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Getting Started Beading: Beading Q And A (8/29/2011)

2011 August 29

Susan asks…

Bead Supplies, Learn to Make Beaded Jewelry

So Many Bead Supplies!

Beaded Jewelry?

I love beads and would like to start making beaded jewelry and things. I have no experience in doing this. Is there a website or book or anything that is very easy to get me started and work my way up to bracelets and other things?

BeadGal answers:

I will give you some ideas on how to get started on beaded jewelry and what you need to get to make it.

Tools – 2 chain nose pliers, 1 round nose pliers, 1 crimp pliers, 1 flat nose pliers, split ring pliers, 1 wire cutters, rulers, beads needles, tweezer, scissor, glue, bead board organizer, bead trays or bead organizer.

Findings – Assorted head pins, jump rings, split rings, crimps, assorted ear wires and post, assorted clasps, clamshells and end caps.

Threads, cords and wire – Nylon thread, Nymo thread, Kevlar thread, Elastic cord, nylon cord, satin cord, leather cord, Stainless steel wire such as “Accu-flex, Soft Flex, Soft Touch, Beadalon, etc.

Beads – there are all kinds of beads that you find them at store and online. You might want to do some research on it.

Books – “Jewelry Making and Beads for Dummies”, “Beading For The First Time”, “Beader’s Companion”, The Encyclopedia of Beading Techniques”, “Big Book of Beautiful Beads”, “Complete Beading Jewelry and Accessories”, and Basic Jewelry Making”.

You will have to do some research on what book is right for you to understand.

To shop for bead:

Stores – Hobby Lobby, Joann’s Craft and Fabric, Michael’s Craft.

Online –,,,,,,, and

Magazines – Bead and Button, Jewelry Crafts, Simply Beads, BeadWork, Bead Unique and BeadStyle.

I hope this has help. Good luck.

Maria asks…

I live in Hampton Roads in VA & want to find a store to sell my handcrafted beaded crystal jewelry. Any ideas?

My jewelry features Swarovski crystals, but includes all types of beads and I sell at a Crafters Market now…I am interested in Arts & Crafts Shows, gift shops, consignment stores, etc.

BeadGal answers:

There are lots of different types of stores out there who carry different styles of products AND there is lots of jewelry out there for sale. In finding where and to who to sell your jewelry to, you will have to narrow your market down. If you try to cater to what everyone wants then your market is too open and competition stiff.

Everyone has different tastes and you won’t be able to satisfy them all. So try to target the market that YOU would like to design your jewelry for.

As part of your market research you will need to know what is the profile of your typical customer (i.e. Age, sex, location, interests, education, etc.)? In investigating your potential customers, you must consider who will wear your jewelry.

In finding the answers to these questions ask yourself: Who do you think would probably buy your jewelry, or who are you making your designs for? For example do you want to reach sophisticated, professionals? Young and funky? Everyday or party wear?

If you are using a lot of Swarovski and pearls what about bridal or prom jewelry?

Once you have identified who your customers are, or to whom your jewelry is appealing, you can then cater to the taste of this typical customer and seek the best ways to reach him or her.

The next questions now are: How do you plan to distribute your jewelry to your customers (i.e. Craft shows, wholesale to retail outlets, specialty shops, your studio shop, holiday boutiques, party plan, website, etc.)? How will you inform customers about your jewelry?

Also in your market research you need to know what your competition is doing. You will learn more about what is selling where, to whom, and at what prices by carefully observing the competition. Surf the net, attend as many shows, go to as many stores, and seek out as many other points of sale as you can for the same style of jewelry as you wish to market. Then ask yourself: Can customers easily get what you make from someone else, perhaps at a lower price than what you would have to charge to make a profit? Is your jewelry unique or is the market already saturated with the style of jewelry you want to make? Like I said earlier competition is stiff so your designs have to be unique!

Before you approach a clothing boutique check them out first. What styles and colors are they selling this season? Make some samples of your jewelry that would match great with the clothes the shop is selling. A shop owner will most likely want jewelry and accessories that match their current inventory.

If you are looking for craft shows the best way to find small local ones will be through your local newspaper, community center or town hall. For larger shows check out the following sites:

Just remember that you will have to apply to most shows months in advance.

For more detailed information on how to design and sell handmade jewelry check out this site:

The whole site is a free home based jewelry business and design guide It has hundreds of ideas and tips to inspire you to design and create unique bead jewelry designs that will give you an edge in the market place. This site includes in-depth articles on marketing and selling jewelry, how to profit from your own bead jewelry kits, learn how to excel your jewelry designing skills, design inspiration and innovation, start a home jewelry party plan, sell jewelry wholesale, how to succeed at craft shows, pricing and displaying jewelry to sell, and dozens of other topics.


Ruth asks…

I make beaded jewelry. What would be the best way to advertise & sell my bead work?

BeadGal answers:

EBay, Etsy and Artfire are the least expensive & best way to test the market before investing in your own online store or website.

You could try flea markets, swapmeets and craft shows.

You could also market to hair salons & spas, and candle shops.

The absolute best, and least expensive, mode of advertising is word of mouth. Start making things and getting people excited to wear them everywhere! Your friends, family ~ everyone you know!

Give them as gifts too!

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