Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

We are closed Monday for the long weekend! Everyone have a safe and happy weekend! As usual, our online store is open 24/7!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Business Chat - Guess what's coming?




“That’s it, the last present bought, I’m done my Christmas shopping,” said my customer. What was scary/impressive about this statement is that I heard it last week, in August. 

In just 3 months we’ll be cozying up to glasses of holiday cheer and frantically wrapping presents. Wouldn’t it be nice if a whole lot of your work was being wrapped as presents? And not by you, but by customers of yours.

If we’re going to get our work under some Christmas trees we need to do some serious thinking and planning right about now. In my summer craft show booth I’ve had people doing holiday shopping since June. Those super organized people are great but most people don’t start doing their holiday gift shopping until the weather has that nip in the air that says that winter is coming. 

When that happens and they’re ready to buy we have to be ready to sell. It’s time to get to work.

There are 5 steps to a successful holiday sales season.

  1. Know your goals. Plan how you are going to reach these goals.
  2. Inventory. How much do you need to make to reach your numbers and when will you make it. Also we’ll talk about buying supplies
  3. Marketing and advertising. Marketing is telling your customers what you do. Advertising is how you get the message to them. This is where we’ll plan our newsletter, and social media strategies. Also our booth signage and other marketing materials.
  4. Building your display. You have 2 displays to think about. You have your craft show booth (assuming that you’re doing one or more) and your online store.
  5. Sales. Actually exchanging your work for money. Let’s talk tips for increasing your sales.


First up is to set a sales goal. Always remember, you can’t have a successful sales season unless you know what success is. What do you want from this season? Is it a number? Is it a launch of a new product or is your business brand new and you want to get started? Do you want to pay for a month on a beach from your profits? It’s your business, it’s your success, it’s up to you to define it.

Write your goals down and post that on a wall somewhere you can see it.

Now let’s think about how to achieve that goal. Where are you going to be selling your work? Venues to consider are:

  • Craft shows. Most craft shows book 6 – 12 months in advance however there are always opportunities available. Have you booked a holiday show yet? If not, then go and find one that you can get into to. 
  • Online – your own website, facebook, etsy, other gallery sites. If you are not yet set up for online sales there is still time to create an online presence. A great place to start is Etsy. Go and read how to open a shop. 
  • Hosting a home party. Or have someone else host a home party for your work.
  • Selling in stores. For those crafters who have their work in a store the holiday season is a great time to expand your presence in that store. For makers who are not yet in stores and want to be, you should approach the stores very soon as most store will already have their holiday lines picked out.

Once you have decided which way you intend to sell your work you need to think about how these sales will meet your goals. 

If your goals are financial can you sell at your choices to meet your numbers? For example, let’s say you want to sell $2500. You have booked one small craft show which cost $75, so you can expect to sell $750. You also have a website. This means that your web sales will have to be $1750 for you to meet your goals. That’s up to you to think if it’s realistic. Maybe you should find another 2 or 3 craft shows.

If your goals are to get your name out there and let the world know about your new venture then the numbers aren’t quite as important. Maybe you should be thinking about creating a strong Facebook presence or a website. A craft show is really great for getting your work in front of a lot of people quickly.

Whatever your goals are now is the time to decide. What is your idea of a successful holiday selling season? 

The next few weeks we’ll be talking about the steps in making your goals a reality. The jolly fat guy in the North Pole may not be real, but success is. We just have to make our own.

Since we’re makers, it’s no problem.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Neon Seeds!

65443101 Czech Seedbeads - 6/0 Seedbead - Opaque Matte Neon Pink (20 grams)
Grow your own neon! Yes - the seedbeads have joined the happy, happy colours of Neon, and if you've been itching to get beady with some perky, bright colours, we are happy to accommodate you!
65043104 Czech Seedbeads - 10/0 Seedbead - Transparent Matte Neon Green (20 grams)Czech 10/0s
Czech 6/0s
and transparent too!
also, Japanese 8/0s
tb8r2503 Japanese Seedbeads - 8/0 Toho Seedbeads - Reflection Neon Green (10 gram)Not just neon - but a bunch of other colours too. A little more tasteful and subtle than tb8r2505 Japanese Seedbeads - 8/0 Toho Seedbeads - Reflection Cantaloupe (10 gram)the pure exuberance of the bright neon colors.

s37116 Czech Seedbeads - 2 Hole Superduo Twins - Dark Neon Mix (5 grams)and then, there is also some more of the dark neon.

