Building your jewelry-making stash

Building your stash

Here we go, I’ve taken the plunge to set up a new website.  It’s not my first website but it is the first time I have tried to build one myself.  What could possibly go wrong?

One of the things that I found overwhelming was the enormous number of possibilities that crossed my path, the thousands of themes to choose from, the endless add-ons, extras, plug-ins, widgets, etc.. all relatively inexpensive until you add them all up and do you really need them!

This set me thinking that there is a definite parallel here with all jewelry-makers and their stashes!

So before you head for the next bead show here is my advice and this is based on solid and painful personal experience:

  • Make a list of what supplies you absolutely need.  You could end up missing something vital.
  • Shop for your essentials first before fatigue sets in!
  • Beads go out of fashion so only buy small quantities particularly if the beads are on-trend or unusual.
  • Buy quality not quantity.  Better a small stash of beautiful beads than a huge stash of cheap ones.
  • Don’t buy something you don’t really like just because it’s cheap, you will almost certainly never use it.
  • When buying single gemstones always examine the alignment of the drilling holes, one poorly drilled gemstone is enough to ruin your piece.
  • Don’t buy hundreds of findings, make your own instead.  Your jewelry will look all the better for it.
  • Only buy unusual shaped or colored beads if you have a definite idea of what to do with them otherwise they will just languish in the cupboard and one day you will take them out and wonder what possessed you to buy them!
  • Industrial sizes of wire mean industrial sized headaches to store and keep the metal clean.
  • Have a go at haggling.  There is always some flexibility in the price of goods. What have you got to lose?
  • Keep a tight rein on your expenses.  These small amounts quickly add up.
  • Set yourself a budget and stick to it.  It’s easy to get carried away.
  • Bulk buying is only cheaper if you use it all up and that’s very unlikely unless you specialize in one particular niche of jewelry.
  • Bead shows are great because you can see and appreciate the goods and keep up with the new trends but shopping around on the Internet might be cheaper particularly if you are buying generic items like branded crystals.
  • I know that sometimes you need the beads to give you inspiration so if a strand is just irresistible, go ahead, you’ll still be able to gaze at them and think how beautiful they are even if you don’t make anything from them and you never know…maybe some day…

Finally, if you find you need a shopping trolley to carry your purchases then you’ve definitely bought too much!