Win a $25 Gift Voucher!

Subscribe! 1 winner/month

Socialize with Us!

Socialize with Us! Google Plus Follow us on Twitter

Share this Page

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn


Buy our Beads on Etsy


Top-100 Award

Bead blog top 100

Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


Search This Site


bsue 225x300This week we introduce Brenda Sue Lansdowne, owner of B'sue Boutiques--on the Web since 1997. If you're interested in Mixed Media, New Vintage, Five and Dime Style, and/or Assemblage jewelry/art, this is a key person to get to know. B'sue sells quality jewelry supplies, instructional videos, and one of the most active creative communities I've run across on Facebook.

Brenda Sue is a dynamo, and her story is inspiring. She was in her very late 20's when she started her business. As she reminisces, she said she did it with a twenty dollar bill and a baby boy on her hip. Together they traveled around to every auction, flea market, junk hole and antiques mall they could, buying up boxlots of glass and china, bags of old quilting fabric and stashes of paper ephemera. Her education came from those boxlots, as she would look everything up the best she could in old antiques and collectables books. Those were the days before you could get information with the click of a mouse.

She had a few inexpensive selling spaces and she paid her dues selling at both indoor and outdoor flea markets. Finally she realized that her best bet was to reach out to those outside her area via the pages of THE ANTIQUE TRADER WEEKLY. Advertising in the TRADER helped her to recognize trends and learn more about the business she was growing to love. The very first ad she wrote for the TRADER netted her 800.00 in sales. It was then she knew she had found her niche! She also knew it would take years of hard work to get the business viable enough to be able to quit her 'day job' as a cleaning lady. Her cleaning business was successful, but it didn't feed her soul. She felt she HAD to make it as an antique dealer.

In her area at the time, there was quite a lot of old costume jewelry to be had, and as a rabid reader of the TRADER, she knew there was a good market for it. So she began to offer it to dealers, via an approval box. What's an approval box, you ask? It worked this way: People would give her a call and tell her what they were looking for. They would then give her their credit info, and she'd send them a boxlot of maybe $4-500.00 worth of vintage jewelry to look at. They could buy one piece, all of it, or none of it. Buyers could check the boxes for items they wanted to keep, while letting her process the credit card for the amount of what was kept.

Along the way, one of her customers who also promoted craft shows sent Brenda Sue photos of things she and other folks were making, as well as a box of junk to play with. And about the same time, a lady she did cleaning for challenged her to make a brooch from some old buttons. And that began her journey beyond jewelry sales and into jewelry making. She began to sell some of her creations at high school crafts shows and outdoor markets for crafts, and did well. The more she made and the more she traveled around doing shows, the more she realized how driven she was to have a creative lifestyle. And in the meantime, she was thrilled that people were buying her work. LOTS of it.

bsue2 298x300Eventually she did hundreds of crafts shows and home parties. All she did was make jewelry, day and night. When she wasn't making it, she was schlepping it. By 1993, she had a wholesale company making charm and button jewelry with employees to help her get the jewelry made and shipped. Together they created a 300 piece line which was picked up by sales reps from coast to coast. They came to have about 500 store accounts who bought their line: mostly florists, small gift shops, tourist shops, small department stores, a few catalog companies, and hospital gift shops.

Eventually she entered the Internet realm, beginning to do large, one of a kind pieces and selling them on Ebay. She also went back to selling vintage jewelry to shops as well as at Ebay. A colleague met online mentioned it might be a good time for her to begin selling some of the components she used in her own work. Why not? So her first website opened in 1997. It was a text-only page where she sold things like Simichrome, Sunshine Cloths and Hypotube Cement, as well as bags of vintage stones for repairs of old jewelry.

In an amazing and wonderful twist to Brenda Sue's story, her grown son, Jordan (the 'baby on the hip' from years ago), got intensively engaged in B'sue Boutiques when he began to home school in 10th grade, and he worked with her up through college. Today he is her business partner, and as she says, has been there for her in one way or another, every step of the journey.

B'Sue Boutiques hosts an annual workshop every May that lasts a long weekend, held at Das Dutch Haus in Columbiana, Ohio. They feature assemblage, metal colorization and/or polymer clay. They also do sessions on Responsible Repurposing, which is determining what vintage jewelry has some worth and should not be made into something else, but sold in order to fund jewelry making businesses. Usually there is some polymer clay play, too. There is usually room for 35-38 in the workshop.

