on next year, hopefully it will happen.
    ps your blog is nice and your jewellery is very lovely

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