Monday, September 21, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Bead Colors for Fall / Winter Bead Art Fashion Jewelry Designing

My color collages for this Fall / Winter fashion and bead art jewelry design season.

While working with these colors and selecting some of the coordinating beads, bead mixes, sequins and embellishing cords; I was really taken by how the obvious may not be so obvious this fashion season.

Case in point. You might think that Creme Brulee or Nomad will be the neutrals for of the season; but Iron is really a strong front runner.

Pairing Honey Yellow with Iron is oh, so lovely – and it seems that  more and more designer’s are using Iron or varying shades of this color as the neutral or primary color in their designs.

I will post in more detail which items are in my color collages. I have a few more to pull together, but this is a good place to start. 

Pictured below: Majolica Blue, Honey Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Nomad & Warm Olive.

Technorati Tags:

The Bead Stylist: Pantone’s 2009 Fall / Winter Fashion & Home Decore Colors

Which one will be your favorite this season?

PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Honey_Yellow_1143 PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Warm_Olive_1544
Honey Yellow Warm Olive
PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Nomad_1212 PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Rapture_Rose_1929
Nomad Rapture Rose
PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Burnt_Sienna_1544 PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Majorca_Blue_4125
Burnt Sienna Majolica Blue
PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Creme_Brulee_1006 PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Iron_1306
Creme Brulee Iron
PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_Purple_Heart_3520 PANTONE_FCR_FALL09_American_Beauty_1759
Purple Heart American Beauty

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Leopard Print & Lilac What a Beautiful Combination….

…although I must admit that it is not an original thought.

I received an email from Ann Taylor this today and as soon as I saw the leopard & lilac combination I started coming thinking of the endless possibilities for this combination’s use in bead art jewelry design and bead mixes.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Bead Stylist: LA Fashion Show and No One Shows? Wall Street Journal

Is this the beginning of the end of fashion shows as we know them?  This article is an eye opener with lots of good bits of information; some things I never knew like in most countries the government sponsors their designers fashion shows.

Which is the basis for the article. Designers must rely on sponsorships to present their fashions, yet the major sponsors are backing out; it will be more than interesting to see how this looks for the 2010 / 2011 fashion season.

Viewing the fashion shows even just via slide shows or  on video from sites like the New York Times Fashion are such a source of inspiration and direction for those of us not even associated with the fashion industry; how devastating this could be for those totally dependant on the industry.

It was clear early in the economic down turn that there would be major changes in the fashion industry, which I blogged about previously.

Yet, the bright side is that these designers love designing and don't want to do anything else; and with passion like that there's no telling how they will assist in possibly redefining the fashion industry - stay tuned.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Using Low Cost Metals Brass, Copper, Pewter Beads in Your Jewelry

I'm glad I came across this article as I was wondering if jewelry designers, to cut cost but not compromise design, were giving much thought to using less expensive metal beads.

The chart at the end of the writers comments gives an at-a-glance look at the make up and care of these low cost metal beads.

I hope you find this information useful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Spring Cleaning Tips & Free E-Book Secrets of Savvy Etsy Sellers

I came across some links as I constantly scour blogs and other articles and realized these links could be very useful as many bead artists, designers, and Etsy sellers may be taking on some Spring cleaning as they either get ready to take the Summer off or get prepared to start selling again in September.

Free E-Book she just asks that you share the link  Secrets of Savvy Etsy Sellers

Spring Cleaning Get Ready for Selling

Home Jewelry Business Success Tips

Tutorial Sell Jewelry on Etsy

If I locate more I think I will update this post.

The Bead Stylist: Macrame Part of the Fashion's Arts & Crafts Movement NYTimes Fashion & Style

Apparently my grade school art teacher understood the history of Macrame as pointed out in this NYTimes article and taught us this fine art - I guess this tells my age because as we know art classes in public school is in itself history.

The pieces created were quite impressive, not basket hangers, or pot holders even bracelets, but elaborate bead and feather embellished wall hangings, and detailed wine bottle covers were what ended up being put on display at our local art museum in Montclair, NJ.