Moving away from the seedbeads - we have a new shape in the Czech Firepolish glass! s37157 Firepolish - 7 mm Faceted Briolette - Crystal AB (50)These are delightful little faceted briolette drops - which I'm just itching to take some out for a test drive. The shape speaks for itself, don't you think?

On sale this week - headpins, eyepins, and jumprings. Always useful! 20% off!
(Sale runs Wed midnight to Wed midnight.)

So, click on a link above or start with our new products page! Remember - always have fun and play with your beads!




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just one day left - Feathers, ColourFX, Lampwork - 20% off.


Feathers

ColourFX Mixes


Lampwork Beads


Ends Wednesday at midnight!

Introducing ... Afternoon Bead Tea

Are you looking for a time to bead and make new friends - but the evenings just don't work for you? Then join us at Afternoon Bead Tea!

From 1:00 - 3:00pm on alternating Thursdays, I (Pam Kearns) will be hosting and sharing tips and techniques as you work on your own projects. You'll also be among the first to see new weekly update products before they hit the store!

I am BeadFX's class coordinator and teach classes in several techniques. My project, Boho Bangle, was recently published in the June/July 2012 issue of Beadwork. I'm passionate about beading and am always happy to share information.

I hope you'll join at Afternoon Bead Tea for some beading and jewellery-making fun!




Scheduled Afternoon Bead Teas:
Thursday, September 12; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, September 26; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, October 10; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, October 24; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, November 7; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, November 21; 1 - 3pm
Thursday, December 5; 1 - 3pm

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inspiration Monday: Mall Survival Bracelet



InspirationFX
Get your creative juices flowing


Mall Survival
by: Pam Kearns
Paracord Survival bracelets are all very well - but we know there are tougher environs to survive than out in the forest where all you have to worry about are bears and venomous snakes. Anyone whose has ever shopped the mall pre-holiday sale knows that venomous snakes have nothing on the angry store clerk and toddlers make bears look like a picnic.

This a more feminine version of a cobra stitch bracelet and is done using our new Parachute Cord. The sample shown measures about 9.25" in length and fits a 6.5" wrist. You need to allow more length due to the thickness of the cord and beads.


The instructions for the bracelet are in the Parachute Cord Instruction Booklet with the following changes:

  • Use the 20mm jump rings instead of the plastic buckle
  • In Step 1, slide the bead onto the cord that is laid over the centre cords and ensure that, when tying, the knot is below the bead. In subsequent knots, the bead thread alternates sides going onto the thread that loops east to west.
  • When complete, open one jump ring and attach the clasp.
Alternately - check out this video or search on youtube for "paracord bracelet tutorial" - there are thousands of them!
For my wrist, the space between the two jump rings was equal to my wrist size. You can try on the bracelet for fit before you cut off and 'melt' the edges. The knots are easily untied if necessary.

FYI, the 'Cobra' stitch is also known as the 'Square' stitch in macrame.

























Components

Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Business Chat - Now available at...


This week i received an email that a lot of people would be thrilled at. It was from a very well known crafts shop and it began, “we would like to carry your work in our store. Are you interested in a consignment opportunity?”

Now, many people would jump up and down in delight and automatically throw a whack of jewelry at the store. After all, having your work in a store means that money is going to pour in, right? You can sit back and just make oodles of work and they’ll sell it all, right? 

Maybe. Most likely not. 

Consignment is the most common method of selling your work in stores and the topic of today’s post.  
Selling your goods on consignment means that you get paid by the shop only upon the sale of your items- essentially, you retain ownership of your items until they sell, the store does not buy them outright. This is often the easiest way to get your products into a store and is a good first step if you're just starting out. 
So what consignment means is that you place an selection of work in a store and wait. Hopefully it will sell. Hopefully the store will pay you. There are no guarantees. 

For many beginning their crafty career it is a huge ego boost to have your work in a store. Keep in mind that for the business owner consignment is a win win situation. By selling only on consignment, a store owner can fully stock their shop without paying a cent up front. If your work doesn’t sell, they simply hand it back to you. You on the other hand, have to pay to make it in the first place. 

Let’s run some numbers quickly. 

You place $2000 worth of work in a store. 

Your costs are 20%. You spent $400 to make this work. 

Your consignment rate is 50/50. 

If the store sells EVERY single bit of your work you will receive $1000. This is a gross profit of $600. 

The question you have to ask is if you want to invest $400 in the store, and do you trust them to sell your work. And how long it is going to take to get that money back. 

So how to decide if you should consign? Here’s what I’m going to do with the store that asked me. 

First, I’m going to visit the store and meet the owner. I know of the place but since it’s in a neighbourhood I rarely visit I’ve never been there. I’m going to ask all my friends and colleagues if they ever go there, shop there and what they think of the place. 

