November 9, 2010

Go Shopping!

Ok, y'all!  It's time to go shopping.  All the new jewelry is up on my website (  It's Holiday time; you need gifts for your friends, sweeties, loved ones and YOURSELF!  Go have some fun!

October 13, 2010

Better By Design

Sometimes I have to wonder why I do things.  For instance, I design a necklace.  I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm sure that someone will like it, and want to buy it.  People even admire it when they come into my booth.  But it doesn't sell, and it doesn't sell.  What to do?  Well, the answer is obvious.  REDESIGN it!  Take the darn thing apart, and challenge yourself, using the same beads, to make a better necklace.  And viola; it's done!  A better necklace, by design.  Check this out:

Now, I ask you: Which one would you rather wear?  I know my choice (and I do!).  Why couldn't I have designed it this way to begin with?  Well, times change.....

Here's another one:

Before:  (G-d it's awful!  Big and heavy.  Even the photo's bad)

After:  (It's so much better; lighter, more delicate, pretty!)

I just wish I could make the best design the first time, every time.  But this is how an artist keeps improving.   And someday, all my designs will be so appealling that Anbeads jewelry will be worn by everyone, everywhere!

August 12, 2010

Beaded Beads

Oh how I love making beaded beads!  They can be almost soothing to make.  Once you know how to make them, all you have to do is pick colors.  Follow the instructions, until you know the structure of the bead (and maybe the math behind it), and then do what you want (of course you don't have to follow all the instructions.......).
Dodecahedron beads
Multi-Beaded Beads
And the cool thing is, if you use the right colors and sizes of beads, they don't have to look "vintage."  You can even bead a bead that looks a little like lampwork glass.  For anyone who wants instructions for the dodecahedron beads, go here:
The instructions are practically foolproof!

Technorati Claim Token

This is a really boring post.  You don't have to read it!  I have to post this claim number, so that Technorati- a blog search engine, can verify that this blog is real- so that millions of other people, just like you, can find me and all my pithy stories. 

Technorati Claim Token:  TTNW2QWSE6E2

August 11, 2010

An Artist's Joy

The greatest compliment that a jewelry artist can receive:  seeing a total stranger at the grocery store, wearing a necklace that you designed- and sold, years ago.

That happened to me yesterday.  It's happened once or twice before.  I always have to look twice; three times, even four.  Not only did someone buy my work, they love it well enough to wear it, even years later.  YES!

January 27, 2009

How to Price Your Handmade Beaded Jewelry

Pricing beaded jewelry is always a challenge. When I first started in this business, I always felt a little guilty about how I came up with a price, and what I ended up charging. But I've learned few things! The most important thing to remember is, if you've priced your jewelry honestly and fairly, your prices are fine.

I've heard loads of ways that people price their handmade jewelry. There are so many complicated bits that go into it: figuring out your overhead (what it costs you to be a jeweler: your workspace, the lighting, your computer, office supplies, etc), calculating your profit margin, figuring your labor costs- you could go nuts coming up with a formula. But all the methods I've encountered provide you with about the same price: three times the cost of your materials.

Once you've figured out a base price, consider your audience. Are you selling to a sophisticated, wealthy crowd? Are you selling at an expensive art festival with high booth fees, or at your child's school fundraiser? If you are in a big city, you can probably charge more for your jewelry than if you are in a rural community.

There are several things to remember when coming up with a final price for your work:

  • Price your work fairly. People expect to pay more for high quality work. They expect to pay more for real materials. Yes, you can buy silver or gemstones for less than the public has to pay, but the public knows that quality costs extra. If your prices are too low, people will think that your materials are cheap, fake, and/or that your quality is bad.
  • Your talent and time are worth something! Charge for them! You can't make money if your final price only represents the actual cost of your materials. It's also not fair to other artists if you price so low that you can only replace your materials. If it costs you $8 to make a pair of earrings, the retail price is $24. If you price them at $8, you undercut the entire market.
  • Keep your prices the same, regardless of where you sell. If you sell in a gallery or another store, your prices should be the same as theirs when you sell at a show. It's not fair to the shop owners who sell your work if you undercut the prices they have to charge (their overhead is higher than yours).
  • Wholesale is not retail. Wholesale prices are a fraction of retail prices (you can decide what your fraction is- mine is half). If you are selling to a store, you are selling at your wholesale price. If you are selling directly to the public, you're selling retail. If your goal is to make scads of money, regardless of how much time it takes you, sell only in retail venues, at retail prices. If you want to move your inventory as quickly as possible, sell wholesale to as many merchants as you can find. But do not sell wholesale to the public. When you do that, you undercut the market and ruin your chances to raise your prices to retail.
  • Always err on the side of charging too much. It's easy to put your work on sale. It's much harder to raise your prices. People like a bargain, but they hate to pay more. If you price a little higher, you have the latitude to negotiate the final price or to put items on sale, and still turn a profit. Besides- if you price high and customers are still willing to pay, you've learned just how much your work is appreciated!
Once you come up with an honest price for your jewelry, don't feel guilty about what you charge. If potential customers balk at your prices, explain it to them. Educated customers are your best customers. Tell them what gemstones cost, or what the current silver fix is. Explain the complexity of your techniques. Tell them that your materials are all handmade; that they come directly from Thailand or India (explain fair trade too them as well). And if you've used a special component (such as a ceramic pendant that you bought directly from the artist), tell them about it. People love to know the story behind handmade work, so don't feel like you're pressuring them by telling them.

Now, if any of you have stories or advice about pricing your beaded jewelry, let me know!

January 25, 2009

Hi! It's my first post!

Hi. Welcome to my blog. I'm thinking that as I try to make this puppy look just perfect, that it might be nice to actually have something to post. Here goes:

I'm Hannah. I'm the owner and designer of Anbeads LLC.
You can see my stuff at I design and make my own line of beaded jewelry. I make necklaces, bracelets and earrings, but even better, I design bracelets for medical identification tags (those bracelets that people wear so that if they get into trouble, that anybody rendering care will be able to find out what their medical condition is).

How did I start making medical alert bracelets? My daughter got sick, and has to wear one. She wore a store bought one for a few years, but then, at the ripe old age of 6, decided that they were just too awful (let's face it- stainless steel cable chains just aren't very attractive). As a mother of many talents, I just put my design skills to work. Now she has a wardrobe of pretty crystal and glass bracelets for her tag.

But that's getting ahead of the story. Why did I start making jewelry? I had to go to a black tie wedding 3000 miles from my home. I had to pack black tie clothing and clothing for a 7 day vacation into one suitcase. Fancy, fussy clothing just isn't my thing, and I had no desire to figure out how to pack cocktail clothes so that they would stay nice, all wadded up. I ended up with a black "travel knit" outfit that could only be worn with good jewelry. Since I wasn't about to pay money for the nasty stuff that the sales lady showed me, I decided to make my own. I'd never made jewelry before, but I am an artist. I had so much fun making the necklace and earrings that I designed, and I was so pleased with my creations, that I felt sure that other people would like it too.

And it turned out that I was right! I took my shy bones into a gift shop (I decided that the worst thing that would happen would be that they wouldn't buy anything), and the owner bought the necklace right away! And she asked me to make some more, so that her husband could sell them to other gift shops that he knew about. I don't even have a picture of the first necklace I ever made....... (the picture here is a more recent creation)