The First Tucson Gem Show Jewelry Sale

It has been a week of cranking out last year's Tucson jewelry at reduced prices so I can buy more in two weeks! This is the first time I have ever offered this jewelry on sale. Even though most of it did not make it to the online store I am going to try to move it along and whatever does not sell will eventually go there.
On Tuesday, I posted the above lot of jewelry by Navajo artists Monroe & Lillie Ashley. I just love this jewelry and have several pieces in my collection. I had a heart pendant much larger than the one here and decided to sell it because it was crazy big. I kept medium and smaller versions. I love to wear this jewelry in the summer and smaller pieces work better for me when it is hot outside. There was a lot of buzz in the big heart and it sold right away. Several people expressed interest in getting one if I could find more. I thought people would enjoy this jewelry as much as I have and I decided to put a collection together but unfortunately there has been no luck selling it, last year or this year. To the online store it will go, and I will bring it home with me in the spring to add to the jewelry caravan for the first time.

I finally put my Replica Surfaces Studio together and it was quite a project but I was able to take three group shots of the Federico jewelry out on the patio. I was fighting daylight and last one especially was starting to look dark the so next time I will just try to do one group shot per day during the "golden hour" which is the last hour of the day before the sun sets. The Studio worked well and I think it will suit its purpose of photographing jewelry groupings and non-jewelry items for sale.

On Wednesday, I posted the above lot of Federico jewelry. The Royston turquoise nugget necklace and the rose cuff bracelet sold, the other pieces are available. I was very pleased that two repeat customers came forward to buy the remaining turquoise nugget necklaces and sell me out! One customer is from Honolulu and I think the two necklaces she chose will be just beautiful to wear around Hawaii.

Thursday night's posting rounded out my current Federico collection. I did not expect the butterfly necklaces to sell as they are total investment pieces but did not have any luck with the other pieces either. As usual, turquoise rules!

Even though turquoise rules, I have found that customers prefer turquoise from American mines. This is the last Federico turquoise cluster ring I have remaining and it is Persian turquoise. I think the colors are stunning. I have a vintage squash blossom necklace as well in Persian turquoise which is amazingly beautiful. I also have a wonderful Mexican-made pendant featuring Hubei turquoise from China but the perception is that items from China are of inferior quality. Mother Nature knows no boundaries and there is wonderful turquoise outside of America including Golden Hills from Kazakhstan. I am definitely looking forward to getting these pieces into the online store and out to a wider audience.

I was able to start the Buffalo Dancer collection as well, using all existing photos as many of these pieces were still available. All of the Mercury dime jewelry, the turtle pendant, the Kingman turquoise heart pendant, the Buffalo nickel keychain and one pair of the stud earrings sold this time around. The rectangular barrette sold last time around but other than that the remaining items are available.

After the crunch time for jewelry posting, I spent a few moments signing up for and setting up cross-posting software. I decided to try Vendoo because it seemed a little more sophisticated than List Perfectly, which some online sellers had recommended. It seemed that List Perfectly simply opens up a different window for each online marketplace for each item to be posted and the user needs to manually review submit each item. This may save a little time overall but not much. I liked that Vendoo's technical support received high marks and that is important to me. When I am learning something new, I want it to go smoothly and work. If it does not, then I want to be able to contact someone who can point me in the right direction. This was put to the test over the weekend when I tried to connect to the various online marketplaces. They all went well except for Mercari and Shopify. Technical support was closed on the weekend (a definite minus) but I submitted my questions on Monday morning and by Monday afternoon all was resolved. I was impressed by the agent's knowledge and prompt communication. This was a big win! Next step will be to choose five Federico listings which I had already prepared in Shopify and see how cross-posting goes before I move to a paid account. The plan is to list items on eBay, Etsy, Poshmark and Facebook as well as Shopify. I decided to pick up Mercari and Grailed, although I am going to see if I can pick and choose which listings go there.

Understandably since I have been so busy working Mother was anxious to get out and do something so I took some time out Thursday to bring her to a vintage pop-up sale in downtown Mesa called Old Brick House Vintage Market. This had caught my eye last year as it is on the same block as my favorite sandwich spot, Worth Takeaway. However they are only open one weekend per month - Wednesday evening then Thursday-Saturday. The timing was never right.

Mother and I had lunch at Worth Takeaway last week and I noticed that the market was going to be this week. I said we have to go! We were totally blown away by what we saw! The store was absolutely beautiful - mostly home decor and furniture but also kitchen items and clothing. There was a clearance area out back which had a lot of Christmas decor but other items as well. I bought quite a few items as I was looking for kitchen decor and I am always looking for jewelry photography and display props. The wooden chain links I used on the photo below were on sale out back and I found a revolving necklace display and a cool cutting board for the kitchen. There was also a piece of driftwood for only $5! Inside, I got a chunky knitted trivet for the kitchen and a cascading succulent stem for a wood vase I already had. I think the favorite pieces I got were two different size wood platforms which are going to be amazing for photography. I tested the smaller one out on a heart pendant that a customer asked for a photo of:

I love the way the gnarly wood looks as a backdrop but next time I am going to try turning the cowhide around to show some of the cream color as well as the brindle for more contrast. I could have bought so much more but had to restrain myself. One of the salespeople explained how it works - there are eight designers who work all month to prepare for each market. In February, they have their anniversary celebration so there is no set theme but the other months each have a theme. I will not miss this market again as long as I am in town!

I posted this lot of brilliant blue turquoise jewelry on Sunday evening, this is a mix of new arrivals and discounted pieces I had previously tried to sell. The Morgan dollar cuff bracelet, the roadrunner pin, the 3-strand turquoise necklace and the turquoise disc decorative necklace sold, the other items are available. It was a lot of work posting this much jewelry this week but overall I cannot complain and it did lighten my load a bit. I organized all of my vintage Native American jewelry into lots, I will post one lot for sure next Sunday and if I get ambitious will prepare a lot ahead of time for the following Sunday when we are in Tucson.

I am excited about going to Tucson and have planned out my route, including the exact locations of my favorite vendors. Since we are staying much closer to the shows this time, there should be no reason why we cannot get there early and make a beeline for our favorites. We learned that we do not need to get an Arizona handicap plackard, Mother can use her Illinois one so this will help us out tremendously with parking. Good thing she brought it with her! I have our wholesale passes printed out and ready to go so we are all set. The plan for next week during the week is to post the rest of the Buffalo Dancer collection and a small grouping of Leon Martinez pieces (mostly pendants and a few earrings) that I never had the chance to do anything with. They are amazing quality! I will not get to the other new Native American pieces that I have as there are quite a few but that will come in February. I will also get a package (or two) sent home before we leave to add to the jewelry caravan. I have such pretty sterling silver estate jewelry pieces to share including amber and other stones.