I kept up with the craft for a while and never did make a plant hanger.

So it's quite nice to see what's happening in fashion with this technique. Designers are making Macrame modern again by, from what  can see, going back to it's roots - detailed, ornamental knotting.

Combining mesh, chiffon, silk-cotton cording  into high-heeled sandals, dresses and vests. With designer's the likes of Jimmy-Choo commanding $2500 for a macrame clutch and macrame belts making it to the runway it looks like this trend will probably take off.

All in Knots Slide Show

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Marcia DeCoster's Review of Bead & Button Show

I've been anxiously awaiting any feedback from an attendee of this years Bead & Button Show and Marcia DeCoster is the first to post to her blog that I've come across.

I just took a brief look at a few of the links listed on her blog, and left my comments; but wanted to post her information here before returning and drooling over some amazing beads, and bead weaving.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Ann Benson Free Bead Stitching Tutorials

I'm dyslexic and was more than relieved when I happened on beads as a business that I wouldn't have to attempt any type of jewelry designing; but, the more I learned about and handled the beads my artistic side started to wonder what  I could accomplish with beads.

I wasn't crazy about just bead stringing and I knew I wanted to do something which had texture, and more dimension I guess than just stringing beads.

I was introduced to bead weaving or bead stitching as Ann Benson refers to this technique and fell in love with the possibilities instantly; only to realize that the written instructions may have well been in greek because I just couldn't make heads or tails of what they were trying to get across.

Then I figured, let me get some visuals that should do the trick, and again there always seem to be a step that I was missing or just could not understand.

Being dyslexic, a researcher and determined is a very useful combination as I don't give up easily and figured there had to be some instruction that could help me see what I was missing that my brain could wrap around and I discovered animated tutorials by Ann Benson.

As a result of seeing the animations I was able to finally learn the brick stitch - yeah!

That was about two years ago and we have a lot more interactive tools than the animated tutorials.

My new favorite is BeadTV for $3.95 a month, and Ann Benson's Beads East online store offers 11 free video and print tutorials and instructions as well as beautiful bead kits and beads.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Bead Stylist: 2009 - 2011 Color Fashion Trends

I came across this information via Facebook and although I have the Pantone colors I wanted to work with for Fall 2009 this online, downloadable color trend information is certainly much more comprehensive.

This is great because when looking for bead colors of the season and you just can't seem to describe it to your supplier then you can just send the link and you can both be on the same page - how clever!

Fashion Color Trendsetter

All Beading Aside: Social Media & Separating Yourself from The Crowd

Since I've been between fashion news events and seasons - and although there is still a lot more that I have to do - I decided to take some time to figure out yet another social media application Facebook.

The article I'm referencing here makes an excellent point which is that learning how these tools actually work, and to learn them well is a full time job - which I can attest to after trying to figure out Facebook for the past few weeks.

But if it's so frustrating why bother? In a phrase 'they work'.'

When I first heard about Twitter I though who cares about what I'm doing every step of my day. But once Twitter  started to gain momentum and popping up everywhere I had to hold true to my motto - go to where the people are, it's easier than chasing them - and so I did.

And that is the beauty, too me, of this whole social network thing. 

This article on MarketWatch (which was written as a networking tool for job seekers, but I find applies equally to anyone marketing their bead art jewelry designs or handcraft) has many excellent points and the whole article is worth a read; but the first two bullet points are oh, so true! So, before getting started with these networking tools:

  • First, pick your niche. Today, it's all about niche specialties. What's your forté? Whether it's shoes (Zappos), humor (DeGeneres), or even topics you'd think not even your mother would care about like customer service or bowling, it's all about knowing something that others will find valuable. And if you're worried your expertise won't attract others, think again. Did you ever think you'd see a cable show "At Home on the Range?"

  • Know what you want. If you're going to spend time using social media tools, then know why you're doing it in advance. Do you want to become an expert to get into the media? Do you want to generate customers for your company? Do you want to help build your product's brand? Are you looking for another job? Remember, companies -- just like you -- want to keep up with these tools. So why not turn yourself into a voice or knowledgeable expert for your company by taking what you know to the social media world? (Before going too far with this, check your company policies and with your management team to find the "win-win" for everyone.)