I will go to that meeting with a list of questions for the owner. I want to know who shops at the store (age, income, style - are they my target customer?). 

I’ll closely look at the other work they carry in the store, is it complementary with mine? What about price points, do they offer all different price points? What sells most? I’ll ask the owner to show me the best sellers in the store not just of jewelry but everything. I’ll check out the displays and ask to see the store packaging. I want to know the stores’ return policy. 

A very important point is where my work would be displayed. There is no point to consigning your work if it is placed in a dark corner where no one sees it. 

At the same time I must be prepared to thoroughly discuss the features & benefits of my work, how it is better or different than similar work and why she would want to carry it. I’ll be ready to talk about what sells well in my line and to whom it sells. 

Then I’ll ask about the business side of the arrangement. What is the consignment rate?  When do they pay and how? (cheque mailed, picked up, direct deposit). How do they let me know about restocking, how much notice do they give me? What about hang tags, do they use mine or theirs? Do they want bio cards or other sales materials? 

I’ll also write down the names of some other people who have work there and contact them. I want to know how it is working with the store, if they pay on time, if they have any problems. 

Once this research has been done I can make an informed decision. It may sound like a lot of work, but if I’m going to enter a consignment arrangement I’d like to know that it is going to be a long term relationship and not just a flash in the pan. And with the Christmas season coming up I want to make sure that any work I place in a store isn’t going to sit around. Because I have holiday shows of my own and need to fill my own booth. 

That’s right, I mentioned Christmas and it’s still August. Because guess what’s coming at us faster than the speed of light? It’s the holiday selling season. 

We’ll talk about that next week. 

Don't Forget - On Sale this week.

On Sale
this
Week

20% off

Feathers

78024030-07 Feathers -  Coque Hackles - Hot Magenta Pink (Pack)

ColourFX Mixes

cfxroseisarose ColourFX - 6/0 Czech Seedbeads - A Rose is a Rose (20 grams)

 

Lampwork Beads

27801688-01 Artisan Lampwork - 10 x 14 mm Chubby Oval - Olive Green and Copper (1)

All our Sales start on Wed Midnight.
and run to the following Wed midnight.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New this week: Hardcore Survival Jewelry or Warm and Fuzzy Needles?

Oh hey - what do Bear Grylls, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Alex Trebek have in common? They've all been spotted wearing Paracord "Survival" Bracelets.

s37072 Booklet - Parachute Cord Project Book - (1)Now - I know that's not exactly a line-up of A-listers - but the paracord bracelet thing is hot, and the bracelets themselves are pretty cool and easy to make - and you can actually make them for your dude. Or even get your dude interested in making them.

hpara2136 Cord - Parachute Cord 325 - Forest Camo (21 feet)The deal behind these essentially macrame'd bracelets is that they contain about 20 continuous feet of strong, lightweight "Parachute" cord which, in an emergency, can be unraveled and used to lash down your tent, hang food from a tree, and generally just be useful.

You can even make dog collars and leashes!

We have the cord, we have the buckles, and we have the instruction booklet. 


If the idea of easy, masculine bracelets doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy - then maybe felting will make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

s37103 Felting Tools - 5 Needle Felting Tool - (1)We just added felting tools (to go with our roving) - a felting mat, needles, and some funny-looking felting molds to our line up. The molds look kind of like cookie cutters - you moosh in the roving and then needle away to get your shapes!








s37088 Tools - 1 Step Looper Pliers - (1)By popular request - the Looper plier - the plier that makes loops in headpins in one easy step. There's a video here that makes it clearer.
s37089 Swarovski - Crystal Fabric Applique - Puppy Paws (57338) - Crystal Metallic Light Gold (1)



And, Puppy Paws! Swarovski Crystal Fabric Applique! My dog walks all over me - and when she does - she leave crystal footprints! Get yours too!

2775000s37040 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Green Turmaline (1)


Other than that, some Swarovskis in some hard to find colors, like Green Turmaline, Cobalt (Why is it so hard to find this one? It's sooo beautiful!) and Olivine Dorado. And some fancy, cushion cut stones - perfect for epoxy clay s37047 Swarovski Rhinestones - 12 mm Faceted Cushion Cut (4470) - Fire Opal (1)and blinging!










s37078 Findings - Clasps - Giant Lobster Claw - Zebra (1)And we have some humongous, coloured clasps - for making purse charms.


And, speaking of purses, and bling and epoxy clay - these purse hangers will solve the problem of putting your purse on the floor when out dining, and then coming home s37086 Findings - Compact Purse Hanger - Silver (1)and putting it down on the counter, and transferring a boat-load of icky floor stuff to your nice clean countertop! Never mind how nice the restaurant was - you prepare food on that counter!







