I have been so itching to start the Spring Collection since mid December. I do have new materials already but I am waiting until after the Tucson Major Buying Trip to officially start. I love and fear that annual trip for many reasons. It is such a big show (actually it's 30-40 major shows) with vendors and manufactures directly from around the world. The tents are so big that you don't realize you're in a tent at all. The shows spread throughout Tucson so that you really can't get a hotel room at a decent price if you can get a room at all. Overseas manufacturers ship massive quantities of goods over in large containers and use the containers as storage for what they can't fit in their booth space (many larger then most houses). What a sight it is to see huge piles of jewels and pearls like in Aladdin's caves.
You can be on your feet for the entire day, everyday, for days and only have seen a small part of what's there. Imagine a rock concert's crowd, bathroom lines, food prices, and shoving! All that plus price per carat/gram per type of stone memorization and negotiating. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Tucson takes in $5 million in sales tax alone. That's amazing considering most show transactions are tax free as they are wholesale deals. I do love all the energy of the shows and the prospect of discovering new gems and new shapes and cuts. I love seeing where the whole gemstone trend is going and what's hot in the coming year and discovering new vendors. I've become good friends with quite a few whom I can trust to tell me about certain processes of treating the stones and details on the cutting and manufacturing end of the stones I love. There is so much to see, buy and learn that it keeps me going beyond my normal physical limits.
At the end of the trip when I am completely spent (yes, monetary too) I am charged with the excitement of all the new materials and ideas for the Spring line that I've held back so long to design. No rest for the wicked, or obsessed, in this case.
Here are some of what I'll be looking out for in Tucson: Huge Apatite Nuggets and Champagne Citrine.