Tag Archives: picture frame pendants

Purple Rain Design Challenge

Winner will receive a $50 Bead Inspirations gift certificate!
Submissions are due by noon (PST), Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Our inspiration for this challenge is also a tribute to the artist known as Prince (1958-2016). Whether you would also like to pay tribute to Prince, just love the color purple, or are intrigued by a challenge, here’s your chance to show your creative spirit with inspiring jewelry of your own design. Using ANY purple or garnet colored beads from Bead Inspirations including Amethyst, Ametrine, Garnet, Czech glass, Swarovski Pearls, Fresh Water Pearls, and Crystals. You may also be inspired by other purple components or supplies like purple leather or purple patina paint! We challenge you to design your own piece of jewelry to enter into our contest. Grab your bead tray, tools, and findings, because it’s time to start creating!

To enter our Design Challenge: Email submissions to create@beadinspirations.com and include the challenge name in the subject line.

Read our contest rules for more info.  Shop our purple beads online!

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Love is in the Air Design Challenge

Nunn Patera Grande Heart NecklaceWe love to see the creative designs that our customers come up with using our materials.  Now we’re offering you the chance to submit your designs for the possibility to win a prize in our first customer design challenge!

Take your interpretation of “Love is in the Air” and create an inspiring piece using Bead Inspirations beads & findings!

Submissions are due by noon (PST) Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Voting will be open from February 10 – midnight February 13, with the Challenge Winner posted on Tuesday, February 14.  Winner will receive a $50 webstore gift certificate for Bead Inspirations.  A Staff Pick be also chosen from the entries.  Staff Pick will receive a gift bag of jewelry-making components, and be featured in a future email announcement or blog.

Click here to read the Design Challenge Rules.

We’ve put some select items on sale that you may want to use in your jewelry. I can’t wait to see your wonderful creations!

Warmly,
Vicki Lapp

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Bead Inspirations celebrates 6 year anniversary

Bead Inspirations Storefront

A month or so after I opened my store on Park Street, I overheard a couple walking by. “A bead shop; that store will never make it,” the woman said to her male companion. It was the fall of 2004 when I overheard this snippit of a conversation.  I could understand where she was coming from. I, too, had seen a number of small retail businesses in the area come and go over the years. But we had gotten off to a great start and I had both optimism and relief that the business was already succeeding.  I wanted to run outside, chase them down and tell them, “You know, you’re wrong; we are doing really well!”

Fairy Gardenflower necklace

Fairy Gardenflower Necklace Kit

In the six years that Bead Inspirations has been open, I have learned a lot. We got in the business during the height of beading popularity, and survived through changing market conditions, including a period of saturation of the market, strong competition on the Internet, and a major recession. Three factors in surviving through this: be consistent in communicating about the value that we are offering, be flexible, and be realistic in expectations.

dragonfly earring kit

Dragonfly Midnight Zest Earrings

Our value proposition has been clear and consistent and we have trained our staff to communicate it and be astand for it.  We help people get in touch withtheir natural creativity.  We believe that everyone is naturally creative.  Through our classes, we teach people simple techniques to make professional quality jewelry, which can be easily learned.  With those simple skills, people can make things that they never imagined possible.  They tap into that place within themselves where there creative spirit is alive and through the jewelry making they let that spirit flow through them.  This is not only fun and enlivening, it can be soothing, therapeutic, and healing.

rainbow rondelle bracelet

Rainbow Rondelle Bracelet Kit

“Beading kept me alive when my father was ill,” one customer told me.  She had been taking care of him during his last years of life and found a respite in beading when she was dealing with a stressful situation.  I could relate.  I got into beading as a hobby during the recession that followed 9/11.  I had gratefully found a job, but it became very stressful, and was over 60 miles from home.  I would begin to bead in the evening, and found that I felt better at midnight, after hours of beading, than I had all day long.  I loved letting the creative spirit flow through me as I made jewelry to give as Christmas presents to my family. And I enjoyed the savings of making rather than buying gifts.

Being flexible has helped us adapt to the environment in which we are in.  I have learned that to survive and thrive, you need to constantly be willing to reinvent yourself.  This is my third career: first I was an electrical engineer, then a corporate trainer/instructional designer, and now a retail store owner.  So I’ve learned to adapt.

Time Will Tell Steampunk Necklace & Earring Kit

Time Will Tell Necklace & Earring Kit

When we opened the store, people loved stringing beads and making jewelry by wire working.  But then they started talking about metalsmithing and precious metal clay (PMC).  So we brought in metalsmithing tools and books, and found teachers to offer soldering, fusing, riveting, and PMC classes.  After hearing of more and more people buying stuff on the Internet, I surveyed our customers and learned that a significant percentage bought beads and beading supplies online.  Following the philosophy that if you can’t beat them, join them, we opened our webstore in late 2007.  We began to specialize in Vintaj nickel-free brass filigree components, and offer bead jewelry kits made with this vintage look. We’ve put a portion of our inventory on our website, including Swarovski pearls, crystals, lampwork glass beads, gemstone focal beads and pendants.  People got into the metal stamping and picture frame pendants, so we offer the tools and materials to do those kinds of projects online as well as in the store.  We now offer watch parts, gear components, and keys to support the creative interest of those working with the new-old style of steampunk. It is fun to get orders from all over the country, and receive such appreciation from people who have no bead stores in their area.  Now we also accept international orders. The webstore sales have grown to 18% of our business.

Vintage Tea Earring Kit

Vintage Tea Earring Kit

As a business, we need to be realistic in planning.  We have seen people’s relationship to their recreational income change over the years.  Six years ago, people seemed to be more carefree with their money.  As the recession deepened, I saw in shoppers fear of spending even a small amount.  Now in 2010, people seem to have sobriety about spending.  The sobriety feels like a relief, as people realize that our civilization and economy is not going to go to pieces, they still need to give gifts, they still need to do fun things for themselves every once in a while, even if they cost a little money.  As a business owner, I need to have the same level of sobriety in my spending, and be in touch with the reality of how much is coming in and going out every month.

Inspire Bracelet

Inspire Bracelet with Metal Stamping

So after six years, I am still learning lessons through having a business.  I know that whatever the future holds, we will “make it.”  We will continue to have grace to let our own ability to create, adapt, and be tuned in with reality inspire us.

Vicki Lapp

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