Well, folks, the 'mini-survey' is complete -- on how often we should do the blog posts. We only got a few responses -- mostly very kind people saying if it was too much work we could do them once a month or every two weeks. And a couple of very kind people who said 'do them as often as possible'! So having chewed it over a bit, we're thinking we'll keep up the weekly posts for a while at least, and maybe we will continue to get thoughts on this important subject. We don't want to annoy anybody, but on the other hand, there are so many things to cover in our WONDERFUL WORLD OF BEADS (!!) we can sure continue to do something every week for some time.
In mulling all this over, it seemed it might be a good idea to give you all a reminder of who we are, and invite you to tell us more about YOU so we can better address your interests. Our main goal is to give you what you're looking for -- info on jewelry components, design, distinctive beads and gemstones, selling venues, buying venues, being a jewelry entrepreneur, and more. So please, please, please post comments at the web site when you read the posts (or in LinkedIn or Facebook or Pinterest or wherever you see us) and let us get to know you better!
And in the meantime, here's a bit about us --
We are a mother-daughter team, Sheila and Shannon -- about 3 years into our new lives that revolve around BEADS. What drove us to enter this crazy lifestyle is different for both of us, and here's how it goes.
Ever since I was old enough to hold a bead, I was fascinated with them. When I was only two, I pried one off of a necklace of my mother's and put it up my nose! I think I imagined it was magic and would give me supernatural powers! Little did I know then how many people believe that stone beads, at least, have special influence and healing properties. The bead I had chosen at the age of two, interestingly, was turquoise – said to be a stone of 'wholeness and truth'. I don't think I could get much closer to two of the values I hold most dearly. As I grew up, I discovered a universe of more interesting beads, and learned more about their history and evolution. Whether made from shells, animal teeth, animal claws or seeds, historians believe the earliest beadwork was for religious purposes and was thought to protect the wearer from evil – or to attract good fortune. And since those times, all around the world, people have developed new materials for beads, from clay, brass, and paper to glass, stone, metal and wood. When I use such components in my own work, what I look for most is that individually crafted bead or pendant that can be the star attraction of any type of adornment. I'm also a big collector, with a weakness for semi-precious and precious gemstones. I go crazy for Ruby beads, Diamond beads, and exotic stuff like Sugalite, Malachite, Labradorite, Opals, and more. Other posts about me on our searchable blog site (www.thebead.net) include:
I remember when Shannon put that bead up her nose! The incident was a bit more terrifying for me as a novice mom, as I fretted it would work its way into her brain and harm her somehow. Thankfully, her dad came home shortly after and tricked her into blowing it out, then handed it over to me to put someplace safer, i.e., out of her reach! But seriously, I had a true connection to that stone bead myself. The necklace had originally held a peridot bead. Peridots are known for providing an inner sense of warmth and well-being, and as an aid in attracting and creating our most important inner visions. That bead had been lost for some time, and Shannon's dad had glued the turquoise one in the necklace to replace it. I think somehow the entire incident, as well as the energy from the stones themselves, may have led us to the journey we are on with The Bead Collection. I too share a fascination (well, maybe an obsession) with beads, and wherever I go I look for the most exotic and interesting of beads. The collection seems to have developed a 'healing spirit' of its own, with each bead associated with special memories or impressions of Malaysia, Japan, India, Australia, and more.
Our Home Base – Corrales
Though we started the business in Santa Fe (and you can still read about that on the 'About Us' page on the web site, since we haven't updated that yet), we are currently working out of Corrales, New Mexico, a wonderful rural area and farming community -- and lucky us -- it bumps up against Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, so we have both the joys of country life and all the resources big cities can bring -- all within a 10 minute (or so) drive. We work out of the house, distributing primarily on the web through our Etsy shop, but also participating in local and regional bead fests and craft fairs. The jewelry making side is done right at home too, on home-made work benches or at the kitchen table. Sheila is retired and has more time to spend on the marketing and blog, but has no (apparent) talent for jewelry design -- that's Shannon's gift. And in addition to Shannon's jewelry making, she's the resident expert on gemstones, having studied with the Gemological Institute of America and worked in the jewelry/gemstone field for many years.
Here are a few more prior posts from the web site that talk about some of our adventures in the biz -- lessons learned, amazing beads found, bead history we've learned, and more -- just a sampling of the kind of FREE information you receive WEEKLY (!!) if you sign up for the FREE blog newsletter. (Do that by entering your e-mail and clicking the 'SUBSCRIBE' button on the web site.)
Until Next Time & With Great Fondness for our Friends & Fans,
Sheila & Shannon