"I've visited Tucson 4 times total. 3 times for the February shows, 1 time in August for the summer show. I worked at both the Gem Mall and the To Bead True Blue show, but most of my time was spent at the To Bead True Blue show at the Double Tree.
We had never done the To Bead True Blue show, so that was new for me. Staying in 'The Castle' was a change of pace as well..." - Andy

That's right. Our road crew stayed in this Castle. It had ups and downs,
but it had plenty of atmosphere and joke material.

"Our favorite part of the trip is usually getting to enjoy some time outside.
I got to visit the Sabino Canyon and go hiking. And we loved playing disc golf as much as we did this year. Spending time wearing shorts in February is always a positive."
- Andy & Derek

"Don't forget the beautiful Sunsets!" - Tia

While some of our crew gets to travel a lot, we're based in Minnesota where most of the winter has been spent navigating the negative temperatures and seas of ice, so we can see where they're coming from here.

"The shows are pretty much the same every year. Get in, sell some beads, get out.
I enjoyed seeing old friends from the road that I haven't been able to see much since I've been off the road for the most part this past year. My favorite part of the show was chatting with our neighboring booth, we came up with the idea of 'Bead Show Bingo' where we mark off different things that we ALWAYS see at trade shows around the country." - Andy

"I love being able to see our bead family. We all do so many shows together that we become a family when we are all at tradeshows." - Tia

"I'm looking forward to launching our large hole beads on the site, they seemed to do really well in Tucson, and I imagine they will be a big hit on the website as well. It will also be interesting to see how working with the Ogilvies and developing our relationships with our Online bead retailers goes. There is plenty of opportunity for Dakota Stones to grow here." - Andy

Our President, Jeff Elvin's (pictured above) been going to Tucson since 2003. That's eleven years of bead madness. He's been enjoying watching it grow and growing with it. We asked, 'What was new this year?". Jeff says, "We added the To Bead True Blue show to co-sponsor the design lounge with Leather Cord USA, Garlan Chain & Tierra Cast. It was a nice addition to our regular cash and carry show presence since it featured finished designs with Dakota Stones from a group of talented and well-known artists."

Tia also mentioned the large hole beads, when we asked her what was
trendy this year. "Anything that can used with leather and hemp sold well. Trends are gravitating towards bohemian and earthy designs." - Tia. She also is optimistic about bead stores this year, "I think people are going to go back to bead stores for continued education and inspiration."

We asked Jeff what he was looking forward to this coming year: "I spent some time talking to rough suppliers and miners from around the Globe and how we can work together to introduce their materials to jewelry artists through Dakota Stones designed beads. There are a few new materials that we are working on that I am excited to see introduced this year. Dakota Stones will be the first company to offer some of these materials in beads, ever. So that is exciting and something to watch for." - Jeff

Thanks for sharing, team. If we didn't see you in Tucson, we hope to see you soon.
If not, there's always the internet, and you can always find us at www.dakotastones.com


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