So this weekend Austin has a International Gem and Jewelry Show at Palmer Center. Madison and I are going because the Tucson shows ended up being a bust to get some Pearls for Sarah.
Pearls are just one of those things that almost can't be bought online--its a personal preference, I suppose...but I need to see each individual pearl on a strand to ensure it is good enough to make. Plus, even when getting shell pearls, I like to know the quality I am holding. Sarah--when wearing some of the Shell pearls I get to make calls the feel "substantial". That's probably a good word. Just as pearls need good nacre, Shell Pearls need weight--they have to feel like they were once mother of pearl shell before they did whatever thing it is they do to make them Shell Pearls.
That's the main reason Madison and I are going. At least that's what we are telling ourselves :)
The real reason is the shiny goodness that comes with shows. We can look and oooh and ahhh, hopefully without over bombardment of boredness from the boys. Plus--we can get fantastic stuff for great prices and keep our prices way down.
That's one thing I think I am pretty bad at showing people on my site--my jewelry is high end. It's high end at really good prices. Each piece can easily become an heirloom piece, something that is handed down. I know this because when I worked on commission and as solely a designer and not a designer and seller--my items sold for about 5 times what I sell them for. The jade alone is a steal, let alone the other fantastic gemstones I peruse the internet and Jewelry shows to find.
Why then do I sell my items for almost at cost? Well, because I want everyone to have fantastic jewelry. I want them to have heirloom pieces. It started on a military installation, where I wanted the E-4 to be able to afford the same wonderful pieces as the General bought. I simply do not feel the need to overprice stuff--because I do it for the love. The love of playing with the stones.
It's cathartic and natural, and somehow calming to just hold the stones in my hands.
So I go to shows and get the beads cheaper from the source (sometimes ;) and I still get the benefits of playing with high quality while not having to sell for an exorbitant amount.