Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Craft Shows - Cash for your Stash!

Craft Shows have for years been a great way to make a little money to support your bead "habit." You can sell the extra jewelry you are no longer "in love" with, make jewelry specifically to sell at the show, or make samples and take orders. And craft shows are coming back with a vengence. The economic crash of a couple of years ago had some benefits for new people wanting to get started selling their jewelry: Many of the smaller craft shows that had cropped up didn't survive, and they took with them many "hobbiests" who had jumped on the craft show bandwagon.

Did you know that a Craft Show was the beginning of 1 Stop Bead Shop? Back in the day, before I opened 1 Stop Bead Shop, I was just happily learning to make jewelry for myself. My back yard neighbor asked me to come do a craft show for her church fundraiser. When I told her I had never made jewelry to sell before, she said, "Well, get busy." Two things happened at that craft show: 1) I talked to other vendors who gave me a list of some of the best craft shows. 2) After taking quite a few orders, I went to Byzantium to get all the supplies I needed and discovered I needed beads I could not always get there. That need, to have more beads than I could get locally, is what grew into the idea of 1 Stop Bead Shop just a few months later.

Here are a few pointers I can
give you if you're thinking about doing craft shows:

HOW to Find them
1) Contact local schools and ask if they are hosting any craft shows in the fall. Ask them for the contact information for the coordinator.
2) Churches often host craft shows or rent their facilities to other orgnizations for their craft shows.
3) The internet has scores of lists of craft shows.
4) Large companies often host shopping events for their employees. Ask your friends if their company does this. They can refer you to the contact person.
5) Schools will sometimes allow you to set up in the teacher break room. Start with your own school where they know you. And always be nice to the secretary. If she's excited about it, you're golden.
6) Ask your friends if they'll host a private showing for you and invite their friends. Giving her a complementary or highly discounted piece of jewelry is always a welcome incentive.

Some DO's & Don'ts for a Successful Craft Show:
1) DO display your jewelry beautifully. It will sell for more and attract more attention if you give it a high quality look.
2) Don't do 1st time craft shows. They are often not well advertised and don't have a following yet. When in doubt, ask.
3) DO ask if you can have an "exclusive" and be the only jewelry vendor there. If not, ask them if they at least have a limit.
4) Don't forget to take change with you - Ones & Fives. If you price everything in even dollar amounts you won't need small change.
5) DO keep a record of your sales & be sure to get the buyer's name and email so can let them know about other craft shows and new designs they'll like.
6) DO get into juried craft shows if you can. A juried craft show is when you have to submit samples of your intended wares to be voted on by a committee. These shows tend to be longer running with higher end merchandise which attracts clientelle who come to spend rather than just gather ideas, and have better advertising drawing larger crowds.
7) DO your homework. Do as much research as you can about Craft shows. The internet is full of sites that will give you great pointers and ideas. Sometimes an idea you never expect will be the goose that lays the golden egg. Here are a couple with some worthwhile pointers:

How to Sell at Craft Fairs
Get Your Craft Show Business off the Ground

Good luck in your Jewelry Business. It has brought me years of enjoyment. Come back to the 1 Stop Bead Shop Blog in the weeks to come for more ideas on how to make money doing the craft you love!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Class Levels & What to Bring to a 1 Stop Bead Shop Class

You may have noticed that we like teaching classes at 1 Stop Bead Shop. In fact, 1 Stop Bead Shop offers more jewelry making classes than most area stores combined. We have been offering over 90 classes per quarter for over 6 years now. With all those classes, there is a lot of information we have to communicate in a very limited space. So occasionally questions come up. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked ones:

Class Levels – What they mean & why they are important to you:

Level 1 – Beginning – Open to all students. No previous knowledge required. All the basics will be covered and the class will be gently paced.
Level 2 – Beginning/Intermediate - Open to all students - Some previous knowledge or the ability to pick up new techniques easily suggested. Some basics will still be covered, but these classes will move more quickly beyond the basics and the techniques learned will be somewhat more challenging. This level is often assigned to beginning classes that will not be completed in the space of time of the class. No pre-requisite experience required.
Level 3 – IntermediatePre-requisite experience in a similar skill set required. This level of class will require that you know the basic skill sets and will move quickly into an exciting new challenge for the advancing beader.
Level 4 – Intermediate/Advanced – Pre-requisite classes or experience required.
Level 5 – Advanced – For the student who wants to learn the secrets of the artists!

Q. Can I take a level 3 class if I have not had the Pre-requisite?
a. No. Pre-requisites are listed to ensure that you and your fellow students have the most positive experience possible. If you are struggling for lack of the necessary skills, your experience will be frustrating and you will take valuable instructor time away from students who are ready for the next step.
Q. How do I ensure that I am in the appropriate level class?
a. Refer to the schedule or class description on-line and inquire with store personnel if you are still unsure. 1 Stop Bead Shop personnel does not screen students to ensure pre-requisite knowledge. Our philosophy is that we provide as much information as possible to allow the student to make an informed choice.

