Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gem Shows & How I Became Jansjems

I love to shop. You have to in order to wade through the 100s of vendors at some of the larger gem shows in the area. I usually go with a plan and a list in order to get it all done in a few short hours.

It wasn't always like this. The first few times I attended the Marlborough shows I was totally overwhelmed and kept being distracted by yet another vendor with more or different beads splayed out on another 3 or 4 tables. It would take me forever to get through just a few aisles and I would spend way too much money and still not buy the things I came for. This is how I ended up with more jewelry than I can wear and began my career as the designer of Jansjems.

I attend shows often and there are now smaller shows in Hartford and Springfield. I've come to know some of the vendors and usually find them first with my list. After I buy the necessities I move on to browsing and comparing and, if I still have money, buying beads that are new or just too pretty to pass on.

But the best part is getting home and spreading out my swag on the work table. When I say that many of my pieces design themselves, this is how it happens. I lay out some beads, add a few more from my stock and suddenly a design begins to emerge. Often, even when I have something in mind for some of my purchases, something better evolves at home.

I love shopping and I love creating jewelry. Now if I could only learn to love the record keeping, the marketing, and the picture taking.