Friday, January 6, 2012

Advice Needed and a Giveaway!

So, I need your advice.  I am doing my first bead show in just 7 weeks ( .  I need to make beads, like mad!  Question is, what to make?  Now, I will no doubt drive myself insane with this question, but I thought perhaps you could help. 

And to encourage your participation, it's a giveaway too!  A giveaway for this.............................
(I have not put holes in this heart yet- so let me know where you'd like them punched if you win)

But you have to work for it. Here's the deal.

You get an entry for each question you answer.  Please answer honestly. I really need feedback!!!!  Answer each question in its own comment box.

You can also leave a comment for favoriting your favorite beads in my shop (look through the sold ones too).  One comment for doing this, no matter how many you favorite.  I check them in my feed, and its a good tool for me when making new things, so I can see what you all like best.

You must have an email where I can reach you, or you will not qualify.

Ok- now for the questions.

1.  Have you attended bead shows before (either as a customer or vendor)?

2.  If yes, what do you look for in a booth?  (example: are samples of what you can do with the beads important?  are you drawn to a unique /  artsy booth?  Lots of varitey?  Not too crowded? Pictures of the artists process?)  What is gonna get you to stop at MY booth?

3.  Check out my shop........What would you be drawn to buy at a show and why?  (like, would you feel pressure to buy something because its one of a kind, or more likely because you can order it again?)

4.  Check out my shop and let me know what you look for / are drawn to buy- earring pairs, beads in sets?  Would you like to see kits with instructions to make something?  accent beads to go with pendants?  One of a kind focal beads?  Bigger stuff, dainty stuff?  Patina stuff?

5.  Any suggestions for doing a bead show would be great!

So- I am making you work for this.  These are not easy questions.  I really value your opinions, you are a great group of creative people!  So thanks in advance!

You have 6 chances to win this!  And you don't even have to share it (but if you do, I would appreciate it)

Drawing will take place in one week- so next Friday, January 13th!  (its just a date people;)

Thanks guys!  I couldn't do this without you.  I am so happy you all like my beads and jewelry, and feel totally blessed to be doing what I love. 


  1. Yes I attend bead shows. Innovative is near me.
    I like well laid out booths with lots of light. I don't like everyone having to hang ove me while I am touching and molesting your beads ;)
    I like unique because at a show it is other artists in my area, however if you add that you could make more if needed would be great too. Lots of cards. I like things that are different, durable, well made, glazed well, match my style and affordable.
    I say affordable because up the ability for my to price my work affordable.
    I like earring pairs, pendants and especially sets. I hate kits but know many people love them.
    Lots of light! Well laid out, give lots of room for people to look. Trays for people who are looking to put beads in, that way they aren't holding stuff in their hands. Beads get stolen that way.
    Hope that helps. I have never sold so I am only speaking as a bead buyer.

  2. Comment 1 of 2.

    Staci, I wrote loads. It became sort of a list also for myself if I would ever do a show or fair. Please don't feel overwhealmed by it all, and you probably thought of most of my suggestions anyway. Thank you so much! How exsiting this must be for you. :-)

    1. No I haven't.

    2. Even if I've never been to one I am pretty clear about what kind of booths would attract me. I have been to other shows, and I have also participated in a few shows myself as an industrial designer (some years ago). The overall display is important. First I want to easily get a good overview of what there is to offer. I want to get an idea of the style of the stuff. A sign/banner with your name AND words such as handmade, art beads, artisan, patina, metal clay, OOAK, unique, and so on. A graphic style that mirrors the style of your components. It is also important that it is easy to look at the single items in your booth. I don't want to have to lean over, or ask for assistance to see something and in worst case have to wait for you to give me assistance. I do not like too crowded or messy places so a well laid out display with an obvious way on how to approach each area. Do I get in from the left and then just slowly make my way through your booth? Or? Large pictures is probably very clever. You can see them from a distance, and if your booth is too crowded at the moment I'd still know I wish to come back. I am thinking here I don't know your stuff already. A card or paper with all your contact information, so I can check you out online, if I don't get around to purchase there and then. Graphically the same style as your booth sign. Samples on how you can use your components are probably a very good thing. Could be both real jewelry and pictures. Perhaps many pictures collected in a little pamflet type thing. Also jewelry made by other jewelry designers using your components. Details on suggestions on connections between different parts. And yes, your manufacturing process is also fun and interesting of course.

