Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back from Rio in Motion

I just got back from Rio in Motion in Albuquerque, New Mexico and it was great!

Rio Grande Jewelry Supply typically takes at least portions of this event on the road to some of the jewelry industry trade shows, such as the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show, MJSA's big show in New York, and others. I've actually been to an MJSA show, but I have to tell you, going to a trade show is something like going through those buildings at the State Fair where the vendors come to present their businesses - a lot of exposure, but way too busy of an environment to really get much in depth. Also, I know the Tucson show is huge (like, all over town) and the thought of going to something like that is, quite frankly, intimidating to me. I know many thousands of people attend the Tucson show every time they have one, but the mere thought of it seems overwhelming to me. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd "never" go to one, but in my current mindset, I can't imagine what it would take to get me to go to another huge trade show.

...So I was thrilled when I learned Rio Grande was going to do a Rio In Motion event right there at their home base facility in Albuquerque - I could definitely do that! One location, more focus, less chance of getting lost in a city that's not mine... and Rio totally went above and beyond to make things pleasant, informative, and as easy as possible for the participants. They must have planned it from a perspective of "If we were attending an event like this, how would we like it to go? How would we like to be treated?"

Rio got special rates for their participants at several hotels, Rio provided shuttle service from those hotels to their facility and back, they had a nice assortment of classes (which filled in a hurry!) with excellent instructors, and had tours of the facility and product demonstrations after each day's classes. They also provided snacks and very nice catered gourmet lunch each day. Many members of staff were on hand to meet and greet the participants and they all were so cordial and gracious! They really treated us all like royalty. I got the impression that they were as sincerely happy to have us there as we were to be there.

I learned in the facility tour that Rio Grande actually makes a substantial number of the jewelry findings and finished jewelry pieces that they sell, and we got to see the steps of process from wax impressions being cast and put on trees, investment, removing the pieces from the trees, cleaning the pieces prior to polishing, the different stages of the polishing process, the overstock warehouse, the big, medium, and small parts departments of the warehouse, the Made To Order department (if you need 1/2 ounce of silver wire that's cut from a spool, weighed and packaged in order for you to receive it, that is "made to order"). Rio also has their own CNC and metal shop department, so they are able to make any equipment they need, right there in house. Rio also can do custom imprints on any of the packaging materials they sell, and we got to see that department, too. They use state of the art communications devices to fill orders and maintain inventory.

Rio employs about 300 or so people, and everywhere I saw such a sense of community and team spirit.

Rio is quite green, using great recycling programs and solar energy.

Someone told me once, and I have found it to be true, that "any organization is the length and shadow of the person in charge." The founder, Saul Bell, has gone on to the Big Studio in the Sky now, but several of his descendants are still in evidence at Rio Grande. I am extremely pleased to report that Rio Grande is best of the best - quality, ability, competence, consideration, security, service, efficiency, politeness, good cheer, a sense of community, classiness, clarity,  integrity, and more... the list can go on, but I think you get the picture.

I sure hope Rio Grande does more Rio in Motion events in Albuquerque, because I would certainly go back!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Courtesy Announcement

Vicki Newby of EightSusquehanna will be attending an educational seminar at Rio in Motion this week and will be unable to ship any orders Tuesday, Wednesday &Thursday, January 25, 26, & 27, 2011...will be back and open for business again on Friday January 28, 2011. Thank you!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eight Susquehanna January e-Newsletter

.999 Fine Silver









Glasses Leashes

ID Lanyards

Jewelry Findings







This Month
Sprucing up an older bridal jewelry set
by Caroline Sumner
When it comes to your wedding day, there are many things that factor in to how you look and feel. From the fabric of your bridal gown to the fit of your shoes, everything in contact with you will have an impact on your comfort for the day. One of the most important parts of the bridal ensemble is the jewelry – after all, how many opportunities do women get to go all out, wearing jewelry fit for a princess?

Read full article...

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About Eight Susquehanna

In the fall of 2005 I needed a pair of earrings to go with an outfit for a special occasion.I remembered I had an old case of beads, earwires, and other such supplies left over from a time I'd learned how to make a beaded bracelets. I found that old case and made the earrings I needed. While I had the beads out, I adorned a barrette to match, and then  made a bracelet and necklace while I was at it. My friends complimented me on these unusual items, especially the barrette.

Not long after that, some of my coworkers decided to put on a holiday craft sale, with a commission percentage to benefit a local food bank. I made up a passel of barrettes to take and, to my surprise and delight, sold every one! In an "Aha!" moment, my new hobby became a sideline business.

I decided to create a website for online sales. On the night of March 12, 2006 I was filling out the application for my new website and came across the question, "What is the name of your store?" Hmmm, business needs a name. I brainstormed, thinking of previous enterprises with which I had been associated and discovered a commonality in that many of them were named after places - Red Brick Studio, True Light Carrot Patch - geographic centers of creativity - and borrowed from my address at the time, 8 Susquehanna, as a name for my new jewelrymaking business, Eight Susquehanna. So it has been, and so it is - EightSusquehanna.

In January 2009 we made the acquaintance of a couple who were looking to move to Cooperstown. Long story short, this couple fell in love with our wonderful house at 8 Susquehanna, just as we had seven years previously. Even though the house was not on the market, the couple expressed an interest in purchasing it and a deal was struck. The sale of the house closed in April of 2009 and we took the opportunity to return to Oklahoma to be nearer to most of our family.
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