How to Sell at Bead Shows, Measuring Beads, & Sapphire for September

This month is how to sell sell at bead shows, measuring beads, and September's gem, sapphire. Scroll down, or click one of the links below on the html version to go to a certain section.

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How to Make a Killing Selling at Bead Shows !
Sapphire: September's Gemstone
Buying Beads By Size
How to Measure Beads
Free Shipping on orders over US$150 or £90

How to Make a Killing at Bead Shows!

Many beaders make a comfortable living selling at bead shows every weekend. Some say it’s a lot of fun and they make a killing, but it is hard work! During the next few months is a good time to exhibit as buyers will be looking for Christmas stock.

It involves getting up early to drive hundreds of miles, setting up your display, selling at lightning speed – and then taking it down again, travelling back, and often doing it all over again the next day in a different part of the country. And it’s expensive to hire the space. However, despite the cost of a few hundred dollars (£80 to £180) for a 6-foot table, it is possible to take US$1,000 a day with the right stock.

Google to find where the shows are and e-mail the organizers for availability and booking. Book as long ahead as you can as many shows get fully booked quickly. All charge a deposit on booking, with the balance due at a least month before the date.

Some ask extra for electricity, tables and chairs, and others supply these at no extra. You must have some sort of display lighting to attract customers to your stand and to show off stock to its best. At larger shows, this can be rented for around US$100, but most of the time you will need to bring your own. Spot lights with a clamp are best as you can easily fix them anywhere – bring as many as you can.

As it’s expensive to exhibit, it makes sense to make the most of the tiny region you rent. This means increasing the area all ways you can, like creating a back display above your table. Some people even display under the table, and at MrBead we occasionally use a Perspex case on top of the table with items visible inside.

To display behind your table use gridwall with hooks and brackets. Gridwall can be purchased from any shop fitting suppliers and usually comes in lengths of 4-feet or 6-feet. It is inexpensive, versatile, and fast to put up and down. Metal hooks just clip into the spaces. If you have a small car, get 4-feet gridwall, but if you have space to transport, 6-feet is best. The 6-foot gridwall can be held up with its own stand with legs – but you will need to make a wooden support to hold clamps to clip onto the table (see picture) for the shorter gridwall. If you are renting an enclosed booth with walls, it may be possible to hang the gridwall using long metal hooks purchased from a hardware store.

Use black or white felt or velvet to cover your table. Tables are usually 6 x 2 feet, so for a single table you would need material around 8 x 3 feet, allowing extra to overhang down the sides. This sort of fabric shows your designs off best. It’s also a good idea to price tag most of your items to encourage buyers. Don’t forget a strong trolley with wheels to transport your stock from your car to the show, and a calculator to add prices. Good luck!

To see which bead shows will be exhibiting at click here.

Sapphire: September's Gemstone

Sapphire is the birthstone for September, and is chemically and structurally the same as ruby, an aluminum oxide. However, where rubies are only red, sapphires come in every color but red: blue, golden yellow, reddish-orange, or violet. The most valuable sapphires have a vivid royal blue color. Some sapphires do change their colors between blue and violet depending on the light.

Sapphires are extremely durable, only diamonds are harder. Sapphires are generally cut into cushions, rounded rectangle or oval shapes. However, fancy sapphires may be triangles, squares, marquises, pear shapes, cabochon cut, or smooth domes. Sapphire is the anniversary stone for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.

Dark blue and lilac sapphire is said to enhance ones creativity while guarding against distraction. It is also good for sexual relationships because it tends create deep bonding between people and brings loyalty.
Light blue sapphire is the inspiration stone. It helps to bring new thoughts and makes one feel excited and full.
Green sapphire brings a lucky sense to ones life for it allows things to run smoothly.
Orange works on a totally different level by not allowing you to deceive yourself. It makes you look at things in their basic form without distorting it to conform to what you want it to be. Brings true knowledge - a good stone for students, teachers, writers and researchers.
Pink sapphire allows one to surrender to another for the good of the all.
White sapphire helps you take care of yourself and to tend to your personal needs. Yellow sapphire connects you to the total you with all of your inner knowledge. It also helps you to see what you do not know so you can look for an answer, rather than believing you already know the answer.