There's nothing like targeting a niche, and following some of these guidelines will ultimately leave you less frustrated with using these tools.  I'm finding more often than not that I am adjusting certain things based on what's been revealed in one of these social networking platforms - now you can't get any more insight into what people want than that.

My mind is always abuzz with entrepreneurial endeavors, but beads and beading are where I want to keep my focus - and even within these parameters opportunity abound.  I've had a bead business idea on the back burner for a few years now, and due to the physical limitations from my chronic pain condition, I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to realize yet another wonderful opportunity; but after understanding how powerful these social media tools can be I may be able to put my plan into action after all - who knew!

article in MarketWatch  My Facebook Pages The Bead Stylist    A1 Bead Art Jewelry Supply

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Bead & Button Beading Magazine Alternative & Free Issue Preview

BEADMAG In the interest of trying to get the most for the money - a habit I hope to last beyond the current economic conditions, I have been putting off renewing my subscription to Bead & Button magazine.

I am always inspired and amazed at the new beadwork, but due to the price, and that it's only issued six times a year - you would think for all the advertisements the magazine would be less expensive or at least issued more often.

I have been searching for a comparable publication and I quite impressed with what I found.

First the subscription level offering the best savings is the online version, called an iMag, which is around $15, and you can access all 15 issues currently available.

The Adobe Flash Flip-Book version takes a little getting used to and had a few minor glitches (or it could just be my computer), but honestly, for all that it has to offer you can't beat the price!

Second, the steps and instructions seem clearer to me, more step-by-step; with more specifics about the tools and specific beads needed for each project.

Additionally, they have very good reviews on bead stringing material, beading wire, and more, but you do have to go through each magazine.

The website also has what they call BeadTV and for $3.75 a month you can watch as many how-to instructional videos you like; probably cheaper for the yearly version.

Now maybe these videos are already on YouTube, but for this price and the time saved searching...I'll pay the $3.75.

You can try one issue out for FREE, but the videos get interrupted just as they are about to get into a technique.

Link will take you to Bead magazine and links to iMag and BeadTV.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Review of Flex-Rite Beading Wire by Bead Smith

Flex-rite-Bead-Jewelry-Wire-24k-Gold-024 I was asked about Flex-rite beading wire as an alternative to SoftFlex beading wire, or Beadalon beading wire and found that information was not easy to come by, so I got a few samples and here's my review, and a reference chart I created of colors and sizes.

I had some SoftFlex on hand and some Soft Touch, also made my SoftFlex, but much thinner for bead weaving; however, even before I got the Flex-rite I didn't like the Soft Touch for bead weaving.

What I noticed immediately was that the Flexrite is quite soft to the touch, certainly not a 'wire' like the Soft Touch, and SoftFlex.

Since I was looking for something to replace the Soft Touch for bead weaving I got the 7 Strand Clear (Stainless Steel) Micro-Wire .007" (.18mm) the thinnest diameter they had, and it was MUCH thinner than the Soft Touch .10 diameter.

I then got the 49 Strand and 21 Strand and the first noticeable difference was the softness.  Now the term 'supple' is used in most of the Flexrite descriptions and I'm not certain if this is interchangeable with 'soft' or if it means something different.

The 7 Strand and 49 Strand offer the most variety. While the 7 Strand is being compared to Tiger Tail as being more flexible and softer.

I can imagine that the subject of beading wire must be confusing for the the beginning beader and more experienced alike - I know it is for me, so I will try and compile more information over time; but for now here' is the reference chart of sizes and colors that may be of some use to you.

Pricing seems to be very competitive too. So hopefully Flexrite is a better quality beading wire without the high price of others I have purchased. 

