Thursday, June 2, 2011

Market Research

A while back, while I was still on my bead sabbatical, a friend asked if I would like to mass produce his bracelet bead designs for $3 a piece. Bet you can guess what I said to that.

Next, my neighbor came by with her Pandora bracelet, and rummaged through a box of strays I had sitting around. She found two beads with large holes that slipped right onto her bracelet. They didn't have silver core linings, but she really didn't care.

Then a few days ago, a longtime customer bought a couple of my latest flower beads, assuming that they would fit her Troll bracelet. I was sorry to have to tell her they wouldn't, and then I started thinking...

Huh. Maybe I should consider making bracelet beads again.

Yesterday I made up a few little flowery beads with big holes. I know they fit the Troll bracelet, because I have one. I'm still not sure about Pandora, but when I can catch my neighbor, I'll ask to try some of these on her bracelet.

This morning I visited both the Troll and Pandora websites for a quick look around. I know they sell a lot of beads, but I'm not really very impressed with what they have to offer. Here's an official Troll "Antique Flower Diamond" bead. The price is $43. See for yourself, or buy it here.


And here's a flower bead from Pandora, price $40. Buy it here.

OK. Yes, they have silver cores, and silver is unbearably expensive these days. But come on... these just aren't very exciting beads. Sorry.

So what I'm wondering is this -- does it really matter if I silver line my bracelet beads? I could, but only to fit Troll bracelets at the moment. I already have some silver tubing for those. To fit Pandora, I'd need to buy larger tubing, which I'll consider if I see a wild excitement from you Pandora people. Also, adding the cost of the silver, and the extra time it takes to do that work, I'd have to charge more than I'll charge for "naked" bracelet beads. 

If you have one of these bracelets, and you're a potential bracelet bead customer, please tell me what you think about all this. I don't often ask, but I really do want to know.

And now for today's beads. All are encased CZ flowers. To buy them, same as yesterday, send a new email to kim@kimmiles.com. If you're first, I'll send you a PayPal invoice. If not, try again tomorrow. I'll do my best to keep 'em coming. 

These will fit Troll, not Pandora. 1, 2, 3 are "naked," meaning not lined with silver. They're $20 each, and shipping is free. Click the pictures to enlarge them. Red numbers mean the bead is sold.

Thank You!!!

1, 2, 3

These next three also fit Troll, but not Pandora.
They are lined with sterling silver, and are $30 each, with free shipping.

4, 5, 6

The next 6 beads are my classic encased CZ flowers. 
They do not fit bracelets of any kind.
These are larger beads, measuring from 15-18 mm across. 
These are still just $25 each, with free shipping. Enjoy!

7, 8, 9

10, 11, 12




15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kim,
I have Troll bracelets and have made necklaces for Troll-style beads but have *never* bought a glass bead from Troll, nor do I intend to. I am completely unimpressed with what they offer. My Troll bracelets and necklaces are exclusively used to wear your gorgeous silver-lined beads (and some "naked" ones, too). :) I much prefer it this way for many reasons, not the least of which are quality and the connection to the artist who made each bead with love and care! I am thrilled you've made some silver-lined beads and hope others share my enthusiasm and passion for them!

All the Best,
M-E

Anonymous said...

Kim - I make my own jewelry and use your beads as my focals, using crystals and silver to make beautiful bracelets. Your beads FAR outshine Troll and Pandora!
Barb C.

Merikay said...

Your flower beads are much nicer than the others. I guess it is because you are an artist doing individual beads, theirs are probably done by Chinese girls in a mass produced environment. They need to be simpler so they can list sell them. People want what they see in the picture.

I don't wear jewelry of any kind, but I think you should do both lined and unlined. Charge for the silver and work. If you need to buy larger tubing, can you buy just a small amount? If it costs more than a larger amount then charge more.

Bed making is your gift. I'm glad you have returned to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim!
I love your Troll-sized beads (I have quite a stash to prove it!), and they do not even BEGIN to compare with any others. I prefer them silver-lined, they are perfect.
I'm sorry I missed today's offers, but I'll be on the lookout, with my fingers crossed. And hope the postal strike that is starting tonight will not be too long...!
Francoise

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim! I too am a collector of your silver-lined Troll-sized beads, and while I wouldn't eschew the unlined ones, I do love them with the silver. Glad to see you're making bracelet beads again!
Andrea

Hazely said...

I have a Troll bracelet, full of your beads, but to be honest I really don't know that I would worry whether they had silver cores or not. Sometimes I think a heavy silver core detracts from or even hides a delicate design. I suppose it does give the bead some protection from chafing against the next bead, but...naked is good!
Hazel

Kim said...

Hi Kim,

I have a pandora bracelet. I've never bought their glass beads because I haven't been impressed with them, and also because I'd rather have a unique bead than a mass produced bead that anyone can get. Your beads are gorgeous and it wouldn't matter to me if they were silver lined or not.

Kvarsz said...

Love number 11's blue core w/ contrast. Late as usual. :( Don't own either bracelet. I always found the glass beads overpriced & underwhelming - plus some are made in China. I like to know where my art comes from. Doesn't matter to me. Love your beads either way.

Michelle said...

Last summer I bought my first Troll bracelet. I purchased a couple of silver beads to go with it, but I bought it with your beads in mind. I have also since looked at both the Pandora and Troll bead sites and agree that they are not impressive at all. The beads you make are far superior to anything else I've seen. :) And as soon as I can (assuming they're still available) I'll be stocking up!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others....forget the silver lining :o) Your beads are absolute perfection...the others (Pandora) are dull and lifeless...

Sue said...

I agree... Love your beads. Bought a bracelet, just so I could put some of your beads on it. (It's a "Troll".) No silver lining is good... The clear glass picks up the silver from the bracelet (showing thru).

PA said...

Oops. Just lost my comments trying to post them. Here goes again. Not to confuse the issue, but I have Chamilia bracelets and neck chains. I managed to fit the beautiful memorial bead you made for me on the neck chain but it won't fit on the bracelets. As I understand it, Chamilia is the same size as Pandora so I'd prefer Pandora size from you. I prefer silver lined but would probably also buy unlined if I really liked the bead. And to echo everyone else, your beads are FAR more beautiful than anything else! Polly Anna

Anonymous said...

I like both the silver lined and unlined...I don't own one of your beads that fits troll style bracelets but am hoping too!! ;)

Your beads are my favorite flower beads I own. I have a couple lotus ones, and a couple florals. They have a certain quality about them that set them apart...kind of like the flowers were painted, like some rich oil painting. They have more rich depth than other floral beads I've come across if that makes any sense...

I'm hoping (:D :D :D) you might make some donut floral beads someday as well. Those are my favorite, they are just so delicious!!

rachelweisenberger said...

Fire Mountain offers plated gromments 4mm-5mm-5.5mm sold per 100 per pkg $4.19 - $9.31 that can be glued into large hole beads using G-S Hypo cement.

The sterling ones came 20 per pkg $6.23

worth checking out

Kim Miles said...

Thanks everybody! You've been REALLY helpful!