bead show

Bead Society of Northern California Bead Bazaar - recap

3:16 PM

Gallery Manager KimE helping customers at the show

The BSNC one day bead bazaar (traditionally held each May) is a fabulous show. It is run by a dedicated volunteer staff and it always has a wonderful mix of vendors (heavy on the one-of-a-kind artisans).

I will admit, for Soft Flex, this show is a rough one! Why? Well, since it is only one day, what normally is spread over several days at most shows all happens during the single day.

5:30am - workers from Sonoma start their drive to Oakland
6:30am - everyone meets to start unloading all the product for the show
7am - 10am - set-up for the show
10am - 5pm - show is open
5pm - 7pm - tear down the show and pack up for the drive home
7pm - 8pm - workers drive home to Sonoma

So it becomes a good 14 hour work day for just about all of us behind the booth. So our apologies if you happened to catch one of us ducking behind the registers to chomp on a sandwich! The bazaar is always a strong show so there is never a chance to get out of the booth for very long. Because of that - I was limited on the pics I could snap during the show...but here are a few, mostly from where I was behind our registers.

Now, I do have to say that this year's show will forever stick out in my mind for an entirely different reason - the size of our hotel rooms! Two of us fly in from out of state to help work the show, so we get rooms for the Friday and Saturday. In an effort to be frugal, I decided to try a new hotel with an incredibly good rate (this is where that expression "you get what you pay for" comes to mind...). It had good reveiws, and since it was just one person to each room - I could foresee no problems. I booked us each DOUBLE BED rooms.

Well, my friend Jiley (Jiley's Studio), who was also in the show, kindly offered to pick us up at the airport. I told her she could share my room for the Friday night as a thank you. I told her she could either bring an air mattress or take the 2nd bed in the room (I book a fair number of hotels each year...until now DOUBLE had always translated into 2 beds in the room....).

Bless Jiley's heart - she is a trooper....not only did she have to kill almost 4 hours in between picking up my co-worker Thomas and myself (thanks to weather and mechanical delays out of Albuquerque) - but then she got to walk into the 2nd smallest hotel room I have ever seen (I stayed in one that might have been a foot smaller many years ago in Rome- but it is almost a toss up).

my reaction realizing this was the entire room

notice how the air mattress just fits from the end of bed - bathroom door

Jiley maneuvering from her bed to mine (since there was no floor left for walking)

Jiley laughing (or crying) that we have to put the mattress up like a murphy bed to get into the bathroom

we had to move the desk into the bathroom to fit the mattress (bathroom was pretty big oddly enough...still wonder what the housekeeper thought?)

I have done so many shows that it really takes SOMETHING to make them stand out...but this one has earned it's own LITTLE spot in my heart. I did feel a little better after I heard guest after guest asking the front desk "where is the 2nd bed?" "we booked a double room". Be sure it reads double beds and not just double bed!

Guest blogger Jennifer Wilson is the Trade Show
Manager for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at

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