  3. I have done two bead shows as a vendor. At the first one my sets sold the best, and at the second one my focals sold the best. I know that isn't much help, but I would say just have a good selection of both.
    At the last show I had a "show special", and that was quite well received too.
    Yes, I think some samples of finished jewelry using the components you have for sale is a definite plus. It certainly helped me.

  4. Comment 2 of 2.

    3. I really really like most of what you do Staci. Your earring pairs, hearts, Loop T Loops, Connectors. Made in metal clay, metals, polymer clay or either. At a show I would very likely buy a few of your things. But how many depends on if there are a lot of other vendors there, and my budget. If I were to visit a show I would like to come home with a nice variety of things. From you I would like to get things I simply find very attractive, one-offs or not. But I would possibly be more inclined to buy them there and then if I believed they were unique ones.

    4. I am more for buying single items or a a small group of the same kind. Not kits. Not accent beads, (unless they were handmade by you of course). I would buy those elsewhere. Kits I never buy! In your booth I think I would like to see many for instanse metal hearts of the same kind, but each unique in color and shape. Like the ones you have in your shop now. Then it is fun to pick the ones I really like and buy those. A few styles like that, 5 to 10 maybe. To get the mass effect. And then other things that are more of the unique kind.

    5. I think that at a show there are always many other vendors apart from yourself. So you are both competing with them with what you are actually selling. But also the overall feeling of your booth will attract or reject people. Apart from what I've mentioned above I also think about lighting, smells, sounds, happy smiling people behind the counter that seem friendly if I wish help. Coffee? Wine? Another drink? Sweets/candy? If you end up not selling a lot, perhaps people will check you out later and buy at other times. So improve the chances to remember you for later. See it as advertising also. Good impressions last. Psychology - I've noticed that if someone is already standing by a booth and especially if they are talking to the vendor and it seems a nice conversation, people are attracted to that booth. But make sure you notice the new person entering with a hi, a nod, and eye contact. And people passing by too, but not too much. A booth filled with people is also attractive. If you see someone else buying, you might more easily want to buy yourself ... Use these subliminal tactics cleverly. I would. But always stay honest and sincere.

  5. Hi Staci...well i have been doing shows for going on five years...never been to one as there are non in my area :( as a vender i have llearned alot over the years... is the average tables are too short...i use pcv pipe and put the legs into the pipe to make the tables taller so people dont have to lean. attractive display attracts people...make it different from the rest...i like using unique little things to display my stuff but i make jewelry so idk what would be good...look on that web site i forget Pin something LOL

    3. lighting lot of lighting

    4. have a guest book for people to sign ther email address for updates they can alos follow your blog via email...customers away from your show this way too.

    5. signs...i put my business name in a little frame next to my business cards and guest book.

    6.i am with sHANNON ON THE IDEAS FOR AS WHAT TO SELL...I LiKE EARRING PAIRS AND PENDANTS...I THINK YOUR HEARTS WOULD FLY OUt... i think all of your stuff is nice though the wings are cool too...IF U HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED OR OTHERS PUBLISHED using your components CUT IT OUT AND PUT IT IN A FRAME AND DISPLAY IT...IF THERE ARE TOO MANY PIC YOUR FAVS.omg i just noticed it was all on caps i am not deleteing and retyping lol ;p

    7.cover your tables with nice table coverings...i use a basis black on all the tables as the bottom cover and then a smaller cloth diagonal in a color to match your colors ie: your business cards colors or whatever your theme is stick with that thoughout...gosh it lasted a bit but i am losing my connection...i will come back in a while sorry...i have alot of great ideas for you...ttfn Lana ;)

  6. Hi Staci, I love your work and think it will sell well at a bead show. People are always looking for unusual focals. I've sold at lots of bead shows and etched pieces do well, either focals or earring pairs.

