My first open studio is done, and my next (last) one is on November 3 & 4. We had gorgeous weather, lots and lots of people, and strong sales. (Yay! I can buy more beads!)
In between I got a call from a bead trader. He’s one of a large group of people who are originally from Gambia in Africa. They all seem to be related. (Mention one to another and they always reply, “Oh, he’s my cousin!”
Several times a year, they travel back to Africa, to Gambia and Ghana, to buy “African trade beads.” (To learn more about trade beads, try this British source, or Picard Beads and Bead Museum, and this amazing online resource and discussion group. (Briefly, trade beads mostly refer to either a) glass beads made in Venice and Bohemia in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, made for trade throughout Asia, Africa and the American West, or b) handmade glass or metal beads made in Africa.
Anyhoo, a couple times a year I get a phone call from one of them. They are usually passing through my area, and would like to stop in to show me their wares.
Imagine a large white van filled with about a hundred large Rubbermade totes full of hanks of….beads. They are carried into your living room and spread out on your coffee tables, chairs and dining room table. They are all colors of the rainbow, with some colors in between. They range in value from a few dollars a strand to a few thousand dollars a strand.
Given enough time, I try to email and Facebook people to come by and share the joy. One visitor fell into a chair and gasped, “It’s like I’ve died and gone to bead heaven!”
I feed everybody (but usually everyone but Baba or Kabba or Abdul is too busy buying beads, and Baba and Kabba and Abdul are too busy selling beads.) Everyone leaves a little poorer (except for the trader) and a lot happier.
So what’s with Nepal?
This year, a fellow craftsman appeared at the door with her mom and a friend. They were the first to arrive and dived right in. When the buying frenzy had eased a bit, I asked her how she found out about the event.
“I got an email,” she said.
“But you’re not on my email list!” I exclaimed.
“I got the email from Victoria E.”, she replied.
“But she’s not on my list, either!”
“Right, but she got an email from Lisa G.” she said.
“I forgot Lisa G. is on my email list!” I laughed.
“Not only that……Lisa G. is in Nepal!”, said my friend.
So, Lisa, wherever you are today….
Thank you so much for passing on my invitation, and thanks to your friends for passing on my invitation, and so on and so on.
And the next time you’re in MY neighborhood, come on by and I’ll give you some beads!
And for my readers: Never, ever underestimate the power of social media in getting the word out about your events.