(I think that's probably a song... well, maybe not, but it COULD be!)
I talk about this every year I think... my missing and not missing going to Tucson. If you are one of the crazy people who has followed this blog for a long time OR if you're someone that went and skimmed through the archives to "catch up" then you know that from 1997-2002 the Best Bead Show in Tucson was a regular part of my world. I spent every birthday there during those years (because the show always lands on the week surrounding my birthday.) When I first stopped going it made sense... I wasn't doing any wholesale anymore and I felt that it was a wholesale-only kind of show. It's also a LONG show and in order to make a LONG show like that profitable... you have to make big sales... and I hadn't found that to be the case the last couple of years I was there.
I definitely wasn't losing money, but I didn't see the results from it that I thought I should. In hind-sight, I know there were reasons for those things.... 2001 was when my work totally changed and I didn't want to make any more mermaids (thus freaking out my regular customers who came to buy mermaids), I also stopped wholesaling that year... again, freaking out my regular customers. At the same time, that was the year that Head Over Heels went full force... by 2002 my work was really about that more than anything else. I had lost most of my Tucson inventory in our house-fire that year (my studio wasn't at the house, but I'd brought home beads to clean... ALL the beads that I'd made for the show....HUNDREDS of beads) and in the few weeks I had to prepare for the show (2 I think), I went back to making mermaids... because I knew how to do that quickly. It wasn't what I should have been making... it wasn't where my heart was, BUT it was a time when my head was spinning and I needed to just get inventory made. (and when your heart isn't in it... it shows and the work doesn't sell)
So... that was a crazy year sales-wise and I'll never know what it would have been like to take Head Over Heels to that show. I didn't begin selling it at shows for another year after that.
2003, the week before Tucson, I tore the ligaments in my ankle baaaaaaad and ended up in a cast. Not a boot, but a real-life up-to-your-knee cast. I was on crutches and knew I wasn't going to be able to travel easily, so I dropped out of the show.... knowing I was probably giving up my space for good.... but being ok with it because I saw my work moving to being seed-bead oriented and probably not the thing that my customers in Tucson would have wanted.
After that, bead life became about kits kits kits... all my lampwork went into my kits and I didn't know how kits would be received at a show like the Best Bead Show, so I didn't re-apply. I had plenty of places to sell the kits and plenty of classes, so it wasn't a real issue, other than the fact that i missed going.
SO, here we are in 2010... 12 years after I did my first show there and I really wonder if I should be back there. I'm STILL not sure how kits would be received, but I have a hunch (and I'm usually good at hunchy things) that this OTHER thing I'm working on (top secret) WOULD be really well-received and I should think about it for next year and that there is probably a customer base that would love my kits. My customers wouldn't be the same as my 1997-2002 customers... but that's ok! So... is this a possible venue for me in the future? We'll see.
In the meantime, I'll be missing all my friends in Tucson this year. I'll see them (most of them) at Bead and Button in Milwaukee this summer, BUT it's sooooo different in Tucson. The hours and lay-out of the show seem to give a little more time to socialize with friends in the evenings...and even during the day at the show. Bead and Button is different. Even though I see people... a lot of it is just waving as you walk by.
I'll miss you friends!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy the sunshine!!!!!
tiny blah blah blah...
coffee - I'm in love with Mr. Keurig. He's not Alex the Barista, definitely not as cute, BUT he makes a FINE cup of coffee and he is conveniently located in a kitchen near me!!!
music - James Taylor... my go to guy.