The rest of the year, you can interface with B'Sue & her followers via her Facebook group:

B'Sue Boutiques Creative Group

and... her web site:

B'Sue Boutiques

and...her Etsy shop:


Note the Creative Group is one of the best groups for mixed media jewelry making on Facebook, where creativity is number one along with nurturing, sharing and kindness! You can also share photos of your work....and many times Brenda Sue promotes those photos in social media, at Pinterest and in their special inspiration album:

Shown in this post are just a couple of Brenda Sue's amazing creations. Aren't they lovely?!!

Until Next Time,






+1 # Brenda Sue 2015-11-28 04:10
Thank you so much Sheila for the article and for introducing our large mixed media jewelry making group at Facebook, B'sue Boutiques Creative Group, in your blog! So kind of you!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Karen Eaton 2015-11-28 05:19
Great blog post! As part of the B'Sue Boutiques Creative Group, I am constantly inspired by the very talented Brenda and others in the group. Thanks for featuring our mentor!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Jann Tague 2015-11-28 05:23
I love Brenda .. she is such a talanted lady ..
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Catherine S. 2015-11-28 05:37
CONGRATS Brenda! Wonderful telling of your story! :)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Catherine S. 2015-11-28 05:38
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Belinda 2015-11-28 05:40
Such a wonderful lady and friend, she is very giving of her time and knowledge. I am truly grateful to her for all the new techniques I have learned from her and her wonderful team of talented jewelry artists. This is truly the best group on the Internet. :D
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Somclaughlin 2015-11-28 07:07
Thank you for commenting, Belinda! And I agree, it's such a great group with a phenomenal leader!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Monica Rangne 2015-11-28 08:43
A wonderful and well written blog on our wonderful and beloved B'Sue!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Susan Bowerman 2015-11-28 11:36
What a pleasure to see that Brenda gets the "shout out" she deserves. She so generously shares her experience with us over at the B'Sue Creative Group, and her inspiration has opened many creative doors. She is an amazing mentor, talented artist, and a great friend. Wonderful blog post!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Deb Beechy 2015-11-28 13:59
Thanks for the article on Bsue. I bought sunshine cloths, etc from her years ago. I was fortunate to meet her at her annual workshops. She's a very special lady.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Shari Gardner 2015-11-28 16:26
What a wonderful article, representing what those of us that know her through her facebook group have known all along. Brenda Sue is an amazingly strong person and has the most generous heart of anyone I have ever met. I am proud to be a part of her facebook group and I am a loyal customer of B'Sue's Boutique where she sells the "good stuff."
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Nancy Ayers 2015-11-29 01:18
B'sue is a wonderful person and mentor! I feel so grateful to be part of B'suw Creative Group on FB. I'm learning by leaps and bounds and have made wonderful friends! And...I won't shop anywhere else for my materials as her quality is tops. Thanks for this wonderful article! She deserves it!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # sheila @ thebead 2015-11-29 13:03
Everyone, thank you so much for your kind comments here at the site -- and Brenda Sue, thank you for welcoming them to check in! This has been one of the most active discussions I've had at the site -- I can tell you are most admired and appreciated! And deservedly so, given all the support you give to others. I hope we meet in person someday. :-)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # ianke 2015-11-29 16:06
Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of B- Sue. Being a member of the Creative Group on FB, I have learnt so much by Brenda's videos and from the other members in that group. It is the most caring and nice members you will meet there.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # somclaughlin thebead 2015-11-29 17:27
Thanks so much for your comment!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Leila West 2015-11-29 23:51
Wonderful blog post. I have learned so much from Brenda!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # so mclaughlin 2015-11-30 00:11
Thank you, Leila!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2015-12-01 01:36
When I was floundering around trying to learn to design handmade jewelry someone gave me the You Tube sight for Brenda Sue's vast amount of jewelry making videos. I was in heaven!! She is the most giving and sharing gal in the world. I was able to go to one of her weekend classes and got to meet her in person. She is a fabulous mentor and jewelry designer. Love you Brenda Sue! xoxoxo
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # So mclaughlin 2015-12-01 01:45
Thank you, Ellen and Everyone!

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Rosa Lee Jensen 2015-12-25 16:37
I am just now discovering this blog and read the article on Brenda Sue Lansdowne. I am in the FB group and this article is fabulous. Great Article!!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # somclaughlin 2015-12-25 19:16
Thank you so much, Rosa Lee! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Renee Hong 2015-12-26 00:56
I never tire of B'sue's story. She is one of the most hard-working, generous, talented and fun people I know! I feel very blessed to have found her online many years ago, and love participating in the Creative group on FB. Great blog post!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
Copyright © 2018 The Bead Collection. All Rights Reserved.