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


  1. It's funny you mentioned the wheely suitcases b/c that is a constant joke among my group of bead friends. Some of those women just run you over with them!

    ~Diana P.

    1. I know! I wore flip flops and my heels kept getting hit.

  2. Beautiful beads and beautiful jewelry. Can't wait to see what you make from the beads you did get, I have been to the tourmaline mines in California, we would go threw the tailing and find some very little but gorgeous pink stones. And, the gift store there is to die for.

    Any who, stopping by from the Artfire follow blog forums links. So, stop on over and say hi, leave a comment and check out my Facebook too if you like, thanks!


    April 28, 2012