Q. Will I finish my project in class?
a. With the exception of the most basic Level 1 classes, many classes will NOT finish in class. Because of the nature of most bead weaving classes, often the bulk of the time in a project is spent repeating the stitch to the desired length. In order to keep the instructor cost as reasonable as possible, most of our classes are 2.5 to 3 hour classes. All instructors provide written instructions and design their classes so that you have learned how to add the finishes at home once you have completed the project.
b. Classes that require use of a torch or kiln will generally complete the project in class, but it may need to remain in the store until it is kiln fired, or cools.

Q. Will I receive written instructions?
a. Yes. All 1 Stop instructors provide written instructions so that you will be able to complete the project and/or make more later.

Tools & Materials to bring to class

Q. What should I bring to class?
a. Tools
b. Beads or materials – unless kit is indicated
c. Glasses, magnification, task light – if you need/want.

Q. How do I know if the class requires me to bring my own beads?
a. The printed class schedule and the class description on the website will say “Kit” or “Materials.” Sometimes it will indicate both, which means there is a partial kit, but also materials you should bring.

Q. Where can I find the list of tools/materials needed for class?
a. Contact store personnel – via email, phone or in person – and a complete list will be provided. Materials lists are generally avail 3-4 weeks in advance.

Q. Does 1 Stop Bead Shop provide the tools for class?
a. Generally NO – 1 Stop Bead Shop does not provide tools for classes. – 1 Stop Bead Shop has the philosophy that you are learning to do a technique that you cannot repeat at home unless you own the tools.
b. Exceptions:
i. Beginning Lampwork – we provide everything. If you want to buy the tool kit, it is available for purchase after class.
ii. Kumihimo on the Marudai – You may rent the marudai for the class. If you decide to purchase, rental fee applies to purchase.
iii. Specialty classes – Unusual classes that require tools you are not likely to already own. Torch classes often fall into this category.

Q. Can I borrow tools for the class?
a. 1 Stop Bead Shop has a limited number of tool sets available to share in class. These are provided as a courtesy for those who may have forgotten theirs or have not yet decided which ones to purchase. Depending on the size of the class, tools could be shared between 4-5 students.

Q. Why isn’t there a kit for every class?
a. A lot of 1 Stop Bead Shop students already own many beads that they would like to use in their class projects.
b. Advanced classes sometimes have creativity options that allow you to alter the design.

Q. Can I bring my own beads if the class schedule says “Kit.”
a. No. If the class schedule indicates “Kit” then a kit purchase is required. When kits are required it is generally for 1 of 2 reasons:
i. It is a very beginner class and kits are made available to simplify the often daunting task of choosing and matching colors.
ii. It is imperative to use the “exact” thing that the sample was made with in order that the project work correctly – ie. Size of bead, bead hole size, size of jump ring, gauge or type of wire, etc.

Q. Does 1 Stop Bead Shop guarantee the EXACT same beads or colorway that was used in the class sample?
a. No. Beads come and go. With the exception of a few brands (Swarovski beads, most Japanese Seed Beads, Vintaj, Tierra Cast) most beads are made at the whim of the designer/bead maker. Additionally, manufacturers don’t always have all of their beads in stock either, and they also discontinue shapes and colors. Think of it like a clothing store - you do not expect them to carry every size in every color forever.
b. 1 Stop Bead Shop’s guarantee is that we will have everything you need to complete the project successfully, and will offer you as much variety as possible if choices are appropriate for the project.

Other Misc. Class Questions:

Q. I’ve seen a class in your store and now I’m ready to take it, but don’t see it any more. Can I still take it?
a. Perhaps. Let the staff know what you want. We can add you to a wishlist, or suggest a private class.

Q. Does 1 Stop Bead Shop offer private classes?
a. Private classes can be coordinated if:
i. No class is being offered (or will be in the near future) that teaches the skill you want to learn – provided we have an instructor who knows the technique and is willing to arrange for a private class.
ii. You want to learn multiple techniques in a condensed period of time.
b. Private class fees are $45 an hour w/ a 2 hour minimum, and are by appointment only.