Please post your experience about the beading wire you prefer and if you have tried the new Flex-rite wire by Bead Smith.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bead Stylist: The True Grit Behind the Glitter in Paris (NYTimes)

When I first started blogging about items I find in The New York Times Style & Fashion, I thought the content might not connect with most readers due to either the high-fashion status the artist or designer, or some of the fashion houses mentioned; but the more articles I discover the more I realize a basic reality which is each artist, designer, entrepreneur had to start somewhere.

Featured in this article is one who started as an engineer and the other a high school drop out who ended up repairing televisions and radio's. Both feel that what they learned early on are skills of the trades they started in and helped them to become successful at designing jewelry.

Perhaps that's what appeals to me most - besides the hard work - which is that some unrelated, or seemingly unrelated part of your life experience can not only help you find your passion, but find successful.  I had no idea that I would ever end up in the world of beads and beading; the one thing I did know was that I loved research and never quite knew what I would apply it too. Not knowing anything about this new venture and having to rely on customers that knew what they wanted while at the same time finding it virtually impossible to locate we relied on each other. I knew I could find them what they wanted, and they were teaching about the beading business in return. That was over eight years ago, and there is still so much I don't know, which is fine because that's what keeps it interesting.

Here's an excerpt from the article, but again the whole article is worth a read:


Though their long-term commitment to the profession is unwavering, nothing in the respective backgrounds of either designer could have foretold a career in jewelry.

“I have a degree in engineering,” said Mr. Bäumer, the son of a German diplomat and a French porcelain painter, who attended the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris, an exclusive French grande école.

“That, and surfing, helped me understand the rhythm of the elements and the importance of perfect technique.”

Coming from a more modest background, Mr. Tournaire was severely asthmatic as a child, a condition that resulted in long periods confined to his home, playing alone with stray bits of metal and wood. After dropping out of high school, he went into radio and television repair by default, a profession, he said, that helped him understand tools and gave him technical dexterity.

At 23, stirred by an urge to do something more creative, Mr. Tournaire took over the basement of his parents’ home in Saint-Germain-Laval, a village of fewer than 1,000 people in central France, and began making jewelry for friends out of kitchen utensils.

“Experimenting in that basement, I learned that I could use any unorthodox object or tool to make jewelry,” he said.

From these unconventional beginnings, both Mr. Bäumer and Mr. Tournaire have had pieces included in the permanent collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, an arm of the Louvre that is home to the museum’s furniture, fashion and jewelry collections.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Are Boutique Retail Shops the Wave of The Future New York Times On The Runway Series Top Shop in NY

I've been out of touch for a bit this month - much to do.

Perhaps you've been able to keep abreast of some of the fashion articles, but for those like me who have been a little bit out of touch, this article I came across in the New York Times Fashion online edition gives continued insight into what direction designers, and retailers are expecting, or not expecting to have to deal with in the next 1-2 years as stated here:


Over the next year or two, the fashion industry will be significantly altered, as will coverage of the industry in glossy magazines and newspapers...

Clearly it will take many of the long standing department stores time to adjust, but for the more boutique minded stores they are truly in a sweet spot!


The Topshop folks get almost everything right. The atmosphere is fun and exciting (it makes minimalist Uniqlo up the street look anemic). Although the range of merchandise is quite broad, from adorable blouses and cool fleece pants to Kate Moss’s very cute line, you feel there’s a reason for everything—that the Topshop designers and merchandisers said no more than they said yes. And the prices are great, from high to low. I saw at least a dozen things I wanted to buy, most of them for under $150. What’s more, I liked being in the store—and when has anyone said that lately?

The theme keeps developing, do you see it?  A few of my previous posts highlight this theme over, and over and my take on it is that there will be a lot more boutique style stores opening even if some will be owned by major department stores.

And with all that said there should be lots, and lots of opportunity for the niche bead artist and jewelry designer - oh, what fun!

 Link to Top Shop Article              Link to Slide Show

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Bead Stylist: New York Times Fashion Cartier Then & Now

Slide Show of Cartier jewelry going back to the early 1900's. Also interesting article about what Cartier has done to survive through the years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Belk Department Store Buying from Local Jewelry Designers

Several blog post ago I wrote about how, possibly, the changes in the economy are requiring that retail stores will need to set themselves apart and differentiate their offerings based on what many top fashion and jewelry designers have noticed about the consumer - they will buy, but it must be unique.

