Tucson Best Bead Show In 2009

10:15 AM

Hello. I'm finally home, sitting on my own couch next to my own dog. I'm exhausted. From early morning breakfast meetings, a 60+ foot booth to jog up and down all day to evening parties and dinner meetings, Tucson is just a lot. I'm over stimulated.

Regardless, it was nice to see everyone. I really enjoyed the Swarovski party, as well as the party for Lewis Wilson. He turned 60 this year and he sold the Best Bead Show to a new owner. So, it was nice to celebrate how important he has been in our industry. He helped to create and then mold a movement of glass artists.

I enjoyed spending time with our distributors: John Bead, Wholesale Jewelry Supply (formerly Foreign Source) and Eurotool. Talk about some great companies. I've spent time with all 3 over this past 6 months and was excited to see them all again. There are some major things that these companies have in common other than selling Soft Flex products. All 3 companies have long term employees who speak highly of the owners. All 3 companies use honesty and integrity as a cornerstone in how they do business. All 3 companies have thoughtful and generous owners. I'm really happy with the team of distributors that we have put together.

Here are a few pictures from set up. I wanted to show you just how much work goes into each and every one of our show set ups - this being the biggest one of the year.

All of us take apart the palettes and bring in the totes and boxes on handcarts. There are tons of boxes and they are all fairly heavy depending on which products are in them. Gemstones aren't light, neither is steel cored wire or tools. Here's Joann and Jamie working hard.

We separate into teams and go to work. Organizing all of those totes and boxes can take awhile. Set up this year was especially hard. Craig packs our shows and Scott directs and lists what is to be packed. With both of them at the hospital, it took extra long to get things going and organized.

Kim E. is our team leader for getting our gemstones packed and unpacked for the shows. She makes sure that our stones are handled with care so that when you come to shop, the stones are still in great condition. Some vendors will just throw their beads into a tote and go - we bubble, bubble, bubble wrap everything. We treat every strand just as we would if we owned it ourselves.

And then things start to come together and look pretty.

Jean Campbell stopped by the booth with Betsey from Beyond Beadery. It is always nice to see friends that you haven't seen in a long time. Jean is such a joy to be around. She radiates goodness.

The new gold looked fantastic. It is so fun to see designer's eyes light up when they see it on the many possibilities. It was also nice to see the look on their faces when they ran their fingers over the actual wire. There is no gold or silver beading wire on the market that is as flexible, soft & supple as our new and improved "green" Extreme wire. It is gorgeous and eco-friendly, how can you beat that?! Needless to say, we sold a lot!

We had lots of visitors. Kristen and Bert-o (marketing staff) stopped in on Friday to check out the show. Damien (marketing staff) and Mark stopped by on Saturday and Sunday. I didn't get a picture of them this time around. Josh came down from Phoenix to meet Scott and Mike for the first time. Being that they are as close as family, it was very nice to finally get to introduce him to them. We had a very nice dinner at El Charro.

And as the sun set on my 10th year in Tucson, I have to comment that I had a nice trip. I suppose the aches, pains and sleepiness must all be worthwhile. I just wanted to note that Tucson was far busier than I had anticipated. I foresee good things happening in our industry for 2009. So, don't let the economy worry you. Stay creative, work hard and definitely explore new possibilities. There is still money out there to spend and many fellow exhibitors even commented to me that this was their BEST Tucson ever. :)

Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog. She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at

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1 fabulous thoughts ...

  1. Please wish Craig a speedy and complete recovery! Best, Patti


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