The day begins early: Carol Cam and Liz are ready to drive to the show by eight-thirty. They know it will be a long and arduous day. The scorching heat, no breeze and at least eight hours without a break ahead.
On arrival they are getting their bearings, the organisers do not always put the exhibitors in the same place, so the visitors have to read the layout map and search for the items on the list. Lists and a budget are essential at this show, overstep the mark or purchase by speculation, and the whole visit is pointless.
‘I have worked in this field for over twenty years, I know my customers, and I also know what sells and what gathers dust in the stock room’ Carol’s a careful buyer, and she can spend up to an hour looking through a four-metre x four-metre tent.
‘I’m not far behind Carol, I’ve traded minerals and crystals for nearly seventeen years, and I’m in total agreement with Carol, you have to know your customer’s. It is easy to let your heart run away with your head and buy too much of an item because the price looks right. A year later you have only sold six out of the box, and another fourteen specimens are waiting to find a home.’
‘I don’t think Liz, and I make too many mistakes these days. But we both agree the temptation is there to buy ‘just that little bit more’, and this needs to be suppressed. Even though our businesses are selling crystals and minerals, we have different customers and retail facilities. Liz and I enjoy looking at the future stock and listening to each others differing opinions. I think it is great to be able to work together, there is no competition, only mutual respect.’
Campbell knows many dealers from his worldwide expeditions travelling with Carol to purchase stock. He has also had an in-depth knowledge of minerals although he’ll leave the majority of stock purchase ‘the boss’. Occasionally Campbell will see something which he instantly knows will be sought after or is a customer requirement. His attitude is one of careful consideration, he listens to what the ‘dealers’ have to say about the providence of the minerals. If something doesn’t ‘feel’ right, he never comments!
‘Ninety percent of the suppliers are one hundred percent, Ian! I like to know where the stock comes from. It’s great to be able to tell a customer if a crystal is Russian, Brazilian, American et cetera. Agreed we cannot learn everything, every time, but gaining, or attempting to discover information like this is the difference between having a business and running a great business.’ I agree entirely.
The show is full of surprises:
As I’m wandering the show, I watch a spectacular transaction. A man and his partner look at a giant sphere. It weighs over a hundred kilos and is about forty centimetres wide (sixteen inches). ‘How much is the sphere?’ ‘Forty-eight thousand Dollars’ the man looks at his partner, a few words are exchanged ‘We’ll take it’ they shake hands, the deal is done.
The Columbian quartz took my eye, a tennis ball size piece costs near to a thousand euros. Liz comments: ‘These are magical, I can see the brilliance of the specimens’ You’ll listen to Liz talking about the Columbian quart in tomorrows audio interview.
It is interesting to watch Liz and Carol select their stock. They pick through hundreds of items and compare similar products at various stalls. Price is not the priority, the criteria is quality, and they insist on the supplies are ethically sourced. If you could listen to the conversations and interactions with stall holders, you would realise Liz and Carol are dedicated to discovering everything they can about supplier and source. This is very much part of the reason for their continued and long-term success.
Anyone who feels inclined to visit the Sainte Marie aux Mines Mineral and Gem Show is sure to enjoy the event. The suggestion is to plan the expedition with care and make sure you are prepared arduous days. If you can put up with the many drawbacks, the possibility is you will be rewarded during your visit.
My feeling is, visit for the first time without the intention of buying many products! Go to the show as an explorer and ‘scout’ the domain. Travel light and without bags or anything not needed for the day. Take ice cold water and drink plenty of this lifesaver. Cover all exposed skin with sunblock and if you are driving arrive early. If the intention is not to purchase too many goodies, go straight to the park and rides.
The visitor can look at thousands of different minerals and related products while attending StMarie aux Mines. It is a world-class event, do not be put off by this somewhat harsh appraisal of the show. The reader will glean insight into how to approach a potential visit after reading this short article.
From another perspective, we learn that connecting and sharing can benefit people who trust each other. It is suggested that many people can learn why Carol and Liz’s open-minded approach to business, is an advanced business practice. In the past, secrets and sharp dealing was seen to be the way to success. Today the dynamic has changed, fairness and connection is the way to the future.
LizianEvents has a foundation of ethical transparency, and everyone within The Community is encouraged to help and promote the skills of their fellow Community Members. This article demonstrates we do not offer suggestions and high toned ways to meet with success. This article demonstrates we live by certain guiding principals. I am confident the time will come when the excellence of The Community will be recognised by many thousands of Visitors. I am sure more people are aware of the ideas which make our Well Being Shows an example of how to Celebrate Life and Become a Well Being
See You Soon