    Definitely raise your tables so people don't have to bend over to look. Sample jewelry is great, especially if your pieces are unusual.

    I love your pieces with patina, those are great. I think people would like drilled sea glass, as well.

    Just make sure your items are marked so people don't have to ask too many question. I've seen pictures of you booth design for other shows and it will do well, just modify a little. Goodwill always has lots of trays and bowls good for displaying beads/ pendants.

    Good Luck! Mary

  7. Oh guys- great feedback so far! Thanks so much! Yes- I have done jewelry shows for about 7 or 8 years now. But its my first BEAD show, so I plan to use my taller tables (I HATE having to bend over to see things) and black cloths with my facny drape.......but its only an 8" table space, and I want to have samples, but not too croweded......beads are smaller though, so .......OY! I told you, I will over think this to death:) Keep the tips coming, always helps to hear things from others point of view.

  8. Hi Staci! I have attended one bead show before, I was looking but not for anything specific. I would tend to buy things like you make, different, artsy things, and then maybe some silver stuff too. I love the new pieces you are making like your giveaway! I think a black cloth or velvet is good for showing things off, a lamp maybe if the lighting isn't great, a mirror for people to hold things up and look at them. I love your jewelry but don't necessarily need to see finished work at someone's booth, but that's because I want to make my own things, maybe some people would find that helpful. I have favorited several of your hearts in your shop. 1 table is VERY small, and can tend to get crowded so just remember that. Kits have not sold at any of my shows. Bead pairs are good if someone really wants something of yours but just doesn't have money for the bigger or more expensive things. Hope this helps!

  9. 1. yes to bead shows as a customer so answers her will help me too when I do that someday:).

    2. Artsy or tastefully done but not overcrowded booths are a big draw to me. Have been known to buy items because I loved how the artist used them in jewelry so doing that is a plus. Pieces have to show prices or I walk away. I don't want to continually ask, how much is that or have to wait until other customers are processed to know the price. Honestly, though, no matter how pretty the booth, it has to be something I want or I won't linger/buy. Conversely, even if the booth is not great, if I love the beads, I will buy them. I would hesitate if the look of the booth was not professional (cloth not covering to floor, displays not clean, artist not presentable) because I would wonder if that extends to their craft.

    3 and 4. I favorited (is that a word) the butterfly - love color. But I also like your more prmitive looking pieces. I am definitely drawn to your focals and connectors. I especially love your metal on metal items where you layer a heart inside a heart. I have not seen that before so maybe that would be a big draw. Color is a draw too although I love your lightly patinated spiral connectors too. I think they have that primitive look that is attractive to many people. I do love one of a kind stuff - feels so special to me but I also buy if it is not. I like a mix of sizes and prices. At the moment I believe if a lot of your items were charm size, I would not be able to resist them. I think it's awesome to put a little pop of color somewhere in the design by adding a charm.

    5. Here's some things I like when I approach a booth - artist says hi but basically leaves me alone to browse. Is attentive if I have a question and seems to really be passionate about her/his work but doesn't converse too much. I really like to study all the work and feel rude if the artist is talking and I am not looking at him/her. Besides you dont' want to distract me, right? Now, as I am checking out, it's your opportunity to get me to really like you some more. So, that might be the time when you chat a little more. There are artists whose booth I go back to every show just because I like them as a person. Sometimes I buy and sometimes not but there's a chance I will. Also, a CD (by Bruce Baker) I have on customer service technicques said to never say thank you when someone compliments your work. That closes the conversation. Instead mention something interesting about your work or the particular item. I would recommend his tapes to anyone. I have the one mentioned plus Booth Design and Merchandising and Your Slides and The Jury. They are fantastic. He's at

