Time to sigh over some jewelry. There are too many vendors to mention on one little blog post so I will just share a link and one of my favorite rings from this past year.
If you have never been, you need to get yourself to the Gem & Mineral Show. You can find so many amazing things! I personally attend the Gem & Lapidary Wholesalers show at the Holidome. This is where I purchase my jewelry for the year. I am a big fan of statement rings and last year I fell in love with a simple yet large silver ring that held a gorgeous blue stone.
The whole event is a treasure hunt! But we've got a few tips to keep you surviving....
How to survive the Gem and Mineral Show - 10 Tips from your Designer -
- As much as you want to be fashionable and look cute...just don't. Wear the most comfortable shoes possible. This year I was sporting my Brooks. Too many years I went with my boots or high heals trying to be a "designer" and then I had to end my day short because I could not bare to be on my feet one more second.
- Bring a snack in your purse/bag. Yes they have food vendors outside but if you really want to make the most of every single hour, have a little snack to take with you along with water. Shopping will make you thirsty I promise.
- Bring CASH. It will be the easiest thing and you can get lower pricing if you ask right. They have ATM machines there but you'll be paying a $4 fee. Not worth it.
- As much as you want to bring your stylish purse, I recommend a small backpack. It can hold water, snacks, and all of your purchases while keeping your hands free and your shoulders will thank you. They will give you baggies there but the best will be a backpack. I promise you will thank me later. Some people (the serious shoppers) bring the rolling suitcases. Please don't. They are a Pain and you will find that you are hit with them and your feet are rolled over many times. Please don't be THAT person.
- Don't bring your pet. I've seen so many in purses or on a cute leash and for what? To be crammed into a tent with tons of people that don't see you and may step on you. So leave Fido at home. Please.
- You first time buyers will be tempted by the really cheap rings and pendants from the big vendors. You will know them...they have white backgrounds...have the biggest booths and have tons of product. Those are great for little gifts but my suggestion is to wait and buy those last. Don't let them take you off course. There are so many small local boutique vendors that you need to see first. These small ones will run out of product first and yes they are more expensive but the quality is so much better. There are four vendors that I purchase from every year. They are from Scottsdale, Mexico, Uruguay, and Cambodia. Not that I don't purchased from the ones Made in China...but I do those last and only if I need to. You will see a difference in quality.
- Vendors here sell to all types of end users. From Claire's boutique...to Forever 21, Macy's, Dillard's, Neiman Marcus, and to the very expensive boutique houses. You can purchase a 5,000 watch or a $5 watch. It all depends on where you go. I once purchased a Bulova watch that retailed for over $500 for around $200. That same year I purchased a $5 watch that lasted me a season. So you take your pick.
- Don't wear jewelry to the event. For many reasons. First of all your fingers are going to swell from all of the walking, lack of water, and the salty snacks you brought. You will want to take them off to try on new rings etc and then you may forget them somewhere. The only thing we suggest is perhaps one simple chain so that you can add pendants to it to see how they sit on your neck. The less you wear the better.
- Shopping with friends is good, but be ready to split up. I always go with a small group 1-2 friends extra max. When you begin to lose your friends and then have to find them, it's cutting into your shopping time.
- For your first year, go with someone who has gone before. They will show you where to park, which tents to go in first, and which areas to avoid. And as a little hint from me..go during the week if you can. Everyone shows up on the weekends and it's a mess! =)