|Purple Haze sunset over Orange, California|
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
You've all heard the real estate adage "Location, location, location"! In the world of jewelry design and production it's all about resourcing. I'm a proponent of supporting local bead stores in Orange County. Actually, in all truthfulness, I'd support a bead store just about anywhere, in any vicinity that I happen to find myself. Yes, it's an obsession, but it's particularly important to shop locally. For one thing, it keeps a percentage of the sales tax in your own locale. Secondly, it keeps businesses open that are a vital resource for so many of us. The product offerings and classroom instruction are a relatively inexpensive form of therapy (physical and mental) and keep most of us happy and connected to other Crafters that appreciate and understand the importance and cultural significance of handcrafting. Yet we've seen numerous stores close due to a lackluster economy, joblessness, Internet competition, increasing costs, and sometimes poor business planning. It is always sad when a store closes, and the trickle down effect can be disastrous. Understandably, there is only so much money to go around. Buying smart and having a plan is your best bet. Like my last blog about mise-en-place, planning your purchases by the project will be the biggest aid in managing your resources. Buy the smallest quantity you can get away with for that given project. Remember, anything you don't use in the project will have to be stored, and in a sense is wasted money. I'd rather buy as much as I need for the project and reserve the rest of the money for the next design. If you tend to purchase from the Internet because you find it convenient or for the best pricing, instead consider buying with a group of bead buddies and buy in bulk in local stores that offer bulk discounts or tiered pricing. Or in the very least, shop with a friend and split strands or quantities. Instead of crafting in Sterling Silver if that's prohibitive, try Silver-filled wire and/or sheet. Or, craft in copper. Copper's been a hot material for some time and is truly inexpensive. It's very forgiving and looks beautiful when combined with most colors of beads. Buying locally means not having to wait for product to arrive, and there isn't a shipping charge. Some would argue that the cost of gas is probably the same, but the advantage is you have your product in hand. Let's try to support our local bead stores as much as possible and be a little more creative with buying strategies (i.e., exhibit control when entering a bead store). So what's the significance of the pretty pic above? It's to remind you not to get caught in a hazy daze after entering a store and then feign innocence when the hubby mines your stash cabinet (or closet) and finds your cache! Just be smart about it and shop locally as much as possible.