Then I came across an article on about Banana Republic opening up a concept jewelry store offering only 100 items per jewelry design.

Yesterday in a conversation with my sister who works at the  local Walmart, she told me about a ring she purchased from a guy that designs jewelry. She liked the ring he had on which started the conversation about his line of jewelry which he sells to Belk department stores.

She bought a sterling silver ring from him on the spot - well, he had his wares in his car, but still he was prepared to make to that sale regardless of the size.

I've asked her to get more information from him, apparently he's a regular at Walmart, because I really would like to know how a small town designer, selling from his car got into a major department store.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Color & The Economy: Why We're Now Shopping By Color

I just happened on this video clip 'Color Me In a Shopping Mood' on the Wall Street Journal's online edition and it's quite interesting to take note just how and why the economy is changing our shopping habits to base our choices by the color we need.

Regardless of what you design, sell; jewelry home decore hand-crafts color will be what determines how people may respond and ultimately decide to purchase - now, and into the future.


  • Color is emotional
  • Assign color to the right product
  • What colors can I combine with what I already own
  • Entice with color to make the sale!

Dominant colors which will will continue through from Spring Summer 2009 to Fall Winter 2009 - 2010

  • Purple - continues to be one of the most consistent colors for several seasons now, Blue with purple undertones, and of course the various shades of purple and in the bead world amethyst.
  • Yellow - so many shades to select from; thanks to Pantone for giving us such a range.



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Spring Fashions African Style

What don't you want from this Out of Africa collection featured in The New York Times.

The shoes are truly the show stopper sans the pricing of up to $3,000

Out of Africa shoes leading the style

Or is it the head dresshead dress#2  head dress#3 

Fashions are conceptualized not from an ethnic perspective, but from the rich geometric shapes, and burst of muted colors out of Africa.

Here are some highlights form the main article which details the mix of inspiration for accessories, shoes, handbags and of course the role colors plays;

Fabric was the story at many shows, starting with the animal prints revisited — but in bright hues

The most dramatic example of tribal fabrics was offered by the Japanese designer Junya Watanabe. He came up with bold prints in an African palette of big-sky blue, burnt orange, earth brown and leaf green. Those fabrics were made into pretty summer dresses, while heads wrapped with bunches of wildflowers sweetened the mix.

...colonial world has also been mined for inspiration. The heat-and-dust colors of stone gray and sand beige, with a hint of military khaki, produced another African scenario. For Hermès, that meant re-creating the effect of desert sands on the surface of rippling suede dresses. For Ralph Lauren, the colonial looks fell somewhere between India and Africa, with low-crotch pants — those sarouel and jodhpur styles that are so à la mode this summer.

Necklaces with a faintly tribal feel look great when in graphic shapes. Bangles are everywhere, from wide cuffs to narrow bracelets, mostly in inventive modern materials to emulate the ivory and horn of now-endangered species.

Bags have just a hint of the wild in their serpent skins or with other natural materials like galuchat (a type of fish skin) or stout saddle leather. For the smaller clutches, a few beads threaded on a cord are sufficient to pass the message — without resorting to the heavy embellishments that are going out of fashion.

But it is the shoes that are leading the forward march of African style...the demand is all the more piquant because no pair of these shoes is alike, enforcing a desire for the unique, handcrafted object in which Africa itself excels.

Link to article

Here's the link to the complete slide show - please note, that some of the slide shows titles are out of order.

Out of Africa Fashion Slide Show from The New York Times

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Gap's Banana Republic Brand to Focus on Limited Edition Jewelry Designs

A fascinating read for me especially since, not long ago, I posted in a forum that it's quite possible large, and small retail boutique stores, will be looking to offer unique limited pieces of jewelry designs and that Etsy may very well be the place for them to find many of their unique creations.

