Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leaving My Rut

Since I'm just a recreational / hobby jewelry maker, I don't stay tuned in to the trends very well. I have found products that work well for me and, out of habit, have continued to use them. For example, sterling silver French hooks. Always a winner, and very popular. And still in demand.

But there is more out there! And I am now officially going to get out of my rut.

The online environment for handmade, vintage and supplies - Etsy - (where 3 of us have shops) - is a fantastic place to locate supplies. I have found a couple of wonderful shops - Desert Fire Designs , for fabulous beads and chain - and Beads 4 All - where I can find bronze. Both of these sellers are friendly and professional. The products are exceptional.

I have just located another shop that I intend to check out today. I am interested in these handforged almond ear wires for Christmas gifts. Never heard of almond ear wires before - but look how sleek and modern they look. They would be great with a fabulous crystal or stone attached. Credit goes to the shop - Rockis Supplies for the photo, and the inspiration! I will be shopping today!

I have always tried to support main street businesses. When I was in Bismarck, this was very simple. A quick walk or drive downtown - 1 stoplight. I walk into the bead store where the owners are my friends, and they start heading toward the sterling silver case because they know that is what I am after. They share their ideas, fill me in on some special stones that will be coming in and always tell me in advance about the sales.

But living in Minneapolis is a completely different story. The closest bead shop with the best selection is in Uptown. If you are not familiar with Uptown - it's a young, hip and happenin' neighborhood just south of downtown. There are lofts, trendy hair salons, great restaurants, and lots of tatoos. I feel very old when I enter this neighborhood. At the bead store, the snooty young lady with the cat-eye glasses and jeans folded up on the bottom (to her knees - why do they do that? Looks like she's wearing GGG's jeans only she's about 22" around the middle) looks at me like I'm on 'leave' from the nursing home. She watches me warily to make sure that I'm not going to 'boost beads'. When she is confident that I am probably an honest customer - she goes back to her bead counting and sorting. I have to work very hard to get her attention when I have a question, or want to pay and leave. Also, it takes me 15 minutes and 15 stoplights to get here on my work noon hour. So add that to the 'waiting to get noticed' and check out - plus my return trip - pretty much burns the entire hour.

Why do this?

It will be less and less - that's for sure. I am leaving this rut too! I now have favorite sellers on etsy, where there is a relationship and loyalty forming. I give these marvelous women and men credit for creating a great personal shopping experience in an online environment. It is not as easy as one might think!


ps - by the way, I try to not look as elderly as I am by using natural products from JoyfulGirlNatural on etsy. The products are wonderful and a great value. I will never buy Estee Lauder again (sorry Estee!). When the packaging is too complicated to open and is worth more than the product inside - you know it is time to move on....but that's another story.


  1. Great post! Here is a shop on etsy that has really cool earrings. I was thinking my nieces my like them. She is in Castle Rock Colorado. I love the simple modern lines!

  2. 29, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    I also went into a cool gem shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico called Suncountry gems. It was like going into a knitting shop but it had beads. Really yummy beads everywhere and beautifully arranged. This is located in Old Town