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Rings & Things Bead Shows

Countdown to Bead Frenzy!

February 22, 2010

B.F. minus 4 days, as I write…

Rings & Things is going to kick off its springtime BeadTour this Sunday, with a big bead show in Spokane! Then we hit the road, crisscrossing America. Here’s a special treat to get you bead fans excited about our trunk shows:


Click for 360 degrees of beads!

It’s our new 360° “panorama” view…a.k.a. beadshow cam 🙂 Take a spin through the bead tables at one of our shows!

Can you believe it, we made it through the winter again, and it’s time to stock up on beads once more!

Bead soup/bead show party: best idea this week

February 21, 2010

Rings & Things’ blog partner, Heather Powers, is hosting a “Bead Soup” beading party before the next R&T bead trunk show in San Antonio.

Fiesta in old San Antone!

Fiesta in old San Antone!

Why not organize a Rings & Things bead show party with your beady friends when R&T rolls into your town?  Gather together before or after Rings & Things’ next trunk show for a bead soup party.

What is it? A bead soup party consists of everyone bringing a 16” strand of beads in a set color scheme along with one clasp, focal bead and stringing materials.  The strands of beads get tossed into a bowl, mixed together and scooped out evenly among the party goers.  Everyone then creates a bracelet or necklace with their bead soup while visiting with each other.  Serve chocolate for best results!

If you have your bead soup party after the trunk show, everyone can pick up something at the show to contribute!  Shopping with a group of bead enthusiasts is the best — discovering and sharing a good find with friends is half the fun.

Learn more about hosting your own bead soup party…And feel free to use the graphic above for your bead party invitations!

PS: See Heather’s stash from last year’s Rings & Things trunk show at her blog.  We look forward to seeing yours!

What are all those stacked-up beads?

October 19, 2009

Something you might see at Rings & Things bead shows

Stacks of bead “shopping trays” spontaneously appear at our shows. (These are action photos taken by cell phone…)

Helping several customers at a time...

Mysterious bead stacks…

Been to our bead shows? Know what these are all about? 🙂

Waiting for checkout

…made by aliens?

If you have a theory, we’d be interested to hear it…leave a comment!

Look ahead: October's birthstone will be Tourmaline

September 2, 2009

Where we check into possible birthstone plans for the upcoming month…

Tourmaline meteor bracelet and ring

A great design you can make with tourmaline beads…

Tourmaline beads, the birthstone of choice for October, show some appropriately magical properties. Did you know that if you rub this stone, it generates a charge that attracts small objects like bits of paper or strands of hair? (I couldn’t find an image of this. Bummer. Please submit one if you’ve got one.)

True to its name (which originally meant “stone of mixed colors”), tourmaline is found in a very pretty palette of blue, yellow, pink, red, black, green and clear stones. Here are most of those colors in a strand that we sell:

Tourmaline 21-731-035

Rings & Things also sells strands of the nice black tourmaline alone:

Black tourmaline beads 21-889-183

Here’s a great idea for using black tourmaline in a rosary:

David's Rosary uses the black tourmaline beads

David’s Rosary uses the black tourmaline beads

And don’t forget tourmalated quartz. These beads technically include tourmaline, so they add to your options for “October babies”:

Tourmalated quartz beads 21-884-100

You’ll find lots more neat background reading at our Gemstone Index ‘tourmaline’ entry! And this is the time of year when you can come to our BeadTour bead shows to look for great new tourmaline, tourmalated quartz and many more gemstone beads not found in our catalog!

Happy alabaster anniverary, Rings & Things

August 19, 2009

I found a website that says your 37th is your alabaster anniversary…

mint alabaster

Happy anniversary to Rings & Things! We celebrated our 37th “birthday” this last weekend. It was a big, fun bash. I wanted to share a couple quick photos!

A wire-wrapping demo with the EuroTool ladies

A Wubbers & wire (wrapping) demo with the EuroTool ladies

Visitors took in lots of demos: wire-wrapping, SoftFlex stringing with Sara, and metal-stamping “make & takes”.

Finding fun Czech beads was as easy as shooting fish in a barrel...

Finding fun Czech beads was as easy as shooting fish in a barrel…

We had absolutely piles of great new beads that you haven’t seen in our catalog!

Dyed composite magnesite beads were an attention-getter!

Dyed composite magnesite beads were an attention-getter!

For another fun perspective on Rings & Things’ big event, read SoftFlexGirl Sara’s blog…and mark your calendar for 2010 for our tourmaline anniversary. (I think we can provide some special anniversary beads for that one!)

…Got a jones to check our shows? If you live near Rochester, Boston, New Haven, northern New Jersey or Philadelphia, put in your name to be our Guest Bead Helper the last week of September!

Love our bead shows? Win a 'Guest Bead Helper' job!

August 10, 2009

If you live in the Northeast USA and can attend one of our late September bead shows, you could be a winner!

We’re scouting for our first-ever Guest Bead Helper! You could be an honorary BeadTour bead-show worker, with all the fame and glory that come with that honor.

Who set that table so nicely?

Who set that table so nicely?

