One of Juli’s highlights of the year is attending the “Gem Show” in Tucson, Arizona. She leaves Dallas packed with all the provisions to haul back her treasures. Her typical checklist includes several rolling suitcases packed with straps, packing tape, zip ties and any necessity a pro would carry on these excursions. Traveling to markets takes almost as much preparation as surviving in the wild. If you're unprepared…well you know!
The Gem Show in Tucson has hundreds of vendors from all over the world selling gems, metals, and findings. Of course, Juli has her favorites and has made acquaintances along the way. On these shopping adventures, she typically hauls several hundred pounds of supplies in rolling suitcases along unpaved caliche rock roads. This is no job for the weary and let’s talk about a workout! Although this part of the business is not considered glamorous, it’s the most integral part of making jewelry. A moment where creativity sparks and skill comes into to play.
On this particular trip, Juli also made a stop at Mission Xavier Del Bac. This Mission is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona filled with the original statuary and mural paintings. It was created to serve the needs of the local community, but everyone is welcome and the museum is free and open to the public.
One of the funniest stories Juli came home with, although not amusing to her at the time, was one of her dining experiences. Imagine this…you’re exhausted after a long day of shopping and lugging around hundreds of pounds. You’re tired, hungry and all you want is to rest and have a good meal. Your much anticipated Chinese food is delivered, the aroma has you salivating, eagerly you open the bag, only to find you have…NO UTENSILS! Desperate times call for desperate measures. Remember when we talked about survival? When faced with adversity- adapt and overcome. In this case, not only can the red straws found in the hotel coffee condiment packet be used for coffee, but they also make for a crappy pair of chopsticks!
Until next time,