  10. Easy question first, #5:
    Make sure you bring lots of packaging and business cards. If you want to collect contact information from interested customers (even if they don't purchase anything), have a clipboard handy to capture names, addresses and emails. You can also have them write their names and emails on a slip of paper and enter it to win a small prize. (Like one of those amazing components of yours!) Bring extra water, comfortable shoes and snacks. If you have something you can work on while you're there, bring it - I always loved showing and telling about my process when I did shows, and very often that little informational session ended in a sale (or two)!

  11. Question #1:
    Yes, I have attended bead shows, but only as a buyer. (I've been vendors at other types of craft shows, but not at bead shows!)

  12. Question #2:
    When I look for an attractive booth, I look for one that's not too crowded, where I can actually see the merchandise being offered for sale. I'm definitely attracted to bright, artsy booths where I can easily see and handle the merchandise as well.

  13. Question #3:
    When I'm shopping for beads at a show, I'm always interested in items that are one-of-a-kind, and I'm also interested in kits that will let me put together a complete piece of jewelry.

  14. 1. I have attended small bead shows but only as a buyer.

  15. 1. No bead shows near me. I have never attended one. Would love to.

    2. At craft shows I keep walking if the booth looks overwhelming and cluttered. I am drawn to open, airy, easy access. I would love to see pictures of how you use the beads. Definitely variety.

    4. I love your earrings and bracelets. I would like to see more patina and focal beads. I am always looking for unique focal pieces.

  16. #1 I've only been to local bead and craft shows. The bead shows I've been to tend to have commercial vendors and very few local artists. I spend more time at the artists/one of a kind booths, simply because it's something I don't get to see everyday.

  17. #2 I love a booth that is accessible and well laid out. It's nice to see groupings of items as well as a showcase of one or two items used in a necklace or earrings. I like to be able to touch everything. I also like to be able to chat with the artist.

  18. #3 I love the items in your shop. I would definitely check out your booth. I like things that are one of a kind. I also like things that are part of a series. Honestly, your hearts are fabulous and I don't see anyone disappointed with any of them. :)

  19. #4 This is a bit of a harder question. Sometimes I like bead sets. I also like an earring/pendant pairing, although I don't always wear them together. I loved the charms you listed and would love to see smaller heart charms if that was possible.

  20. #5 Bring samples of jewelry featuring your work. Another person said to bring display your published work in frames. I think this is a fabulous idea. Half the time I don't buy a component because I don't know exactly how to use it. I'd also bring a friend to watch the table so you can chat with customers.

  21. I also favorited a few things in your shop. I think it might have been a mistake, though, since now I want to buy a few more things. :)

  22. Yes, I have attended Bead Shows as a customer. I always look for something unique and different. Especially metal. (Although I really like stone beads and chips, too or ones that look like stone) I'd love the hole punched in the top right of the heart (as I look at it on your blog) so it would hang off center.

  23. I also like to look for nature inspired things. I love metal components.

  24. WOW! So glad I check my analytics or I would have never stumbled upon your lovely work!

    1~ I just recently started doing my own shows, but faithfully attend the twice yearly large bead shows in my area for buying trips. I take the whole weekend off from it's a major event for me.

    2~ At a show I look for my regulars of course, but new and unusual always attract me because I think my line is still evolving. I like booths where the merchandise is clearly marked, organized, not too crowded and professionally displayed. I like displays that make me think of design possibilies...where the artist has a full range of focals, accent pieces and "filler". I also like an artist who is friendly and likes to share with me about about her process too.

    3~ My favorites items in your shop are of course the hearts (love them) and the copper rectangular focals. The tree of life piece is amazing and I would most likely buy and use something like that in my jewelry. Your prices are very good.

