Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 The Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Society: A Vendor's Perspective

One of the highlights of our show schedule is the Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral show, held each year in Robstown, Texas. It’s always a well-orchestrated show, drawing people knowledgeable about rocks, mineral and fossils, and a show where we get to meet new friends and catch up with past ones.
Volunteering for the setup, Renita and I arrived early Friday at the storage site. This year the club had decided to rent an enclosed trailer and the loading of the show supplies went easier then it ever has, at least in the eight years we have helped.
Arriving at the fairgrounds, we were greeted with quite a few other volunteers who unloaded the casework and put everything together in a very short time. After I helped with the display cases I could drive our truck inside and Renita and I unloaded our shop onto the four tables we had rented.
We bought new blue fitted sheets for our tables and it was obvious dark blue was a popular color for many of the vendor's. In fact, the club had also purchased the same exact sheets! Quickly setting up our displays we covered them with new off white sheets and we were done.
The next day we arrived a couple of hours early. This allowed us to finish our set up and gave us some time to walk around and purchase anything needed from the other vendor's. I found some beautiful blue lace agate, we can never get enough of it, and Renita located several items she just had to have.
The crowd seemed larger than last year, it was raining outside, and as the day wore on we had steady sales, about the same as last year. We didn’t sell any jade as it takes a sophisticated buyer, one who understands the rarity of our highest quality Wyoming nephrite jade.
Tired we returned home where Pam and Roy had already purchased dinner. Takeout pizza is always a treat for us as the nearest takeout place, where we live in Wyoming, is about twenty miles away, (so we usually don’t have pizza during the summer). Pam and Roy are also rock hounds and we shared stories of the day’s events.
Sunday morning usually starts slow and this year was no exception. Still it gave us time to purchase more items from other vendor's. This show is not just about selling as it provides us with the opportunity to purchase rock rough and tools without having to pay shipping charges.
Sales were slow until two of our best fans showed up! I had made an order for a Tiffany stone ring and had lost the lady’s address. Having finished the ring, I showed it to her and it was a perfect fit! Purchasing it and other pieces made our day.
As the afternoon wore on three jade buyers showed up and after demonstrating and discussing the history and quality of our jade they purchased two of our highest quality pieces. (In the Olympics, held in China the Chinese government decided to showcase nephrite jade, now over nine hundred tons of British Columbia jade are imported each year).

It’s always a confirmation of our work when we sell our rarest one of a kind cabochons and jewelry. This show was no exception and we look forward to returning to Wyoming for our summer show schedule. There we also concentrate on juried shows as they draw people searching for the best, not cheap imported and mass produced items. Clear skies

ps the display cases  pictured were made by other club members

1 comment: