Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society started the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in the parking lot of an elementary school in 1955.  Today, over 55,000 gem enthusiasts arrive over the course of 2 weeks in January/February to attend over 40 shows taking place all over Tucson.

Evine’s hosts, buyers, and designers have attended the Tucson Gem fair for over 20 years.  Chuck Clemency was the first vendor that joined us in Tucson.  He introduced us to Prickly Pear Margaritas, Cactus Body Slamming, Cheese Troughs, and more colors of Topaz than anyone else in the business.

Years later, Paul Deasy and Michael Valitutti joined the Evine family, and the Three Amigos were born!  Today, many of our best designers attend the Tucson Gem Show in order to find the most magnificent gems in the world.

We just returned from Tucson after broadcasting live from the event with many of our customers’ favorite collections: Gems en Vogue, Gem Treasures, Gem Insider, Dallas Prince, JOYA and Sunwest.  I spent a few days walking the shows with our buyers and designers and am looking forward to sharing with our customers what we are bringing “Back from Tucson” this week during our shows Thursday through Saturday!

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Invicta Adventures

1375991_10201259939885853_1848613689_nThe definition of Remote (distant/unlikely to occur) aptly describes Evine’s “Invicta Remotes.” Not only do we travel to distant/exotic locations, but when you see what has to happen from a cliff on the far side of a near deserted island, it is astonishing that our crew is able to pull off a live broadcast from these remote destinations.  These remotes are a metaphor for what Inivcta has been able to offer customers at Evine for the past 15 years. Prior to our partnership, high quality watches had been unattainable and unaffordable by other brands and were unlikely to find their way into customers collections…Invicta via Evine is making these quality timepieces available and incredibly affordable to our customers!

Blue Stallion FarmInvicta remotes have taken us to Invicta’s headquarters in Florida where we’ve broadcast from Invicta’s Warehouse, the Invicta Marine Pavilion on the Intercostal, and the Blue Stallion Farm.  The most difficult to plan for were the Farm remotes as the temperatures were often over 100 degrees during the day and in the 40’s at night. We never knew if we would be outside in the blistering sun or freezing rain. They were also the most difficult as the beetles and mosquitoes were relentless at night.  The freakiest thing that happened one night on air was when a screeching hawk with a frog in its mouth flew right above our heads!

CaboThe most luxurious locations we have traveled to are Cabo and the Riviera Maya areas in Mexico.  Our most difficult broadcast by far was from Staniel Cay in the Bahamas where the crew worked around the clock everyday pulling miles of cables to remote cliffs and beaches around the near deserted island.  They spent hours lighting shark invested waters for our night broadcasts.  I liken this remote to summer camp…the roughing it kind!  We braved the elements of extreme heat and rain (we escaped the day before the hurricane hit and destroyed the island) and bonded the same way I did with my fellow girl scout campers as a teenager.

I can not say enough incredible things about the remote crew…the lighting crew, floor directors, camera operators, models, stylists, visual staff, sales managers/producers, control room, directors, etc. who all work tireless hours in difficult conditions without ever a complaint.  I also want to thank Eyal Lalo and the Invicta staff for the amazing experiences, hospitality, and opportunities they have offered us at Evine.

Invicta Cruise1For the first time ever, Invicta is giving our customers an opportunity to join us on our next remote as we broadcast LIVE from the middle of the ocean on our February Invicta Cruise!  Our customers will have a chance to be a part of our live show and meet Eyal Lalo, Invicta Designers, Ambassadors, and Collectors.  If you can’t make it, join me on my Facebook page for photos of the day from February 10-13th!

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Cabin Fever Fades in the Northwoods

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We recently had our final trip of the summer to the ‘cabin up north’.  When I got ready to sit down to write this blog while I was there, I looked outside and the sun was already setting by 8pm . . . UGH!  And now it’s even earlier . . . Typically, we don’t see the sun go down up north until nearly 9:30pm in early summer.

