The Gem Faire was this weekend in Sacramento and I went with a few friends. There were gorgeous beads - semi-precious stones in every imaginable cut, lampwork, crystals, glass, findings, Tibetan beads, and even Kumihimo! We arrived early on Sunday and there weren't many people in the auditorium. After perusing a table of A+ quality stones near the entrance, I dashed off to give the faire a once-around. The show featured a wide variety of items and quality, but overall I'd say the quality was very good. The prices were competitive with other shows I've been to and certainly were better than what you might pay at a boutique or bead shop. Since we arrived on the last day, many items were marked down 20% or more. A wholesale license meant either you got a discount on the items or no sales tax.
I've not been to many shows, but what few shows I've been to I've found that after a while, one table blends into the next and one vendor's items can't be distinguished from another. At this show, however, there were a few vendors that stuck out for various reasons and this week I am going to feature them on my site with links to their webpages. I'll tell you what I liked best about their displays, their items, and their customer service. I'll also provide links to their upcoming shows - should they be at a show near you. So stay tuned!