Bead Fair Report, Coronavirus & Storage

14th March 2020

See us this weekend, 22nd-23rd Feb at Brighton Gem n Bead Fair , or next weekend at Cheltenham Gem n Bead Fair. Then we’re at The Big Bead Show, 28th March.

Many new beads just imported into the UK!  For bead shows booked so far next year, click 2020 Bead Fairs

Early Bead Fair Reports
Beads Up North!
How To Store Beads
Spring Bead Fairs
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15%  Off Anything From MrBead

To get the discount off anything in our online stores, Key FAIRS at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 20th March 2020. Use at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com, but can’t be used with any other discount.


So far media panic hasn’t effected attendance at any of our bead fairs.

Except, the Big Bead is cancelled, and it may be a problem in the future, as the UK Government is considering banning mass gatherings. Despite Sir Patrick Vallance, scientific adviser, saying ‘the chances of catching corronavirous at such events were less than a visit to the pub’.

The news milks the story all it can – and COVID-19 sounds much more menacing! Remember coverage of Brexit.

However, I’ve spoken to customers’, and they all agree it’s not a problem for them. As they understand the situation has been hyped by papers & TV.

A plastic bag over your head is just as useless as a mask!

The worse is already over in China. Where our consignment of beads finally left last week.

Note that one of the worst days for Coronavirous, 10th February, 108 died in China (out of 1,500,000,000 people).

BUT, on the same day:
26,283 people died of Cancer
24,641 people died of Heart Disease
4,300 died of Diabetes
And 28 people took their own lives.
Plus everyday 2,740 people are killed by mosquitoes, and 1,300 people are murdered.

In England & Wales alone, an average of 1.9 people were murdered each day between 2018-2019.

Take a deep breath, wash your hands 50-times a day, drive carefully (the most dangerous thing you’ll do any day), and keep on attending shows!

However, watch out, by the time you read this, a dozen more in the UK may have been killed by COVID-19 – that’s one in every 5-million, and there will be more.

Best to stock up on beads while you can. Especially, on the unlikely chance things get as bad here as Italy – then we’ll all be stuck in our home. Where the only thing to do is Make More Jewellery!

Early Bead Fair Reports

Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair – 22nd-23rd Feb
Harrogate Gem n Bead Fair Feb 2020Harrogate is our best Gem n Bead Fair. Many visitors, all spending well – and this one didn’t disappoint, although the Sunday was a little quiet. We’ll be back weekend 15th-16th August.

Kempton Park Gem n Bead Fair – 29th Feb-1st March
Kempton Park Gen n Bead Fair Feb 2020Kempton Park is the largest Gem n Bead Fair with around 60 exhibitors. The first few hours Saturday were dead because someone was killing walking across the M25, closing the motorway + terrible weather.

However, from 1pm to 5pm made up with the hall busting with visitors. Same Sunday – a very successful London show! We’ll be back 25th-26th July.

Norwich Bead Fair – 8th March
Norwich Bead Fair March 2020Norwich is always busy, and this one was heaving! So busy, I think we’re outgrown the hall after 8-years – will try to get a bigger place for 2021. All the extra marketing paid off, with many new visitors along with most of the regulars.

However, that evening we were totally knackered, and had to go to bed early. It’s tough lugging a tonne of beads in and out in a day on-top of constant sales!

Beads Up North!

Beads Up North MeetingMiMi and I had a meeting with Gorden & Catherine ‘up north’ on our way to Harrogate. Great pub meal – they are usually all the same, but this was a step up!

Beads-Up-North-LogoDiscounted online tickets for Beads Up North! On Sunday 26th April 2020, at Haydock Racecourse. Save £1 buying prebooking tickets now – Tickets Here!

A show not to be be missed, now combined with a new Lace & Textile section. There will be more exhibitors than last year and an extra hall.

However, we do have limited space for a few new exhibitors, but it’s booking fast! For details, click the Exhibit tab on the Beads Up North site linked below.

Full details at Beads Up North!

How To Store Beads

Bead StoreageEventually every beader is faced with the dilemma of how to store their beads.

Some beaders use a fishing tackle box, plastic shoe boxes, wood or plastic utensil trays from a supermarket – others, clear sliding drawers designed for nuts and bolts, plastic pencil cases, or plastic drawer storage bins. These compartments are the ideal size for storing beads, findings, and tools. Sturdy and portable, they allow you see project options quickly.

Bead StoreageBead StoreageIf you make jewellery, then eventually you will have a bead storage problem. Cardboard boxes or drawers are not enough. Everyone has their own way, depending on quantity and availability:

  • Fishing tackle boxes
  • Plastic shoe boxes
  • Wood or plastic utensil trays from a supermarket
  • Sliding drawers designed for nuts and bolts
  • Pencil cases
  • Plastic drawer storage bins
  • Tool boxes

All these compartments are the ideal size for storing beads, findings, and tools. Sturdy and portable, they allow you see project options at a glance.

seed beadsInside these drawers you need to separate different types and sizes of beads. For small loose beads, tubes are good with a label or photo around. Zippy seal-able plastic bags are great for strands – plus they have a large opening to get inside. These bags can be brought from freezer-food and stationary stores.

bead storageAnother way is to build narrow shelves for baby food jars. You can even screw the top of the lid to the top of the shelf so they always go back neatly.

Other ideas
Storing BeadsStoring BeadsOne beader has eight spice racks that turn, bought second-hand, along with 16 glass jars with lids for her seed beads. Each jar has several shades of the same colour. She just turns the rack to find the colour she’s looking for and the type of bead.

Another beader uses Tic Tac containers when she travels. They’re small enough for all the different colours she needs and they never spill. She also stores beads in margarine containers because they’re flat and can be piled on top of one another.

Other people use empty travel-size baby-wipe containers to transport their beads. These are lightweight, the right depth to hold tubes of beads, and they fit easily into a purse. With a little imagination, you can utilize many every-day containers. Transparent or translucent drawers are good for seeing what’s inside.

More Storage
Storing BeadsHowever, as your collection grows you’ll need more and more containers. We use plastic drawers that are stacked together and labeled on the front with a photograph and a description of the beads inside – each measures about 8 x 8 x 18 inches.

These are ideal for us and sometimes we stack them ten boxes high, almost 6-feet up. MiMi has to stand on a stool to reach the top! Each drawer has a specific type or size of bead. Some are categorized by the kind of stone and colour, as well as size. All jades are together, as are pearl, turquoise, and agates. They’re also arranged in alphabetical order for fast finding a drawer.

Plus we use an Excel data base for our regular stock. Each type of bead is given a number and the data base tells which draw it is in. So whoever is looking for a particular bead can easily find it is.

15%  Off Anything From MrBead

To get the discount off anything in our online stores, Key FAIRS at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 20th March 2020. Use at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com, but can’t be used with any other discount.

Spring Bead Fairs

  • Sat & Sun 14th-15th March: Brighton Gem n Bead Fair, Brighton Racecourse, Freshfield Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 9XZ. Details here.
  • Sat & Sat 21st & 22nd March:. Cheltenham Gem ‘n’ Bead Fair, Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4SH. Full details here.
  • Saturday 28th March: The Big Bead Show – CANCELLED.
  • Sat & Sun 4th-5th April: Chelmsford Gem
    n Bead Fair, Chelmsford Racecourse, CM3 1QP.
  • Sat & Sun 18th-19th April: Winthorpe, Newark Gem n Bead Fair, Newark Showground, Notts NG24 2NY
  • Sunday 26th April: Beads Up North!, Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows WA12 0HQ. Full details here.

Shows booked so far next year, click 2020 Bead Fairs.

See our beads at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com

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