I hope you enjoy some of my memories from our time there:

As I write this It’s an absolutely beautiful evening so I’m taking advantage of the screened in back porch to avoid the mosquitos.  I love the sounds of the crickets and frogs chirping, kids splashing down at the lake, and final fishing boats pulling in for the night.  Admittedly, I don’t take advantage of the porch as often as I should!!!  It’s a melancholy time for most Minnesotans as we know summer is swiftly coming to an end.  A big part of Minnesota Culture is Cabin Culture.  We live for our 3 months of summer and trips to the cabin . . . and as the end of August nears, you can feel the Cabin Fever Fading.

It’s easy to understand how Cabin Culture began in Minnesota as there are so many Scandinavians that live here.  My Mother’s family is from Sweden, and on our trips to Sweden and Finland we often traveled to our family’s cottages in the woods to pick berries, hike, sauna, and jump in the freezing cold lake . . . we’ve carried those traditions on at my folks’ cabin as the summer lake jump or snow roll in the winter after a sauna has become the favorite thing to do!

Kendy blog 3 2 dockKendy blog 3 snowAlthough most Minnesotans close up their cabins in the fall, my parents, like true Scandinavians, keep theirs open year round in order to enjoy the Norwegian Kick Sledding, Cross Country Skiing, and Snow Shoeing.

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Minnesotans enjoy their cabin lives for many reasons: solitude, nature, sport, etc. . . .  The main theme is family reunions where family members from across the country gather to partake in the great outdoors, celebrate holidays like the 4th of July, and enjoy Mom’s Home Cookin’!  It’s an awesome time for the different generations to go offline and really connect face to face!

Kendy blog 3 8Kendy blog 3 10Fishing and Food are first priority at our cabin!  The kids love to fish with Papa to get ready for the big Fish Fry with Papa’s Homemade German Potato Pancakes!

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Our puppies love the cabin visit as much as we do . . . they love fishing, chasing the loons, staring at the hummingbirds, and jumping off the dock. Kendy blog 3 15DSC_0156.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

We have to do our best to keep them away from the eagles overhead and the bear on the path!

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The big draw to the cabin is of course the lake . . . after all, we have over 10,000 of them!  Whether it’s diving off the dock, learning how to ski from your expert 75 year-old Grandpa, kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing, or fishing, the day revolves around the lake.Kendy blog 3 25Kendy blog 3 27

Walor Family vacation to Grandparent Kloepfer's cabin in upper Wisconsin. Other relatives that came were Rick & new wife Melody Kloepfer, Brett Kloepfer and Cousin Hillary Kloepfer and son Everest.

I know every state has its vacation spots: ‘down the shore’, ‘in the mountains’, ‘on the beach’, etc. . .  Hopefully one day you’ll have a chance to experience Minnesota’s Cabin Culture some day!  If you’re a Minnesotan, I’d love to hear what your favorite lakes and cabin traditions are!  If you are not a Minnesotan, let me know what your state’s favorite vacation spot is so that I can check it out someday.  Hope you’re all able to enjoy the remainder of summer at your favorite spot!Kendy blog 3 31

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Why Do Collectors Collect?

Kendy blog 2 2LThroughout my 30 years in the Home Shopping Industry, I’ve discovered that our customers love to collect. In the 1980’s, die cast cars, dolls, and capitamonte were the hottest collectibles.

Kendy blog 2 1LOnce the 90’s rolled around, sports collectibles, coins, and beanie babies were on the must buy lists of home shopping customers.

Today, watches, Tiffany style lighting, and Waterford Crystal are the collectibles of choice.

Kendy blog 2 1RI think collecting is an essential childhood hobby. It creates opportunities for curiosity and learning. It teaches kids how to take care of objects, spend money wisely, and cooperate when negotiating and trading. As kids, most of us collected marbles, trading cards, stamps, coins, etc. Kendy blog 2 2MMy children collected rocks and gems as they were curious about all of the gems I sold. Did you collect anything when you were a child? What was your favorite thing to collect and your prized possession? I wonder if kids collect as much as we used to Kendy blog 2 2Rback in the day . . .