    4~ At a show or in your shop I would love to see more "filler" type beads, smaller beads to accent your focals for use in a completed piece.
    At I show I would probably consider buying copper focals and smaller complimenting beads that I would knot or link together with some dynamite clasps. Also you could always add a selection of cords (leather, rubber, silk)and copper chain. Since you make the large copper rings, I would love to see what you could do with findings...toggle clasps, ear wires etc! I love to find a lot of what I need in one stop shopping!

    5~ Doing shows is a learning proces and I'm still learning. A dynamite display that is always being tweeked is number one! There are many helpful posts on Etsy forums on the show subject. I find that accepting credit cards is a must. If you have a smart phone, the Square app is amazing! Practice your set-up at home so you can avoid potential problems there. I also bring a "look book" with great photos of other work ~ new and sold that I could not fit on the display. I think that really gives you credibility. Best of all ~ have fun and expect to meet amazing people...bead lovers are passionate about their obsession!!

  25. 1. Yes 2.I am drawn to a booth which shows personality. Not traditional displays. Some finished jewelry always helps people who can not visualize. Signage is very important. I have found that even if I have a big sign showing a torch they still do not get that everything is handmade. And when told they are more willing to buy. 3. I tend to buy focals or beads that I can use with my lampwork beads that I can not make myself. Yes being able to order more would be wonderful but not expected.I love your hearts, butterflies, and leaves above all. 4. Love patina stuff, organic looking items (leaves). I am always looking for original clasps.5. I was very nervous about selling me as the artist at first. Once I got over that and could openly show how much I love what I do, my jewelry began to sell. I am also very willing to do custom items or adjust anything I have already made.Take a positive attitude toward the day and comfortable shoes.

  26. I "favorited" several items in your etsy shop!

  27. Q1: I have attended shows as a customer.

  28. Q2: What I look for in a booth is: a lot of room to move, not cramped. Room on the tables to see items without having to ask the vendor to bring them out. Neat table coverings and displays.

  29. Q3:I really like your connectors. I would buy one of a kind pieces because they are unique. I also like earrings pairs.

  30. Q4:I like earring pairs and connectors. I am probably in the minority on this, but I like more dainty pieces. I like the look of the larger items, but am to small for them to look good on me. I have had a number of my customers request "scaled down" versions of bracelets and earrings that look good on petite people. They want to be stylish, too!

  31. Q5:I agree with other comments above that I like a vendor to be friendly and approachable, without hovering over me. I do not like to feel pressured when I shop.

  32. Hey girlie! Here are my answers for you :)

    1. I have attended bead shows for both.

    2. I look for unique things. I like it when I am addressed. You don't have to kiss
    my ass, but greet me and tell me about your work and process. When you tell me
    these things it helps me connect with you and appreciate your art.
    Yes, I would have a sample. Some people don't know what to do with beads.
    YES, love unique and artsy booths! Make your booth totally you and your style! Make
    it like a trip to your studio! YOU, cause you are amazing and so is your work!

    3. If I like it I would buy it. If there was only one I might just have to have it to. How
    many times do you go to a show and after it's over go, OMG, WHY DIDN'T I GE T THAT BEAD?!
    I love the moon faces, the hearts with the suns and stars, the winged hearts, and wings. Love the patinaed metal and love the tear stained hearts. Love the names too!!

    4. Ooo this is a hard one. I am trying to figure this out myself for my shop. I think it really depends on
    what you are wanting to design. I like variety though. I like little bits of everything awesome. So I might
    be drawn to a set of different little bits of your collections. Maybe a heart focal, with a few beads, a few links or something? So I can take all of these little treasures and make something really sweet!
    Just tried the kit thing myself too and had a great response from the first buyer saying how excited she was I was doing kits. I like smaller stuff, but if it's a focal want a nice substantial piece.

    5. Greet customers and be cheery. Be yourself! Tell people about your process! I know how impressed I was when I heard about it and all of the wonderful little details. Love the names of your pieces! Have a lot of different price points so people can buy things on a budget or dropping some big bills. Offer payment of cash or by card(if you have a square that would be sweet)!