1 Stop Bead Shop just released our BRAND NEW Summer Class Schedule. Click on the link and sign up for a class today. Find out why 1 Stop Bead Shop is your Beaducation Headquarters in Central Ohio.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making the World a Better Place One Person at a Time

I just read 2 things yesterday that got me to thinking and inspired me to share them with you.
The first one was in a Blog article about my very good friend Alexa McCallister, and the 2nd was a book... more about that in a minute. What caught my attention in Alexa's story is how her mother started her from the tender age of 6 by teaching her to talk to the wait staff when she was out to dinner. She taught her how to ask them questions about themselves with the goal of teaching her daughter to socialize. But what Lex's mother accomplished that was even more important than Lex's ability to socialize, was how to find the value in every person she meets. Today, Lex has built a career of connecting people because she intuitively sees how they can help each other.
There is a connectivity thread in life, and when we begin to see it our lives start to have a larger vision and generally make more sense. Alexa's story put me in mind of my father, who always talked with the waitresses, "entertaining" them with his silly iced tea joke, and finding out about their lives. Some kids might have been embarrased, but for me, it was fun watching Daddy comfortably talk with everyone he met. I never realized (and he probably didn't either) that he was training me to pay attention to people. Without realizing that it was a "learned" behavior, I have gotten to know a lot of servers, clerks, even bathroom cleaning people over the years, just by smiling at them and starting a casual chit chat. I did it because I genuinely like people - getting to know about their lives. But there was a residual effect that I was less aware of until recently - it's possible that my little acts of friendliness made the other person's day a little better too.

The more I have put this front of mind, the more I have realized how hungry we all are for connectivity, recognition, a feeling of worth, a smile, a friend, being noticed. And the more I realized that, the more I realized how much POWER we all have to Make the World a Better Place One Person at a Time. My husband does this a Christmas time. A few years ago he recognized that clerks get a lot of abuse by grumpy, inconsiderate shoppers at that time of year. He made a conscious decion that he was going to smile and give a cheery greeting to every clerk he encountered. Some of them have been genuinely surprised - imagine!
Trying to put it into even more practice in my life than just talking to the people who are taking my dinner order, I have found myself thanking the person who is clearning the public bathroom while I'm in there. If you want to see someone look surprised, just try that sometime. They are surprised you even SEE them, let alone speak to them.

One of the things I believe in strongly is that "You get what you focus on."
I recognized that occurring again yesterday when I went to Barnes & Noble for a book that they did not have in stock. Wanting something to read, I spotted a book I had heard about before from Action Coach - The Fred Factor. As soon as I read the dust cover, I KNEW it was the book for me. I haven't even finished it yet, but I highly recommend it to everyone. It's the TRUE story of a US Postal carrier named Fred who made everyone's life around him better by focusing on how he could best fill their individual needs as their postal carrier. As I read how he did it, I was inspired to make that my life's mission - To Make the World a Better Place One Person at a Time - by noticing them, talking to them, acknowledging them, smiling at them, listening to them, being kind to them, helping them, being polite to them.

We've all had experiences like this, whether it was from the giving end or the receiving end. It made me wonder, what would our little corner of the world look like at the end of 2012 if EACH of us just started focusing on the people who are all around us. So my challenge to all of the super-nice people I know who shop at 1 Stop Bead Shop, is what can you do today, tomorrow, and each day after to Make the World a Better Place One Person at a Time?

I want to hear your stories - stories that have happened to you - stories of simple little ways that you made someone's day better today. Won't you please take a moment and share your stories here or on our 1 Stop Bead Shop Facebook page? How cool would it be if we started our own little 1 Stop Bead Shop "Better World" movement? Just a quiet little movement of noticing and being nice to everyone around us....

What's your story?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stephanie's Ode to An Ugly Necklace - In honor of our Ugly Necklace Contest

Ode To An Ugly Necklace

My so-called "ugly necklace" has quite grown on me.
It's hideousness bewitching.
Clumsy - yes.
Awkward - a bit.
But, on my neck, a perfect fit.

With it on I feel like a goddess,
The stares -- they don't faze me.
Though I must be particularly careful
The Fashion Police don’t charge a fee.

Critics call my work "over-zealous,"
But I think they are just jealous.
"Principles of Composition,"
Oh please!
Beauty is what the beholder sees.

(Inspired by: Kimberly Dods' An Ode to My Ugly Necklace - Peralta, New Mexico)

Voting for the 1 Stop Bead Shop Ugly Necklace Contest extended through Easter weekend 2012. Stop in today and support your favorite "Ugly" Necklace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's in a Trunk Show

I remember the first time I heard the term "Trunk Show."
I was a neophyte beader and didn't know that such a wonder existed. I tend to see pictures in my head, so this is what popped into my head first:

I could just as easily have seen this:

Or this:

Not sure I would have seen this - it gives new meaning to Trunk "show":

But THIS is what you're going to see:
And even though pictures do speak a thousand words, let me speak just a few more:

Fantastic Sale Specials - to be announced at show!

Thousands of bead strands - Visit our website for product listing.

2 DAYS ONLY! - They bring the beads to us and take them home. NO HOLD OVER DAYS for this show.

Friday & Saturday, March 30 & 31, 2012
10:00 - 6:00 Both Days