Sunday, August 26, 2012

What's New and What's Been New

I'll begin with this Summer.  We just showed at our local Blues Festival here in Wheeling, WV.  I post about it on The Desert Beckons face page.  Check it out.  This was our 4th year setting up at this festival.  Here in Wheeling we have this beautiful river front area where all sorts of events take place.  The Blues Festival - - is one of the grooviest events there.  Last year, Buddy Guy closed the show - Buddy Guy is a Blues legend, ICYDK.  I didn't.  I was in awe of this dude, 74 years old, playing the guitar, singing, makin people stand up, sit down, listen...He moved me, he moved the crowd - well, not really, people were glued to their seats with their mouths open - locked jawed.  It was spectacular.  This year, an equally impressive line up.  The Robert Cray Band closed the Friday show.  Kenny Wayne Shephard Band closed the show on Sunday.  The music is so good and I'm such a novice about who's who and all I can say is - come to this show.  You will not be disappointed.  The venue is intimate, the food is good, there's a chance to meet & greet with the musicians and we vendors get to sell stuff and enjoy a great 3 day concert.  A concert that people drive over 10 hours to attend.  The dude that puts it all together, Bruce Wheeler, is a magician, I don't know how he does it.  He's a sweetheart of a guy, makes everyone happy, makes everyone feel important, and enjoys himself during the concert.  Love his family too, they're all in it with him, it's a family affair.  He's very cool.  The people that come to his show are Blues fans, these are people with soul and heart.  I love these people.  Here's a pic of our booth from 2 years ago. 

More good news:  Bain and I visit St. John, USVI every year.  We got married down there in 1995.  We love it.  I love the people.  We've made the trip every year since '94 and have met so many cool people.  There's a shop down there called 'Tall Ship Trading Company' and it's run by Jo and Eliot.  They've been on island for 30 years or so.  They print t-shirts for themselves and local businesses on the island.  This year, Jo asked me if I'd be interested in selling some of my jewelry in the shop.  I picked my jaw up off the floor and said, "Uh huh!, um, yeah, I'd like that"  So I developed a line for her and sent it on down.  The pic I used in yesterdays blog is one of the pieces.  The necklaces are put together with a lampwork bead that has a large hole.  The hole is big enough so that it can be strung on the the Pandora bracelets - and they were designed with a petroglyph and colors that evoke the Caribe.  The bead is threaded onto deerskin lace - USA, of course - and include a Sterling Silver ring - handmade by me with gemstones that compliment the colors of the lampwork bead.  You have to call TallShip Trading Company for pricing - I also developed some earring lines - one has an abalone shell feeling and one has Larimar (the stone of the Caribbean) made up with Sterling Silver. 
I'm so jacked up when I think a part of me is on the island at this moment.  It's been a goal of mine to get there - even part time - and knowing I'm there right now makes me very happy and very proud. 
I'll post some pics of the some of the pieces.
Take care of yourself.  Never let your dreams go.  Let the Universe figure out how it's gonna happen - just keep planning and doing.

Yours in Rocks and Beads,  Kathy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Progress - And How To Keep Your Dream Alive!

Well, as you know, it's been a very long time since my last post.  I'd love to be consistent with the blog.  I desire to blog about a different mineral and it's metaphysical properties each day.  And I will.  I will.
 What I've been busy doing is running the shop.  Retail.  Daily maintenance.  Whew!  It's exhausting.  Before I became a business owner, I spent my entire day producing - for other people.  I was successful.  I was a producer. I came in, I produced, I went home.  I was a representative - for them.  I produced, for them.  What I didn't do was sweep the floor, fill in backstock, clean the bathroom, change lightbulbs, change the ink in the printer, go to the bank, make signage....blah blah blah....This is the part of owning your own business that stinks.  It's no fun.  And it never ends.  If you don't do it, it won't get done.  If it doesn't get done - you'll look like a hack.  And even if you do get it done - sometimes..., you'll look like a hack.  You better have a good sense of humor.  You better be able to let some things go.  You better have a burning desire to keep going - tomorrow, I'll get that done... Tomorrow, I'll finish that project.  Tomorrow, I will shine brighter than I did today.  Tomorrow, I will make more money.  Tomorrow - I promise. 
   The shop has been busy.  New customers are finding the store - every week someone new! 
I'm not going to promise I'll keep this blog up regularly, but I will promise to give you excellent customer service when you come in to the store.  I'm still offering cool things that you can't find in your regular haunts.  I'm still so very grateful for your consideration and your patronage.  I hope you all are doing well in your lives and I hope to see you one day very soon.  Kathy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"I've Never Been In a Bead Shop"

I am often asked the question "Do you sell beads by the strand?"
No, we do not (currently) sell beads by the strand. When I started the bead shop, I knew I would have to specialize. Our retail square footage is limited so when I began selling beads, I knew I wanted to offer a product that the customer would be excited about and could not find out in the market already. The Desert Beckons Bead Shop specializes in stone beads. I have been using stone beads in my jewelry making since the 80's and I guessed that other customers would want the opportunity to use semi precious stones in their creations as well.

A lot of jewelry makers are used to big box retailers - big box craft stores - big box fabric stores - big box on line catalog retailers. These outlets offer a wide selection of beads that are packaged in quantities for purchase. The big on line catalog retailers offer the same and also beads by the strand. But, how much are you spending when you make a purchase? If your interest is making a pair of earrings, for instance, how much product do you have to buy to complete your desired result? How much product is left over after your project is finished? How often do you reuse the remaining product just to justify the initial expenditure? How often are you sucked into spending over your budget simply to obtain the 10% off that on line catalog offers?

Let's do some math....Your project is a pair of earrings.
You will need: 1 pair of ear wires
2 head pins
(?) a quantity of beads to thread onto the head pins to achieve your design
.....the amount of beads you choose will vary depending on the desired
There are variables that effect the cost: the metal you choose - Sterling Silver, Brass, Copper,
Gunmetal, Pewter
the choice of stone bead - Aquamarine will be more
expensive than Agate
the choice of using faceted glass beads as opposed to
Swarovski Crystal
Your Choice - always.
You determine the cost.
When your project is complete, you will have a pair of earrings that you designed in the price range that is comfortable for your budget - and there is no extra product sitting in your bead box.
You have not over spent - you have not bought extra product that will go wasted -

The Desert Beckons Bead Shop offers the best quality stone beads. I strive to buy A quality product. The stone beads are genuine - not dyed - not epoxied - and the price per bead is competitive. I have done the homework. I keep up on the prices and offerings of these big companies. I shop other bead stores to compare my pricing and I beat them - bead for bead!

A bead shop can save you money. Compare the pricing in my store against any strand pricing. You will purchase less, spend less and the best'll select your own stone beads for your project.

We also offer other beads - glass, wood, shell, porcelain, etc.

Don't be intimidated by paying for each bead! You'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality and unique offerings that bead shops stock!

Happy Beading!

Yours in rocks and beads,