Friday, March 29, 2013


Tales From The Road

"Christmas" by Linda Roberts
I was summoned to Texas for a hastily put together sit down, at The Bent Needle social club over in little  Guadalupe. Business was slow, and word on the street was that the Boss was looking to make some major changes. The  Bent Needle is not the kind of place you meet your buddies for a cold one. My anxiety levels were running fairly high.
Jimmy "Brickstich", as he's known, the Shop cloisonnliere sat stoned face 
across the table from me, carefully measuring his words before speaking.
I felt a warm, almost numbing, sensation around the collar.
I couldn't help but notice his thickly calloused hands.

"Business here is slow", he said, "Boss is fixin' to make some big changes. Is there In'thang you boys from  Jersey can suggest to get our numbers up?" 

I replied meekly, "We just got a shipment of seed beads from Japan, and the Czech Republic, about 30 Kilos worth of untubed grade A merchandise. We can handle the distribution from Jersey , you fellas can do the tubing down here in Texas."
Jimmy "Brickstich"

"Brickstitch" looked back at me coldly. "Let me tell y'all Jersey boys sumpin'. The Boss is purtte clear about them seed beads. He doesn't want good Texas folk hooked on that stuff, especially the children. Take your seed bead talk back to Jersey, Yankee, and don't ever mention it again. Things are  Libel'ta real ugly if you do."

“If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.” -James P Lewis

As Shop owners you often wrestle to find a healthy balance between the enthusiasm and wants, of your customers, and spatial and capital limitations involved in running your business'. My "sit down" in Texas was actually a real good discussion with a fellow shop owner, reluctant to expand her small range of seed beads to generate new business. Sales of semi-precious strands were down markedly. As her shops inventory was greatly weighted towards semi precious stones, sales were stagnant at best.

Classes are a wonderful way to introduce a product, or range of products, without fully commiting  your limited resources (ie, space and capital). Let your customer's enthusiasm be the impetus to get you off the fence and try something new. 

My meeting in Texas resulted in just a small trial order of SuperDuos. The order consisted of  just enough beads for a class of ten students. The enthusiasm that the one class generated resulted in an ongoing NEW revenue stream, and a heightened level of excitement in the shop. Stocking a new range of seed beads also brought in new customers, who previously only thought of the shop as a destination for their semi-precious needs.

Just my two cents.........

Keep on beadin'



  1. What a fantastic read and a surprise! I'm touched! I hope everyone catches on to the fun of super duos. I know I'm hooked!

  2. I've been intruiqued by Superduos. I haven't even made anything with Tilas yet, I'm so behind the times! Love the article!