HOW NOT TO SHOP IN A BEAD STORE
Shopping in a bead store presents many overwhelming challenges — all the parts, all the colors, all the sizes, all the project possibilities. Many customers, when confronted with all these options, freeze up and get frustrated.
So, how SHOULD you shop, and how SHOULD YOU NOT shop in a bead store?
Any interesting stories out there?
What was your first trip to a bead store like.
From an article I wrote….
HOW NOT TO SHOP
To the consternation of staff, many a Bead Warrior, as they prepare to arrive at the field of bead-selection-battle, have not properly armed themselves.
They arrive by car. They arrive by taxi. They arrive on foot. But rarely do they arrive with a design plan in hand.
They arrive with ideas swimming in their heads, from magazine articles they’ve recently read, or advertisements they’ve seen, or dreams they’ve had. And it’s all in their heads.
And when they arrive at the door, then cross the threshold, there are too many intimidating choices confronting them, attacking them from the right and the left and forward and behind, and off to the side, and down the aisle, and over and around the corner.
The knitted scarf lady ready to conquer the bead world and find that blue bead for her fringe. But no yarn in hand. And there are so many blue beads. No sense of which blue will match. No sense of hole size. No idea what needle to use. Or how to get the beads on. Which “blue?” I asked, pointing to the 37 choices. Without a word, without any response to my question, she grabbed her purse and walked out.
A woman had a list of 17 items she needed for a project. We had 16 of these items in stock. The one thing we didn’t have was one color of a delica bead. I suggested some good substitutions. After all, there are almost 2000 colors of delica beads to choose from. She put all 16 items back, and walked out.
The fashion icon determined to turn a brief visit to the bead store into ultimate world conquest, withOUT her recently perused copy of the latest of the latest from the best of the best style magazine. But no picture in hand. And there are so many beads and chains to choose from. No remembrance of what she had seen. No idea of how to attach things. No clue about finishing off the piece.
The bead-weaver, knowing full well that success is just over that hill, a straight march, and that her right-angle-weave necklace will hup-two appear without much of a scuffle. Or tussle. Or hassle. Or, whatever else might get in her way. Yet no instructions. No supply list. No knowledge of stringing materials or tools.
The woman in need of jewelry repairs. No jewelry with her. Wants that bead or rhinestone or clasp to make her jewelry complete. Which is at home. And she can’t remember. Doesn’t know sizes. Vague on colors. Forgets materials. Clueless on attachments.
The woman who returns everything she doesn’t use – and then buys the same items for the next project which happens to use the same pieces. She frequently makes the 25-mile round trip to return even 1 bead not used. And then re-buys this very same bead on her very next trip on the very next week.
The student who wants a bail for a pendant, has left that pendant at home, and doesn’t remember which direction the hole is drilled.
The knowledge is all to be won – at the bead store. The field of battle. Shock and awe. Little preparation. Few soldiers. Few weapons. A daunting walk across the entrance, and that’s all it will take. To win. To accomplish. To finish. To conquer.
The lesson, not to be lost here, is that you need to come prepared. Sufficiently armed. Some forethought. Some planning. Some thought-through concept. Some willingness to make compromises.
The field of battle is very large. The opposing forces are onerous. Over 6,000 specifically named colors. Thousands of styles and sizes and shapes of beads. Nearly 20,000 individually named metal parts. Fifteen different kinds of metals. Forty-two possibilities of metal finishes. Nearly 500 choices of stringing materials. Sixteen separate types of needles. Too numerous to count issues of quality and pricing.