    I hope my feed back helps.

    Good luck girlie! You are amazing! So excited for your show!

    xoxo Genea

  33. Good luck at your show!! i have never attend a bead show as a customer or as a vendor, but would love to one day!

  34. When i go to other art shows (or when i attended quilt market) i looked for and was drawn to booths that were artsy and fun with lots of variety. I do a lot of art shows and have been doing them for over 10 years and i find i sell more when i have a lot of different items at different price points. I always set a figure that i want to make at that show and try to carry twice as much, in dollar value, in merchandise to the show. this has always worked for me. other artists that i know amaze me when they show up to a show with $700 worth of product, make $200 and wonder why.....very seldom to you get bought right out so stock your booth up!

  35. all of your hearts and your etched copper pieces i love because they are so unique!! i probably would be more inclined to buy something that i knew i could not get again also.

  36. i would be drawn to the patina pieces and kits to make things, but that is me. i have also found when getting ready for a show to make stuff that YOU like!! if you spend weeks getting ready for a sshow and making things you arent crazy about or dont like making you may lose your motivation. WHen i did a lot of quilting, and took pillows to shows because everyone wanted them they stopped selling when i got tired of doing them and hated making them anymore....some how i think it shows....dont know how!

  37. I love artsy booths with interesting colors/ themes/fabrics. I love interesting displays with lots of levels but not cluttered. These draw me in but then I want to see the product so not too busy on the surfaces. I love your metal pieces...especially the sea glass and your new hearts...loving those. I wouldn't probably buy kits although a newbie to jewelry making might. I would also buy patina kits though. I think bracelets are and a staement without being as expensive as a necklace. I say make bracelets, earrings, heat vocals, and sea glass focals. You pieces are awesome:)

  38. 1. I have attended many bead shows. Only as a customer.
    2. Lots of things draw me to a booth, especially the uniqueness of the items, and yours are. You will draw a crowd, be prepared. I would recommend a few large photos of your necklaces up high so if the booth is crowded people can see what you have and will wait.
    3. I like one of a kind pieces,(focals)
    4. but beads that go with to complete a necklace are good too. or earring pairs.
    5.I personally rarely buy kits, but newbies do a lot. Especially if there's a demonstration going on and kits to make similar to it.

  39. Wow, you've gotten some really great answers, so I don't know that I can really add to what has been given so far. I have attended as a buyer. When I approach a table, I don't really want to be pounced on. I like for them to give a casual hello, my name is, if I can help you, just yell. Something like that. I do like knowing I can get more if I want, rather than one of a kinds. I like bowls of beads that I can sift thru, and I like the business cards within easy reach.
    If there are a lot of booths, something unusual to catch my eye will draw me to a booth. Whether it's a hot pink feather boa decorating the pole, or a glittery crystal tree tantalizing me. I do like things on different levels, and a mirror to try something on that catches my eye.
    And really, a booth owner that looks like she's having fun is such an attraction for me.
    That's all I can think of, I hope something I said was of help to you. thanks so much for your sweet giveaway. Can't wait to hear how the show goes!

  40. Question 1 - I have attended bead shows as a customer.

  41. Question 2 - I like a booth/table that is uncluttered but artsy reflecting the vendor's style, well lit, prices well marked and it's great if the tables are raised so you don't have to bend over everything. My favorite vendors are friendly, cheerful, don't hover but willing to share something about the pendant/bead or answer questions.

  42. I love metals so I think I would be really drawn to the copper pieces especially patined ones.

  43. Question 4 - No kits! I think focals especially metal ones and ones with patinas.

  44. I love your things and you have such a flair and laid back attitude (I discovered that in your class)and I see your things as earthy - I really connect with them. I think the earthy theme would draw people in.
    Good luck and let us see pics of what you do.