I, personally, am not a collector of things at all. So, it’s curious to me why people become collectors. Really no one in my family collected anything, except my grandmother who had a plate collection on her wall. It makes me think that collecting begins as Kendy blog 2 3Ra family tradition . . . my parents really only collected family memorabilia, so I do the same in order to preserve the past. We preserve the kids’ photos, artwork, ribbons, letters of accomplishment, etc.

 

So, I’m curious . . .Kendy blog 2 3L

What do you collect?

Why do you collect?

How did you get started?

Is it a family tradition, passion, obsession, habit?

Do you collect for investment purposes, perceiving the items will increase in value over the years?

Kendy blog 2 3RDo you collect for status?

Has your collecting turned into hoarding?

What do you wish you had never collected?

What do you collect that Evine Kendy blog 2 1Mdoesn’t sell that you’d like to see us offer?

If you do collect things we offer, what are you missing in your collection that you’d like to see?

Please let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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The Inevitable Journey of Our Little Mermaid

KK1KK3I’m not a procrastinator, but when we were assigned to create our first blogs for Evine I couldn’t get myself to begin writing about the most relevant topic of my life: our daughter’s graduation and preparations to leave home for college on the KK2East Coast. For those of you who know me, you know my life is consumed by family and, since our Little Mermaid was born nearly 18 years ago, she has consumed a good 80% of our time and energy. We call her our Little Mermaid because she has LOVED the water from the time she was a baby, regardless of ear infections, hearing loss, and surgeries. So, through the use of ear plugs, waxes, and headbands we kept her happy in the water. As the years progressed, our Mermaid became a competitive swimmer and will now be heading off to compete at the collegiate level in the fall.KK4

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In the early 2000’s our daughter was completely obsessed with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I think she lived in a mermaid costume for at least 3 years! I didn’t realize until recently how the movie foreshadowed what was to come . . . or how much it may have influenced her after watching it a thousand times. KK6After years of constant studying and training, our daughter is taking a few months out of school and the pool to enjoy the real world and get re-energized for college and collegiate swimming. Like Ariel, she swam to the surface and, regardless of the warnings of her parents, has fallen in love with humans (yes, a boy), the world, and FREEDOM (from parents especially)! So, our Little Mermaid and animal whisperer is now a fully fledged human.

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So, where is the little girl who always had to be by my side . . . wanting to read book after book at bedtime so that I wouldn’t leave her room . . . needing to hold my hand until she fell asleep . . . crying at the back door as I left for work every night . . .

I always knew where she was . . . what made her happy and sad . . . how she felt . . . if she was eating . . . what she was eating . . . who her friends were and if they were treating her well . . .

I thought this was supposed to be a more gradual progression of pulling away but, with a two-month countdown, it feels like it all happened over night! How did she become so headstrong (ok, all of my friends are laughing at me now!) and determined to control her own destiny once the training wheels just came off her bike?

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I keep reminding myself of how incredibly independent I was at her age, but it doesn’t make it any easier! It doesn’t help when other parents tell me what a great job I’ve done creating such a strong, smart, talented, independent young woman. It only makes me feel like I’ve given her the skills to swim away faster, sooner. To watch her rebellion, joy, and determination to become more adventurous, successful, and independent is gratifying, terrifying, and painful all at the same time.

KK15So, I know we’re all told this when our Mermaids are little . . . but we don’t seem to believe the progression is going to happen as quickly for us. When you’re exhausted from work and just want to get some sleep, stay in their room a little longer and read a few more books. Hold their hands as often and as long as you can. Plan as much time off as you can to spend with them. Show them what love looks like so, when they head out into the world, their expectations are high! Quick story: recently, when a boy was not good to my daughter, she told him as much! He turned around and called her “salty” . . . HA . . . of course she is!  She’s a Mermaid . . . don’t mess with her!

So, to my friends and colleagues . . . come the beginning of September . . . I might need to talk a little longer (I think Wendi is already tired of me in the host room when she’s trying to prep her shows), reach out for your hand or a hug more frequently, and might become even more of a “Mama Bear” . . . coz’ my Little Mermaid has hit land and is in a full-on run now.

KK16Thought you’d enjoy this photo of my daughter with Santa Chuck. If Santa Chuck gets his wish, she’ll become a Philly Girl! HA!

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