As a jewelry designer and teacher, I buy alot of my supplies wholesale – thru gem shows, thru online sources, thru major distributors, and thru a multitude of small sellers I’ve established ongoing relationships with over the years. I buy large quantities, and multiples of the same items, enabling me to get good prices so I can create and sell my jewelry competitively, and so that I can make available tools and quality materials to my students.
But… I also buy at my local bead shop and lapidary. My local shops are my bloodline – they allow me to buy small quantities when I don’t need alot, they let me see and touch the beads, and I can check out the colors and match things, knowing that what I see is what I get. They provide instant gratification!
They provide a place where I can teach, and where I can learn. And the people that own and work in these shops have invaluable knowledge and they share my passion.
Sadly, one of my favorite shops closed today… Beaded Bliss in Danville. Julie created a shop that was warm, and friendly, and knowledgeable, and I loved teaching my classes there. My students have been enthusiastic and talented, and I am so very sorry that this wonderful shop has closed.
So my plea today …. please remember your local shop. No matter what you craft is, the community of like-minded people is so very important in building creativity and sharing ideas. So please, stop by a local shop near you, and get to know them!