Well we just got back from IGEM in Seattle and boy did we find some wonderful gemstones. Okay, not only did I find them, I bought them. Definately look for some new designs on my web site using Champagne Quartz, Blue Labradorite and Pink Tourmoline. It is now just deciding what to start with first. Obviously, these are new gems for me, but not new to the gem world. I really didn’t see any new and exciting gemstones this time. Last year, it was the Fire Agate that I found most exciting and I have created and used some of my supply, but I bought more :-) .
If you have never been to the International Gem and Jewelry show (IGEM) and you are into jewelry and beads, you are in for a treat. Be prepared to be overwhelmed. There is so much to see and so many different vendors. My biggest hint to getting good deals is not to go to the wholesale section, but find a vendor in the retail area that has a supply of lots of things you would like to have (gemstone, crystal, pendants, bracelets, etc.) and make a deal. Buy more from that one vendor and they will most likely give you a big discount. Usually, a bigger discount than in wholesale. I found one vendor that had pendants, bracelets and gemstone strands. Because I was purchasing several items, I received 50% off of the pendants then another 25% off that. He also reduced the gemstone strands by 50% or more. This made it more than worth my while to purchase the bulk of my supply from him.
You should also keep track of what you purchase. My hint is to keep all the receipts in the bag with the gems so they don’t get mixed up with other purchases. Upon returning home sort through your items one vendor at a time and price each strand or item while it is still fresh in your mind. This way you can file away the receipts for your inventory purposes and not worry about losing them. If you wait too long you may get confused and forget the discount you received and not be able to tie back to what you were charged.
A couple of weeks ago I started selling some of my notecards and jewelry items on Etsy. We will see how that goes vs. my web site. I really just needed some additional marketing ideas and someone suggested that I give it a try. So far I can't tell that my web site has any more traffic, but the items that I do have posted on Etsy are getting some attention, but so far no sales.
Stay tuned for more of my Dilemmas. Thanks for taking the time to read. Dana