Yesterday, I made the 2 and a half hour trek from Saratoga Springs, NY, to Hartford, CT for a gem show. I have to admit, I wasn't especially excited to go show for stones this time around since I was feeling so under the weather, but I pushed through it and I'm so glad I did!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I've been to the Hartford Inter Gem Show a few times before and it's typically pretty large, but this year, it was quite a bit smaller and a number of my favorite "Go-To" Suppliers were noticeably absent. My initial reaction was that of defeat and general panic. Seeing no familiar faces at the booths threw me for a loop, but I focused and dove in to find what I had come in search of. I was determined to make this trip worth the 2.5 hr drive either way!
I started going through each table quickly to get a feel for stone and facet quality offered by each vendor I came across, and fairly quickly was able to rule a TON of suppliers out. I always get so dissappointed when I see a supplier sell poorly cut, dingy and generally funky stones. While I realize I am a bit of a stone snob and am a VERY picky gemstone customer, I was still expecting to find better quality in general. I'm well aware that not EVERYONE is looking for high end stones and might be just fine settling for a more inexpensive stone, but that's but not me.
So anyway, before this get too boring and negative, there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel! I thankfully found a few new suppliers with some really great product that I probably wouldn't have ever paid any attention to if my "usuals" were around, so maybe this was all a blessing in disguise? I ended up coming away with some gorgeous Garnet, Whiskey Quartz, Deep Amber Citrine, Moonstone, Labradorite, Chalcedony, some really unique looking Rutilated Quartz , some really funky Pyrite (super excited about the Pyrite)and a gorgeous array of different colored Crystal Quartz! The only thing that I couldn't find for the life of me was a really high grade deep purple Amethyst. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY had it! And I was ready and willing to buy a strand that was around $200 or more, if I could find some great Amethyst, but alas, everyone had cloudy, blotchy and poorly faceted Amethyst. It was a serious let down! The Amethyst was one of the major things I had gone to the show to find so it was a bummer and forced me to rethink some pieces, but all in all, what I walked away with from the Hartford show was fabulous! Sure, I had to do some digging, and was thrown into an initial panic, but all in all I was super happy with what I left with and so excited to get new pieces made with all these juicy gems!
So, which stones are you favorite? I'm really LOVING the Pyrite, Moonstone and Deep Amber Citrine! Yay! SO exciting!
P.S. I think most stone suppliers under estimate the power of an introduction and a handshake when talking to potential customers! I am typically a very loyal customer and return to the same vendors, and I know a lot of other designers do the same thing. Of all the vendors I met yesterday, only one took the time to introduce himself, his company and shake my hand. I was caught off guard initially by this but, it totally worked because I ended up buying 3/4's of my gemstones from him! A little kindness and respect goes quite a long way, don't you think?
Be sure to check back regularly as I have a whole buncha fun blog posts lined up including another installment of my "A.N. Original Home Trunk Show Secrets", a couple yummy recipes, fun photos, home videos and some really great music. Thanks for reading everyone! :)