As you may know, Shipwreck Beads will be at Bead Fest Fall in I Tacoma, Washington on October 14-16.  This is the first time Bead Fest has come to the PNW and let me tell you, we are so excited to be working with them for this event.  Shipwreck Beads will be sponsoring the Inspiration Playground and I will be teaching 6 stylish and affordable (only $5!!!) make & takes.  I got a chance to talk with the folks who are putting on the event about the history of Bead Fest and other fascinating information!

Here it goes!

Why is the Bead Fest Team excited about collaborating with Shipwreck Beads for Bead Fest Fall’s Inspiration Playground?
First of all, Shipwreck Beads offers the largest selection of beads—literally billions of them! It’s a paradise for all who love creating jewelry art, and the Bead Fest Team is thrilled to feature your creative, affordable and on-trend Make & Take workshops in the Inspiration Playground! Bead Fest Fall and Shipwreck Beads is a match made in jewelry heaven.

Why is Bead Fest Fall a great event for beginners and advanced artists alike?
Bead Fest Fall is an amazing experience for jewelry artists of all skill levels thanks to the wide selection of workshops. Bead Fest Fall’s website offers a feature that shows the suggested skill level for each workshop. This allows our attendees to not only search the technique they are interested in, but also narrow down the workshops that suit their abilities. For all of our beginner jewelry artists out there, do not be afraid to take the plunge and register for a workshop! Bead Fest instructors welcome beginner artists and they love taking the time to show new students the ropes. At Bead Fest Fall, all are welcome to celebrate and create jewelry art!


Why will Bead Fest Fall attendees love the new Tacoma location?
Bead Fest Fall attendees are going to LOVE Tacoma’s stunning scenery and the convenience of being downtown. The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center is just minutes away from renowned restaurants, museums, shops, bars and lots of outdoor attractions, including parks and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. And in the distance, you can see the snow-kissed peak of Mt. Rainier! Thanks to all that Tacoma has to offer, Bead Fest Fall attendees can bring the whole family and make a vacation out of this event

How long has Bead Fest been going on?
Bead Fest has been around for 15 years and it originated in the Philadelphia area. The show attracts some amazing instructors, exhibitors and attendees from all over the country and even outside of the United States!

What are some of the past locations of Bead Fest?
Bead Fest has done its fair share of traveling over the years, although it always returns to its home in the Philadelphia area! Past Bead Fest locations include Arlington, Miami, Memphis, Atlanta and Santa Fe. AND in just a few weeks the Bead Fest Team will be heading to Tacoma, Washington for the first time! The Bead Fest Team is really excited about visiting the Pacific Northwest and finding inspiration in the natural beauty of the area. Plus, we plan on making a pit stop at Shipwreck Beads’ huge showroom! It’s going to be a great time.


How long does it take to plan a bead show? What are some of the challenges in planning?
It certainly takes a lot of planning and effort to make Bead Fest come to life. We allow at least a year to find the perfect location, decide on a date that works for the majority of our attendees, instructors and exhibitors, come up with a marketing plan, select the list of workshops—the list goes on! The entire process is very time consuming, but it’s also a blast to work on.

What is the average attendance of Bead Fest?
The average Bead Fest has an attendance of 3,000-5,000 attendees. No matter how big or small the attendance number is we are always thankful for the opportunity to share our love for jewelry arts with other enthusiasts!

How many different workshops are offered? What are some of the techniques taught?
Our smaller events typically boast about 130 workshops and our largest event in Oaks, Pennsylvania can offer 200+ workshops!

We cover a huge selection of techniques. At Bead Fest, you will find workshops that teach enameling, bead weaving, bead stitching, soldering, brazing, drilling, finishing, design, flex shaft, metal clay, stamping, stone setting, texturing, seed beading, patina, silversmithing and more! Plus, we offer workshops for a range of skill levels and budgets. Even if you have just $5 to spend, you can still get one-on-one instruction and create jewelry at the Inspiration Playground. And by the way, our sponsor for Bead Fest Fall’s Inspiration Playground is none other than the amazing Shipwreck Beads, and Kelsy will be teaching a lineup of exciting Make & Take workshops!


Can you tell us a little about the exhibitors?  What types of products are sold?
Our exhibitors are absolutely wonderful and they represent products from all over the world! Bead Fest’s Expo is like traveling across the globe without even leaving the convention center, and it’s all thanks to our exhibitors who offer an array of gorgeous artisan and glass beads, gemstones, tools, materials, findings and all of the other beading and jewelry-making essentials one could ever imagine! Plus, some of our exhibitors offer one-of-a-kind finished pieces of jewelry. So not only can you pick up all the tools you need to make your art, you can also pick up new pieces for your collection.

Exclusive DEAL for our Shipwreck Bead fans!
At checkout, use code SHIPWRECK to save $30 on any 6-hour workshop, OR save $20 on any 3 or 4-hour workshop. Purchase tickets on the Bead Fest website.  We’ll see you in Tacoma!

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Want to discover more information about the highly anticipated Bead Fest Fall? Check out their latest feature on Seattle Refined’s website! You can also check out the interview I did with Bead Fest a couple of weeks ago on the Bead Fest Blog.  Hope to see you there in October!


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2 thoughts on “Bead Fest Fall!

  • October 1, 2016 at 9:24 am

    How do I find the Tacoma Bead Feat Event, The address please

    • October 3, 2016 at 11:40 am

      The event is held at the Tacoma Convention and Event Center. The address is 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402

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