On sale this week - fabulous fun feathers, our custom ColourFX seedbead mixes, (ColourFX 10/0s, ColourFX 11/0s, ColourFX 6/0s, ColourFX Exotics) and production, handmade lampwork, made in the US or Czech! (Czech Handmade, Focals & Pendants, USA Handmade). (Sale runs Wed midnight to Wed midnight.)

So, click on a link above or start with our new products page! Remember - always have fun and play with your beads!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Learning Never Stops

The kids will soon be back in school and life will get back to a regular routine - yea! Life is good! In the BeadFX classroom, our world is getting back to normal too. Instructors are looking ahead with new classes and there is a revitalized energy to teach - and learn - new techniques and projects.

Let's take a look what new between September 3 and September 15:

Friday, September 6
Hodgepodge Bracelet
Instructor: Anne Mitchell
10:00am - 5:00pm


Saturday, September 7
Simple Elegance: PMC and Fine Silver Necklace
Instructor: Anne Mitchell
10:00am - 5:00pm

Friday, September 6 & Saturday, September 7
Dots, Lines and Tessellations
Instructor: Terri Caspary Schmidt
10:00am - 5:00pm each day


Sunday, September 8
Fine Silver Chain Creations (left) 
Instructor: Anne Mitchell
10:00am - 5:00pm

Cellini Spiral (right)
Instructor: Stephanie Dixon
12:00 - 4:00pm


Monday, September 9
Creating Fine Silver Chain for your Lampwork Creations
Instructor: Anne Mitchell
10:00am - 5:00pm


 
Friday, September 13
Peruvian Crochet Wire Ring
Instructor: Gio Paz
4:30 - 8:00pm
Saturday, September 14
Flat Round Peyote
Instructor: Tracy Neidthardt
12:30 - 3:30pm

Of course there are lots more repeat classes being held including Kumihimo Basics and the Pandora-style Braided Cord bracelet (both with Angela Peace) and Tubular Herringbone (with Pamela Kearns).

Complete information about all classes, including class and kit fees and descriptions are on our website. Go to www.beadfx.com and follow the link to 'Classes' and 'September'.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Inspiration Monday: Poe-try in Motion - Pendulum earrings.



InspirationFX
Get your creative juices flowing


Poe-try in Motion
by: Stephanie Dixon
Nevermore will you sink into a pit of despair when you have these to pendulate from your lobes. They are Poe-etry in Motion!

Headpin, filigree bead, crystal, simple loop, attach to threader earring chains. Bingo! You are good to go!


















Components

Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Business Chat - the Genie in the Bottle



While thrifting at a local garage sale, Sarah happily poked and prodded through piles of treasures and sighed. She was feeling a bit guilty. 

She desperately needed to catch up on her book keeping, the pile of receipts had outgrown 3 shoe boxes now, it had been at least 7 months since she’d bothered to enter anything into her spreadsheets. Since she hadn’t tracked her sales for a while she wasn’t sure how much she’d made in her business but she suspected that with her constant shopping for supplies (SO much fun!) that it was not as much as she’d hoped. 

And then there was her website. It was a mess. Her online store was making her crazy, it just wouldn’t perform. She’d taken some photos and listed 8 items just 2 months ago and not one of them had sold. OK, she admitted to herself, the photos were kind of crappy. And the descriptions weren’t great, she’d been planning on rewriting them when she had some free time. But seriously, she thought, who has any time these days between a part time job and her 2 kids?

Just at that moment, a glimpse of green caught her eye. Digging into a box she found it, a perfect green glass bottle. Gorgeous! Only $2!  

Back in her studio/spare room, Sarah placed the bottle on a table admiring it’s lovely lines. With a soft cloth she rubbed at a speck of dust and was astonished to feel the bottle shake. A puff of smoke rose from the bottle and poof, a genie appeared. 

“Much obliged, good to be out again! You know how this goes right? You let me out so now I grant you a wish. Thing is, times have changed. Thanks to cutbacks genies don’t do the 3 wishes thing anymore, what we do now is complete a task for you. One task only and it has to relate to where we are. I see I’m in your work studio, so here’s the deal. I’ll complete ONE task only that is related to your business. Think hard, what is the ONE task you would most like me to do?” said the genie.

Sarah thought for a moment and then said, “oh Genie, if you could only fix my website and online store! Nothing is selling!”

“Whoa! I’m a genie not a miracle worker!”

“So you think it’s hopeless and I should give up?” wailed Sarah. 

