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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tucson 2011: Best Bead Show Review

It was an amazing year in Tucson! A great week for friends, family, glass, money, and spirit so if know know me at all, you know I was right where I needed to be.

I actually got to Tucson a day early for me, Monday before the opening of Best Bead. This was the 2nd year since John Iannucci took over for "Big Daddy" Lewis Wilson. As humans, we dont really enjoy change and there have been a lot of them, so John and I met early to ease the transition. This year our venue, The Kino Veterans Center, added a playground right smack dab in the middle of where James Yaun and Andy Rays booth used to be, so logistically we knew there would be challenges. But with our trusty tape measures (mine is bigger than Johns LOL!) we got everyone moved and happy. We added 3 new artists to our "power glass row" by putting James Yaun, Eusheen, and Travis Weber right around the corner from our lampwork anchors Kevin O'Grady, Andrew Brown, MZ, and Harold Cooney. Literally 10 globally recognized lampworkers, less than 100 yards from each other? Thats why they call us the Best!

Inside the building, Lewis Wilson posted up next to the Japanese Team. Aki, Tak, Kenta, and Ryo were back to make it happen and displayed some of the most detailed oriented work on the planet. And my anchor vendors in the main hall JC, Joyce Rooks, Nancy Pilgrim, Roanne, Isis, Stuart Ableman, and Emiko were back with new work. NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I relocated my booth so I could be next to Lori Greenberg, and we held down the pavillions... well. Lilly Pilly Designs were right across from us, Tika Designs just down the way, and the Mazet Brothers right outside. One love also to Ross at ABR. Team Arrow Springs, Team Glasscraft/Winship, Art Co and all my other tool vendors. I appreciate that you folks come out year after year, just to make sure we all have what we need to succeed!

Best Bead Show isnt just a name, its a philosophy. We jury, and pick, and decide the best mix of glass, stone, findings, gems, jewels, and tools. Every year we bring in only the best of what the bead world has to offer and we do it because we care about the industry. As a show, we're the 1rst and only show to align ourselves with Beads of Courage, a powerful arts is medicine program started by Jean Gribbon Baruch, AND several of our vendors serve on their board of directors. We received a Donor of Distinction award on behalf of all the shows artists and we have given countless $$ back to the kids at the Kino Center, and once again, John Iannucci, owner of the show, has put his money where his mouth is. We have 2 vendors that are breast cancer survivors, and they are in our show for the 1rst time. John has graciously donated their booth fees, in entirety, to Breast Cancer Research. As a promoter, John bares the brunt of any show critiques, Im happy he lets it roll off his back and keeps going towards a great cause!

All in all, as a asst Promoter, AND as an artist, this was a successful show. Sales wise, I was a bit down, but in our current economic climate, Im just happy I get to do what I love and prosper from it. I was able to join the Beads of Courage artists Team, I partnered with Doug Harroun for the flame-off (more on that tomorrow), kept 178 vendors happy, and still managed to SHOP (again, more on that tomorrow). Jennie K and I were happy to show and sell work we'd done together, and that was an AMAZING feeling. I finally feel understood, privately and professionally so thank you to all of our friends that help put this together.

All in all, my 7 years of experience, tell this show was somewhere between B+ and A-. The weather sucked for 3 days, and the storms on the East Coast limited our customer base because a lot of shops and buyers couldnt make the trip out. God bless Cali, AZ, NM, and CO for coming out and supporting the shows, and of course our international buyers from Japan, Canada and everywhere else! see you next year!

Tomorrow we'll talk about the flame off and the more social side of Tucson including pics, and a few restaurant and hotel reviews...

Thanks for joining me here as we get started into the 2011 season. And Special Thanks out to Mona "Mama G"Larson at Gaffergirls Glass USA for keeping a fire lit to keep my blog up to date. Apparently people care what I have to say! NICE!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I had a plan... I promise!

I swear I had a plan...

I was gonna get up one morning, pour some coffee, listen to the birds, and write my 1rst Blog. Bwahahahahahahahahahaha! I had visions of sitting quietly, perhaps after Noah (my 9 yr old) had gone to school. Going over some sketches and expounding on where it is I find my inspiration. Maybe Id chat with y'all about how I got here and what you can expect from this blog. Maybe I'd explain how important my son is to my work, or maybe Id answer those nagging questions like "Do I have a girlfriend" (yes, btw) ... Whatevah man! If you know me, or my lifestyle, you know its not gonna go down like that!!!!

Its 4am-ish here in Burque. Theres a few earlymorning birds chirping, but I can barely hear them over the hum of the dryer drying my clothes. My flight to Milwaukee leaves in 9 hrs, and Im ready for another Bead & Button show. Its 5 days of hot glass, incredible knowledge and a chance to meet the "Who's who" of the bead world

...Hold on, I gotta change the music:
Drake: Over

...I've been doing this show for 6 years now, and I have the pleasure of working with Kevin O'Grady. If you dont know, get your game up and goggle him. We've worked together at this show for quite awhile and perhaps this year we settle the ultimate question: Which one of us is the funny one? And in between, maybe we'll sell some glass.

This Blog experiment should be interesting... I have a lot of interesting things about to pop up for the summer. New Website (Thanx Marsha), New Business Card, The homies at Trillian Space here in Burque are pressing my new Jones Art Glass t-Shirts as I type this, and soso many demos and in stores that It'll darn/damn (I dont know if I wanna curse in my Blogs...yet) near seem like Im in 3 places at once. PLUS now I'll have a way to keep my corporate partners in the loop for our Wonders of Glass project coming up this fall.

So in short, ride with me... We'll travel, we'll sell glass, we'll interview some like minded, and not at all like minded people, and in general I'll do my best to keep you connected to pulse of our glass nation. I've earned the title of "Honorary Bead Lady" but dont let the bead release fool you. Im a certified BoroBoy, and I spend a lot of time in my industry bridging those gaps. I'll try to use my "influence" to get you folks behind the scenes of some the industries biggest shows, parties, and into the minds of those that help shape the scene .

Next episode: How I became a BeadLady, and some Bead & Button behind the scenes... I'll check with you folks tomorrow after the preview night!

Jones. Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Under Construction!

Hi all! Quit trying to peek before we're ready HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Just click follow and check back on June 1rst!



Blue Moon...geckos.
Rashan Omari Jones