The new test stores they are creating, according to this MarketWatch article 'Gaps Banana Republic To Open Accessory Store' (for some reason can't link to this article)

"For our customers today, affordability is paramount and being fashionable is always in style," said Jack Calhoun, president of Banana Republic, in a statement.

My previous blog post about how fashion designers are refocusing is giving even more credit by this particular MarketWatch article.

Just think about it, we are talking about The Gap, Banana Republic; and while sales may be down you can be sure that they put some serious research dollars behind designing this new concept store. And if their research has determined that limiting styles to only 100 pieces per design is what customers want and this trend takes off; well, jewelry designers that don't care to mass produce may want to take notice!

It remains to be seen how the test store may benefit Banana Republic, analysts said. In comparison, about 100 listings of Banana Republic's existing jewelry collection were featured on its Web site, offering earnings and other trinkets mostly under $50.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Finding Jewelry & Bead Art Design Trends on the Runway 2009 Spring / Summer Fashion Week

The Fashion industry's focus is already on designing for 2010; but so many of us need to stay focused on designing for now, Spring / Summer 2009.

This week I will be reviewing the shows via New York Times archives focusing on accessories used by designers.

Here you will find links to the Spring 2009 New York Fashion Show.  Not only will you notice how many of these designers like Tracy Reese are using this seasons colors, but how they accessorized their fashions.

So to you I say - Get Inpired!

NOTE: why not keep one browser window open with the color chart listed in the Primary Colors blog post so you can see how the designers are using these colors.

Tracy Reese Spring Collection

Izaak Mizrahi

Betsey Johnson


In case you don't get a chance to review all of the shows, I will be adding more during the week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Primary Colors for 2009 Spring / Summer

Pantone Color Blocks Spring Summer 2009 2009 Spring / Summer season are oh, so pretty:

Rose Dust & Slate Grey are two of this season neutral colors

Dark Citron & Vibrand Green truly capture the changes of Spring and naturally work well with the Spring Leaves Beads Mixes - but don't limit yourself to just these bead mixes

Salmon Pink & Lemon Yellow just scream Summer Fun! Several Bead Mix Color Palettes will be fun to work into your bead art jewelry designs!

Fuschia Red is so much more versatile than you might think; even when worked with color neutrals Rose Dust & Slate Grey

Lavender & Lucite Green - Lavender another color carried over from Fall/Winter, showing just how versatile it is working in the Lilac Bead Mix Color Palette

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Spring / Summer 2009 Colors & Coordinating Bead Mixes Part 2 Focus on Fuschia Red

Pantone Spring Summer Color 18-2328 Fuchsia Red 

Fuschia Red, with it's blue undertones, is described as evoking certain emotions, being a show stopper while at the same time adding a sense of elegance in fashion, cosmetics and home decore.

It's quite interesting to know where inspiration comes from for designer's; what experiences they draw on to create.  I captured much of that on these pages which were created to, not just focus on the one color, but visualize complimentary colors too.

That's where the Bead Mix Color Palettes come in; as they not only show, at-a-glance, how, or which colors you might choose to start designing with - isn't that more than half of the time we spend before even putting wire-to-bead?

Now I'm not saying that what's compiled here is all there is to work from - but do make sure to check back often, 'cause I will do make frequent updates to the palettes - but, like I stated before, these color palettes can be a tremendous time-saver.

2009 Spring Summer Fashion Colors1 Spring Flowers 2009 Spring Summer Fashion Colors3 Heather Flamenco Pink Flamingo2009 Spring Summer Fashion Colors2-1 Lilac

Now don't forget to check these pages to see how fashion designer's are pulling these colors together; and have Fun!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Designer's are Changing Their Strategy in This Economy and Positioning for Better Times Ahead

Although we may consider ourselves small-time, niche designer's, remember, that's where many of the larger designers got their start; so there are clearly some lesson's to be learned here.

Technically, in the beading world - from jewelry design to bead weaving, it's all about Fashion; so why not take what these designer's are saying about how they are positioning themselves to face the challenges in this down economy and see how that can help the survivors survive.

