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My First Show

Hi there, I’m LeAnn of Summers Studio, and I am brand new to the Beads of Clay blogging team. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be here among this wonderful group of ceramic bead artists.

This weekend I am doing my very first bead show. It’s a steep learning curve for me. I do local events and a monthly art market, but I’ve never ever done a show that was completely and totally beads. It makes me a wee bit nervous but I am excited. What I thought I would do over the next couple of weeks let you know how the show goes, the planning process I’ve done, and end up with a little evaluation. You see long ago, in a place far far away, I used to do project management and I’m putting some of that to use here. I’m hoping to learn some things and pass them along to you. And any of you veteran bead show vendors, please do pipe up and let us know what your experience is! In fact, I’m hoping that some of what I learn is going to be useful for those of you out who are jewelry designers. I know there are a lot of you out there following this blog.

sort your inventory and plan from there!
I’ve already got a bit of ’do what I say not what I do’ advice for you. Do not do 3 events back to back. I’ve just finished a local festival that topped out at 28,000 people and it was exhausting and left me rather in a fix replenishing stock for the bead show. So I spent a day looking through my bead stock, sorting, and making a long to do list. Last week was a making, firing, glazing, firing just so that this week I can attend to getting all of my show bits sorted and get some sleep. Sleep is something I like! Sleep is important. When you do a show of any sort the last thing you want to be is tired.

beads fresh from the kiln ready to be sorted into sets

Another thing I learned just recently from the arts festival is that people do in fact like colours other than earthy browns and blue greens (my favs). I put in a few coral, red, purple, even pink things just to put some colour and contrast out there. I like those colours. I just don’t wear them very often. Much to my surprise, I sold just about every piece I had in those colours. So maybe think outside of your colour comfort zone. You can still do this and stay within your own design aesthetic.

pink and purple are nice colours too
I’m off now to sort out some of those bead sets. I’ll be in San Antonio this weekend. So if you are in the area come by the San Antonio Bead and Ornament Bead Bazaar. I would
just absolutely love to meet you!


  1. Much success to you LeAnn! I wish I could come to the show, I will be there in spirit.

  2. I'm like you. I've done local shows and fairs. Starting next Sunday I'll be doing a weekly Farmers Market. But never a bead show. I'm anxious to hear about the process.

  3. Thanks Judy!

    Cindy, I hope that we can all learn together here at BOC.

  4. Great post LeAnn! Good luck at the show. May you sell out:)

  5. Welcome to the Blog LeAnn! We are pleased to have you join us as an Author. I love your work. I am sure you are going to do really well at your show. I look forward to your regular posts!

  6. If you're ever in any bead shows in the Kentucky, Indiana area, let me know!!! Would love to come see you. Good luck!!!!!!

  7. I've only done one show and it was so much work. I don't know if I will ever be up to that again! I can appreciate the time that you put into it and watch as my husband Bill gets ready for the few shows that he does each year....and I hear ya about the colors besides earthy ones. I have difficulty with that too, but have gotten better at it!

  8. Yay! LeAnn! If my reaction to your new beads is any gauge on how successful your selling will be, you should come home very profitable.
    (I need those bead sets)

  9. I really appreciate that you are telling us step by step about doing a bead show. I am sure you were very successful yesterday. Your beads are so lucious.


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