Monday, June 10, 2019

A Trend In Decline? Or Is It The Internet?

In the past, when I've gone to the Bead&Button show in Milwaukee, I had a sense of panic when I entered the market. So many booths! How could see them all? How could I figure out what to buy on my budget?
But it wasn't like that Saturday, when I went with a friend. We stepped into the marketplace, and there were about half as many stalls as there were a decade ago. I last went two years ago, and the decline in the number of stalls was drastic even from that time.

On the upside, it was a lot easier to see everything and figure out what to buy. But it was sad to see all that open space and to worry about the future of jewelry-making. I talked to a lot of the vendors, and they said the problem is all the online purchasing.
I don't understand that. I use the Internet when I must, but I really prefer to see the beads in person. You can't get the same sense for the colors and luster and size of the beads on the Internet. I like going to a store, where you can talk to the employees and the other shoppers. 

In general, I am not a fan of moving all of life online.  The type of blogging we do is, I think, an exception. We are a group who make friends. But in general, I think it's good for us to get out and interact with people.

Still, we had a good time. We took a break and walked to a Thai restaurant for dinner. On the way we saw some of Milwaukee's famed architecture:

And the shopping was still a lot of fun. We found plenty of great elements for jewelry making:

And our goodie-bags had a lot of mini-kits and useful tools.
We both took classes. Tsela did a class in layering with resin. I took a very cool class on beading a spiral bracelet. The good news is that I learned a skill I've been wanting: peyote spiraling. The bad news is that it is a very involved project and I didn't finish in the class:
And, changing topics completely, I have to thank Kat for identifying the bush in my last post. It is indeed a Weigela. When we downsize into a smaller house, I want to make sure there is enough sun for me to plant one of these!


19 comments:

  1. There is that same problem with cross stitch and yarn stores. The problem is compounded when books like Stitch and Bitch tell you to go look in the store and then shop for it cheaper online.

    I like to actually see/feel what I am buying. I am lucky here. A few cross stitch stores and quite a few yarn stores, but in north Florida there was only 2 in Jacksonville/St. Augustine. The one in St. Augustine closed, but I heard another opened near Jacksonville (St. Johns).

    You bracelet is going to be beautiful.

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  2. I would love to buy in small stores , too, but they are too far away and closing if you do find one...
    Your jewelry finds are so interesting! The beading on the Peyote bracelet is so pretty!!!!

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  3. You found some pretty things! That bracelet is going to be spectacular but it's making my head hurt just trying to figure out what you've got going on there. I could never figure out the simplest beading patterns.

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  4. YOU are so welcome! They are truly prolific bloomers too! Just a riot of color!

    I love your finds and I cannot wait to see what you do with them!

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  5. I feel the same way. It kills me to see the small craft stores disappearing. Admittedly, I do my fair share of online craft shopping, but I'd Much prefer to shop in an brick & mortar store - and I'm much more likely to blow the budget in a B&M store than online.

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  6. It's great that you were able to take a class at the show. We had a beading shop in town that used to offer drop in sessions for help if needed. They ran the usual loyalty card scheme, in time as sales dropped, sadly the shop closed. I think overall many people browsed but then probably shopped online as popularity decreased.
    I bought quite a few bead items, tools and a necklace making board which has grooves moulded out for you to line up your beads ready. I need to use up what I have for presents. Cathy x

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  7. When I was making jewelry, I did most of my supply shopping online. But that was because there's not much of Brick and Motor around here - Michaels was the closest, but they didn't have a great gemstone selection (my main medium) and it cost about 3 times as much as what I could get online. The next closest bead place was about an hour away. I'd go when I could, but online was so much easier and usually cheaper. My main supplier was Fire Mountain, and I found it hard to beat their prices.

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  8. You got some gorgeous finds to use and that bracelet will be amazing. I prefer to shop for most everything in "real" stores. I like to feel and see the yarn I am purchasing. But, sometimes it is just not convenient. And many times the prices are much better on line. I think too back to the "old days" (ha!) when many folks had to order through mail order catalogues because there were not stores within a reasonable distance. It's kind of like that now, but even more so.

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  9. Craft shopping (other than a lovely yarn shop) is woefully lacking in my community. Wyoming's economy is tanking due to the energy (gas, oil, and coal) industry, so people aren't spending on "luxury" items. It's become a trickle down effect. The bracelet you're making is a beauty. Please share another photo when it's finished.

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  10. On the weigela, when you decide to put one in, make sure you get a piece (or buy) one of the newer ones. They are much better than the old standards. The bracelet is going to be amazing!

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  11. I agree, I much prefer to buy in person from a store or show. But they are few and far between and sometimes I do like to support a small business that often only sell online.

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  12. looks like you found some good stuff. We went to a fine arts festival that was half the size as last year. However, the windy was blustery and tents were flying so many packed up and left even though they were not supposed to do that. How do you display framed art in WIND???

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  13. Oh, things are scaling down a bit in the craft world I think. I love the bracelet start!

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  14. Love your buys! I hope we don't lose the conventions, but I do think these things wax and wane in popularity. I know the Stitches conventions were doing gang busters 10 years back, and then the venues saw lots of empty space. Not sure how well they are doing now.

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  15. I am with you, I am not a fan of buying everything on line. Local folks need the jobs and businesses. I have yet to buy fabric on line. I just want to see the colors in person. That said, I do buy some yarn online.

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  16. I swear everything is online these days. I like to buy yarn in person and I used to make jewelry but I just don't have the time anymore so I gave all my beads and supplies to a friend.

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  17. So glad you were able to attend the event and take a meaningful class! I admire your work. Especially for beads I like to see them in person and support local businesses but I don't give any business much business because I do not make much! :) Although I have cobalt beads and jewelry tools on the craft table, I have yet to start a project. My last effort with beads was in February when I posted about a boho bead project my friend showed me how to make...an interesting fun time of making...the result of which is hanging on a hook of my coat rack :)

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  18. I just had the same experience with a sewing show. I went 2 years ago and it was just overwhelming--so many things I wanted to buy, but were selling our house & moving, so I didn't buy anything. Last year I couldn't go, but this year I'd budgeted my money and was ready to pick up some things I'd seen before and it was maybe 1/3 the size. I was so disappointed. I hope that's not a trend.

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