Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bead Fest Philly

Awesome Labradorite

I am no stranger to a bead show. For years, I've hit Intergalactic in York every couple months, always go to the Gem Miners Jubilee in Lebanon. Last weekend, I ventured into the world of Bead Fest. Now, this is a whole 'nother world!

We (myself, my Mom and my bestie Sue) left around 8:30am on Friday. It took about 2 hours to get there..easy enough to find, straight down the Turnpike. We paid our way in..and entered glitzy chaos! Honestly, there was a moment where I couldn't breathe. Later, Sue said she thought I was going to cry. It was very overwhelming..not the set-up of the booths but I think it was the fact that we got there soon after they opened and there was just a mass of people.
Pile of Pearls
We decided to just stroll through the whole place before shopping. The general variety of gems/beads was comparable to most other shows I've attended. Pricing was also comparable(Gem Miner's Jubilee in November is still the best for pricing though). I did notice more stands that required you to pay by the gram for gemstones. There was definitely a higher quality of gemstones at some booths which I fully appreciated. Also, the number of booths was a lot higher than shows I've attended.

L to R: Amazonite, Labradorite, Chalcedony, Malachite, Lapis
After having lunch (seriously overpriced..won't eat in the convention center again) and getting free admission coupons for August from a lovely lady at our table, we set out to spend my money! I bought some amazing gemstones that I cannot wait to work with. I found pretty much everything on my list. No Boulder Opals though :(  And I had to put down that strand of $850 tourmalines, don't worry..I will dream of you!

All in all, the trip was great. I will surely attend the August show which will be nice to shop for the holiday season. The Bead Fest employees were very pleasant, the show atmosphere was professional and enjoyable. I noticed that the shoppers seemed to be more friendly than the Intergalactic crowd. I always leave there wanting to punch someone in the throat. No, not really..well, kinda!  I will say this..I know, you beaders need your little wheeled suitcases..but come on, be polite with them!
Labradorite Pendants