For our first foray into roadie recruiting, we’re looking for someone who can say “Yes” to all of these questions:

  • Can you leave a comment below, to enter?
  • Can you attend one of these bead shows?
  1. Rochester on Sept. 24
  2. Boston on Sept. 26
  3. New Haven on Sept. 27
  4. East Hanover NJ on Sept. 29
  5. Philadelphia on Sept. 30
  • Can you “set tables” with trays of beads?
  • Will you let us buy you lunch and give you a goodie tote?

Other perks of the “job” include meeting our friendly crew and getting a behind-the-scenes look at how bead shows are put together — not to mention getting to start bead shopping before we open the doors to the public!

PS: It’s a bonus if you’re an active Facebook-er, Twitter-er or blogger. We’d love it if you talked online about your roadie experience!

We’ll announce our winner on Wednesday, September 16th. Good luck to everyone who enters the drawing!

So enter by leaving a note below…mention which city you’d like to help us in!

Wholesale bead pricing, or "what's that (K) on my pricetag?"

June 17, 2009

If you’ve been to our bead shows,you know that most of our strands of beads are marked with “(K)” — and that we discount the price marked. From some notes provided by our owner Russ, here’s some background on “keystone pricing”:

What *should* be on this price tag?

The question of how and why we mark our beads’ price tags comes up from time to time. Russ has written about this “keystone pricing” in several forums, because it is confusing to people outside the mainstream jewelry industry. Why do we put a “K” on the price label and tell you you’re “really saving” a whole lot off of what’s marked? It’s a good topic for blogging!

The “real savings” at our shows is:

  1. The 15% extra discount off our catalog prices.
  2. The opportunity to hand-select the strands that meet your needs better than what we might select for you.
  3. The special purchase and cash and carry goods that we buy in smaller than catalog quantities to give you a much larger selection than you can find in our catalog.

#2 and #3 are self-explanatory, so let’s focus on #1. If you look at your invoice from one of our bead shows, you’ll see that the stranded goods and the net-price bagged goods were totaled separately. One column is marked “Strands (marked at retail)” while the other column is “Regular wholesale priced goods.” In the Strands column you should see 3 rows marked:

  • “As per tape:”
  • “-50% to Wholesale”
  • “-15% Sale price:” <– this is the price you paid for your strands

Does that make sense? Read on for some background on our use of “Keystone pricing.”

Rings & Things has been selling to stores for a long time. We started with a line of filigree and bead earrings in the 1970’s. We sold these prepriced to boutiques, department stores and drug stores. Russ Nobbs, owner and founder, used to sell Southwestern and Native American jewelry to gift shops and tourist stores around the National parks in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

We had our jewelry marked with what is known in the trade as “Keystone Pricing”, that is, the goods were marked at suggested retail and the store paid 1/2 of the marked price. To indicate this we put a (K) next
to the price. Assuming the store took the typical 2X markup they did not have to reprice the goods before putting out for sale. (These days many stores require a longer markup. Fine jewelry suppliers often
provide goods prepriced with “triple keystone” pricing where the cost is 1/3 of the selling price. This is “3K” or “Triple Key” pricing.)

When we operated retail stores as well as our wholesale business the selling price to retail customers was the marked price while wholesale customers buying for resale paid “Keystone” or 1/2 of the retail price. Rings & Things continues to mark most stranded goods (i.e. gemstones, beads and pearls) with the suggested retail price and a (K) to indicate this is keystone pricing. This allows our customers to sell whole strands at the marked price and double their cost.

At our shows and in our showroom we announce that the goods are marked at retail and that wholesale is 1/2 of the marked retail price. Our wholesale catalog is priced at this same wholesale price. At most shows we give an extra 15% off the wholesale price.

This is not an attempt to control the selling price or suggest that the “regular” price is higher that it is marked. It’s simply a traditional way of marking pre-priced goods that has been used in the jewelry industry for more than 50 years.

Want to learn more? A Google search for origin of keystone pricing gives several hits including

Can we answer any more questions about keystone bead pricing? Just ask in a comment below!

DON’T MISS OUR June-July giveaway:
* in our online store, find a fave product & review it there, then…
* …leave a comment about it at the contest article in our blog
* On August 3, five winners will receive coveted Rings & Things gift certificates!
* Enter often & see if you win!

Bulletin: Salt Lake City bead show cancelled — Boise is still on!

March 26, 2009

We’re sorry to inform everyone, our Friday (03/27/2009) bead show in Salt Lake City, Utah has been cancelled. Our crew got stuck in Denver, Colorado and couldn’t get through the snow that a surprise blizzard brought. So they weren’t able to set up our show in Salt Lake.

We regret the inconvenience to our Utah customers, and we’ll be back in town soon!

Idaho customers: Our Boise bead show scheduled for Sunday is still on. See you there!


March news: New monthly lottery, right here on the Rings & Things blog. Here’s how it works:
* You enter by leaving comments. Comment on any March post(s).
* At the end of March, I’ll randomly draw 2 winners of surprise goodie packs! …So read the blog regularly to see if you won!