“Heck no, your jewelry is great from what I can see around here. But I told you, I can only do ONE task.”

“I asked for my website to be fixed.” 

“Sarah, an online store is a whole project. I can’t do a whole project, you know why? because you can’t DO a project. you can only DO a task. Why don’t you sit down and write out all the tasks that need to be done to complete the project, which is fixing your online store so that you can actually sell some of this stuff that’s piled all over this room?  
With a list of the tasks you need done, I can do the ONE task that is most needed to move the project forward.” 

Sarah sat down and thought. She broke her project into a list of tasks and handed it to the genie. 

“Great, so the first thing to be done is to rewrite your descriptions. Tell you what, while I’m whipping these up why don’t you take the next 20 minutes before your kid comes home to practice taking photos.”

The genie grabbed a pen and Sarah grabbed her camera. In 20 minutes the genie had rewritten all her descriptions and Sarah had 5 new photos for one of her items. 

“Fantastic Sarah. We’re out of time because you have other stuff to do, but tonight instead of watching TV why don’t you take 10 minutes and upload these descriptions and your new photos? It’s not everything that needs to be done, but it is one small step. That’s what we genies do these days, small steps all the time.”

And with that he vanished.

It would be great to find a genie in a bottle who would magically finish our projects for us. However genies are hard to come by, no matter how many garage sales we go to. And as we’ve seen, gone are the days when a genie would grant you 3 wishes.  

If a genie appeared, what is the ONE task you’d have them do to move a project forward? 

So do it. 

Be your own genie. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Amazon Women on the Moon, Magnetic Spheres, and Fili-greedy

s36949 Stone Beads - Faceted Trapezoid w 4 mm Rounds - Amazonite (strand)
I always thought Amazon Women on the Moon was the worst movie ever - but now that I've been subjected to "Sharknado" - it pales in comparison. Dear gawd, 12 year-olds with cell phones could have done better. Instead of watching bad, bad, bad movies, bead up some Amazonite - much more satisfying. You'll be over the moon for this pale blue green stone.

s36927 Stone Beads - 10 mm Round - Noreena Jasper (1)Also new this week, in the stone department, Noreena Jasper. This is another ancient stone from the oldest part of the world. Found exclusively in just one place in Australia - this brick brown and beige stone is glossy and has interesting angular patterns.

s36955 Swarovski Filigree Beads - 13 mm Round - Purple Velvet / Zircon / Antique Gold (1)
We have a word for people who are so enchanted with these lovely two-colour filigree beads - we call them fili-greedy. But fear not - it's not a bad thing! We mean it in the nicest possible way - and to prove it, we just added 6 new colours - from the icy White Opal / Moonlight / Antique Silver to the playful Purple Velvet / Zircon / Antique Gold.
s36961 Findings - Box Clasp w Rhinestones - 13 mm Filigree Clasp with Stones - Pacific Opal / White Opal / Antique Gold (1)And if the style of these appeals to you - you might want to also look at these clasps. These clasps are constructed to look like a bead - completely hiding their utilitarian function. I'm a big fan of these as they used by the high-end jewelry companies for their better pieces. To me - having the clasp be part of the design elevates your work from the everyday.
s36967 Clasp - Magnetic - 12 mm Smooth Sphere - White Pearl (1)And on the topic of cool clasps - these magnetic spheres are definitely fun! In gold, silver, copper, black and white pearl. They are a pretty strong magnet, inside a coloured sphere. Sliding them sideways to open is your best bet - it is a STRONG magnet. Of course - as with any other magnetic clasp - do not use if you have a pacemaker - as the presence of the magnet may cause the pacemaker to go into diagnostic mode or otherwise behave erratically.
s35165 Tools - Wubbers Designer Mandrel Pliers - Large Square (1)Wouldn't it be Wubberly of us to offer more of the Wubbers Square Mandrel pliers? Why, yes! Yes it would and that's just what we have done. We got a bit confused and now we have four different sizes, having just added the Large and Jumbo. Turns out what we had that we thought was Large was actually Medium. But hey - more choices for you - so it's all good.

s36971 Para Wire - 14 gauge Round Wire - Non-Tarnish Silver (10 feet)You'll need some wire with that - and we've added the Parawire non-tarnish silver to our other Para Wire brand wire.
And, last but not least - no - wait a minute. These are the least - or the smallest of this week's update anywaytb15r82 Japanese Seedbeads - 15/0 Toho Seedbeads - Metallic Nebula - size 15/0 Toho seedbeads.


So, click on a link above or just go 'sploring! Remember - always have fun and play with your beads!