Ava Motherwell Has a Bead on Downtown During Gem Show

January 28, 2016

IMG_8219By Simon Brimmer

Much of the success of Tucson’s premier event, the Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase, has to do with the expansive variety of unique merchandise on display by trustworthy vendors who view the annual show as an opportunity to display their wares while reconnecting with familiar faces and appreciative clientele.

It’s a gem show dynamic that has kept Ava Motherwell coming back for over 30 years. But it’s the first year Motherwell will move her vast collection of renowned German beads Downtown. She found the ideal match at La Placita.

“I needed a place that could be my own, set my own days and hours,” Motherwell said. “I also wanted to be centrally located. I felt like a storefront would be perfect for me. La Placita has been very helpful getting me settled as well.”

Getting settled is something new for Motherwell. Despite returning year after year as part of her business routine, she’s had to adjust to a series of changes. From the get-go, she felt as though her handmade and vintage glass bead display didn’t always coincide with the whole gem and mineral show concept, even though customers clearly didn’t see it that way. Despite feeling a bit outcast in regards to merchandise, the business she generated and contacts she made were too valuable.

IMG_8234As a result of that success, she participated in the first Whole Bead Show in 1994.

“We were at the Windmill Inn from 1994 to 2012,” Motherwell said. “When the Windmill Inn changed hands we moved to the Viscount Suites from 2013 and 2014.”

However, the Whole Bead Show isn’t hosting as part of the Gem and Mineral Show this year, but that didn’t deter Motherwell, who viewed the decision as an opportunity to branch out on her own.

“I have too many amazing customers who come to Tucson year after year,” she said.

And Tucson’s burgeoning Downtown area made for the perfect location.

“I think being Downtown will make it easier for my customers to find me,” said Motherwell. “Having other shops and restaurants nearby will be an added plus as well.”

So be sure to pay Motherwell a visit at La Placita Village as part of the your Downtown Gem Show experience, and to get additional info on her vintage or vintage inspired German beads and components, visit www.avamotherwell.com, www.permeliabead.com and www.wholebead.com.