The past few weeks I've come across forum posting, Wall Street Journal articles, and email newsletters weighing the pro's and con's of what it takes to make it in this down economy, if your your a small entrepreneur on Etsy and you question the economy, then your told you have a negative attitude or outlook; if your in major department stores and your designs have been marked down to prices you never dreamed of selling your creations for then it's the department stores that have caused you this malaise.

But the last article I read on is what prompted me to finally be able to write about this subject; because it does show how, despite the truth in all of the aforementioned, there are some ways to benefit during this  these challenging times.

  • Find out what your customer is looking for during this economic down turn - believe it or not, people are willing to spend; but perhaps they have certain conditions.
  • Stay on top of what your customer wants.
  • Keep your quality consistent - after all that's probably what got your customers in the first place.
  • Flexibility in your designs - fashion designers are noticing that their customers are still willing to pay BUT they want different and functional clothing.
  • Develop your Niche or go back to your roots if that's what worked for you originally.
  • Cut costs where you can that won't show up in your designs.

Several fashion designers are not cutting back on the decision to expand; however, they are being more focused on how they go about expanding.

Having a niche product and designs, and keeping things fresh seems to be the going theme as these designers share how they intend to this time period:


"Without people buying your clothes, you are not going to have a business anymore," said designer Rebecca Taylor, who added she had to make sure each of the 33 pieces she put on the runway stood out. "It's very important to bear that in mind when you are designing."

Newness, while always critical, has become the latest industry buzzword and now carries a sense of urgency.....After the carnage of the holiday season, newness, everybody agrees, is what's needed to spur shoppers to look past what's in their closets and start buying again. -- or better yet, to start paying full price again, after being pampered with deals of at least 70% off during the holidays.

"Designers are definitely stepping up their game and giving people a reason to buy," said Claire Hamilton, a retail analyst at trend-consulting and information firm WGSN. "You need to make every piece as distinctive as possible. Everyone is so much more conscious of the real commercial nature of the fashion industry. Designers are aware that if they make beautiful clothes that don't sell, they won't survive."


OK, it's time to get back to work!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Down Economy Screams for Pick Me Up Colors

A New York Times article narrated by Bill Cunningham seemed a bit to far out to me at first, but after watching the video and listening to his commentary Bill's interpretation did make more sense.

Of course several of the suggestions you may not pair-up, or wear in public yourself, but remember this was during the New York Fashion show where inspiration is certainly to be had.

Now in the beading world accomplishing these extremes in color design is certainly not difficult, but the call is to make the extreme color combination wearable - at least that's what I would like to do.

video article   A Dash of Color

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Spring / Summer 2009 Colors & Coordinating Bead Mixes Part 1

So many questions about what the Spring colors are for this year so although a bit more work has to been done I will focus this next week on what has been forecast for 2009 Colors in Fashion & Home Decore.

Pantone's Spring forecast is already at work in current fashion trends.

Pantone Color Blocks Spring Summer 2009


There are several bead mixes which work beautifully along side these colors forecast for the season. Some of these mixes are already listed at 

The bead mixes shown are just a sampling of how well they work with these Pantone colors.


Pantone Spring Summer Color 15-1626 Salmon Rose

6mm Fire Polished Bead Mix Flamenco 10o Miyuki Delica Bead Mix MelonBerry 8o Miyuki Triangle Bead Mix Flamenco 4x4 Miyuki Cube Bead Mix Spring Flowers  10o Miyuki Delica Bead Mix Flamenco

Pantone Spring Summer Color 18-2328 Fuchsia Red


More information to come!

All Beading Aside: New York Times Article New Brooklyn Culture Etsy Influenced?

Although I would love to talk crafting and beads all day, there are so many articles which influence what to say, and which also inspires creativity.

The new buzzword 'buy American made' may be taking off in a way that people may not take notice of, and hand crafted goods, whether it be soft goods, furniture and specific to this article food may be the way many people will find to regroup.

Don't forget the links at the end of the New York Times article Brooklyn's New Culinary Movement