Blue chalcedony can look similar to sapphire at a fraction of the cost. Although a very fine-grained variety of quartz. It has a waxy luster with a compact fibrous structure. Natural chalcedony is usually grayish blue and sometimes with hints of pink, however it can be color enhanced to light blue. It is said that chalcedony was used as a sacred stone by the Native Americas, promoting stability within the ceremonial activities of the tribe. Chalcedony is thought to augment emotional balance, vitality, stamina, endurance, kindness, charity and friendliness. It also supposedly alleviates hostilities, irritability and melancholy.

For our Chalcedony click MrBead or

Buying Beads by Size

Buying beads can be very difficult – with hundreds-of-thousands of different materials, sizes, shapes, colors, and prices.

Seed beads range from size 1mm to 3mm or 11/0. The most common seed beads are Chinese, Czech, and Japanese. Czech beads are very traditional, sold on hanks, are mostly round and can be uneven. Japanese seed beads are more uniform, come in many different colors and are usually sold loose in bags or tubes. Remember that 1,000 (or even 4,000) seed beads will come in only a small bag – don’t expect them larger than they are! However, these tiny beads can be very tricky to make, so are only a little cheaper than bigger beads.

Larger beads are sold either loose or in strands. Buy strands if you want the best quality and uniformity of holes – they will hang better on a necklace. However, loose beads are great if you want a lot cheaply for a large project or for many different works. Invest in a bead measure, as the inexperienced can often overestimate bead sizes. If buying by the strand, just divide the length by the bead size to tell how many there will be. For example a (16-inch) 400mm strand will have about 50 beads of 8mm – 400 divided by 8. Beads over 14mm are considered large and can weigh a lot to post, so expect more shipping.

Measuring Beads

I often get letters telling me the 8mm beads we mailed are not 8mm. Some people say our 4mm beads look bigger on the picture. Others insist we've sent them the wrong size strand of pearls because most are smaller than we say. Size of beads can either be exact or approximate depending on the type of bead. Simple round bead sizes should be exact: 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm etc. But chip beads, being naturally all different sizes, will not be exactly the size quoted in the sale - some will be longer, but most will be shorter. Bead sellers usually quote the largest size in the strand, this is especially true with natural pearls. Under 25% of the pearls in a strand may be the full size quoted. Nuggets, again being natural, will all be different to an average size listed in the sale. Strands of beads are usually 16-inches (400mm) long. Although pearls are normally sold in 15-inch strands and chips in 32-inch strands. A Choker necklace is 16-inches long, a Princess necklace 18-inches, a Matinee necklace 24-inches, Opera necklace 32-inches, and a Mala necklace of 108-beads can be of any length! A bracelet is usually 7-inches and an anklet 9-inches. To buy the bead measure in the picture click or

Measuring Rings

How to measure your finger
1. Wrap a piece of string or paper strip around the base of your finger.
2. Mark the string or paper where it overlaps to form a complete circle.
3. Measure the length of the section of string or paper where it overlaps around the finger.
4. Compare your measurement with this chart to determine your ring size.
5. Please note: You need to take the knuckle into consideration when sizing. The base of your finger may be smaller then your knuckle. Also wider bands should be sized ½ -1 size larger.

To get your girlfriends ring size, ask to clean her rings the next time your in the mall together. Most jewelry stores will do it for free. Then you can secretly ask the sales person to check the size for you. Or you can slip her ring on your finger and mark the spot it fits. Then measure that spot with the directions above.

To read conversions between US, European and British ring measures, click the HTML version. To measure a rings for its size, you need to purchase a ring measure like the below. Just slip the ring over the measure and the size is the middle line.

Free Shipping over US$150 or £90 !

For free shipping over the above in the MrBead bead store, just key in "shows" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon". Cannot be used with any other coupon or eBay.

Offer valid until Thursday 3rd September 2009 only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers.

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