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Thursday, 7 October 2010

It's All About the Antiqued Metal

It wasn't until I started supplying findings that I really became a fan of antiqued metal findings. I guess it was because they are not as widely available and I didn't come across them that often, but now I have so much and can't get enough!

My best seller is definitely the antiqued brass, it has such a warm colour..


I've recently discovered antiqued copper, it has a shiner, brighter look but also a lovely colour, will look stunning with all different colour beads..


Then of course theres antiqued silver which gives a beautiful aged look to your jewellery..




All above findings are available on my website www.beadsandmorebylois.co.uk or in my eBay shop http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Beads-and-More-Jewellery-Findings?_rdc=1




Saturday, 31 July 2010

1st Week in Business

I officially launched my beads and findings supply side to my business on Monday and so far I have had four orders, which isn't too bad in my opinion! Sold a few Vintaj Natural Brass items and the customer was really pleased with them and will be coming back for more! 

I am already out of stock of these gorgeous flourish petal bead caps, which open up and look beautiful wrapped around beads, or objects!



At the moment I have a wider selection of findings then I do beads but eventually I'd like to cater for everyone and stock all the popular beads on the market, especially Swarovski crystal. 

I'm going to start working on my kit boxes and project ideas soon, need to get all these ideas in my head into action so theres more on the website for everyone to enjoy!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

We're Open for Business! Fabulous Findings


I've been missing in blog action for a while now as every minute of spare time I've had I have been adapting my website to an online beads and findings shop!
I had been thinking of it for a while, I absolutely love getting a jewellery supply order but find it hard work to get the best deals as prices vary so much for the same items across all my favourite suppliers, so... I thought why don't I supply everything and make all the prices reasonable for everything! And also source some different findings and have a good stock of them rather then the odd piece and then I found Vintaj Natural Brass and fell in love! They accepted me to buy wholesale from them, so I placed a huge order and now it is all in my shop for everyone to buy!!


  


I also have a nice range of antiqued brass and antiqued silver, sterling silver, silver and gold plated and lots of lovely beads - shell beads, mother of pearl, wood, glass beads and swarovski crystals.





I have found a good wholesale supplier of Swarovski crystals and wire so once my shop is making more money I will invest in more crystals and wire.



I would like to cater for everyone, so if you are interested in buying from my shop, let me know if there is something that you buy regularly and I'll look into stocking it for you, cheaper then where you currently buy it from! Leave suggestions in my comment box of email info@beadsandmorebylois.co.uk

Delivery is FREE for UK orders over £50!!






Don't forget to join up to our monthly newsletter where we will be giving out great discount codes and be the first to hear about new items and SALES!




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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

New Venture with Beads & Findings

For the last few weeks I have been working hard on starting a beads and findings supply side to my jewellery making business. It look alot of research and a good business plan but I think I have found a little niche in the huge market!


Recently I have been using antique copper for my jewellery making and have found it slightly difficult to find a supplier who sells a good range at a decent cost so I end up buying bits and pieces all over the place. Because of this I decided it might be a good idea to stock and supply it all myself! After a bit of research I found a beautiful website called Vintaj Natural Brass Co who design and make eco friendly jewellery findings and embellishments in the USA, they also sell wholesale so I applied and was accepted to buy from them! I really can't wait to receive my package from them.


While waiting for my Vintaj and other big wholesale order I have been working on my website to turn it into a online mail order shop, it's been coming along nicely but there is still lots to do.






I have also set up a subscription newsletter which I am going to send out once a month with all my new products featured and any promotional codes or sales I'll be doing. If you would like to be one of the first to find out when my site is to be launched and receive my launch party promotional code then please sign up to my newsletter below!









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Thursday, 24 June 2010

New Earrings I Have Made

I've been making the odd bits of jewellery over the last few weeks but haven't put any of it on my website or shops as I have a couple of fairs coming up but I listed two of my favourite pieces on Etsy today!

Here are some pretty earrings I have made, the first is my favourite, all of them are handmade by twisting and shaping wire into shape!

Pink Daisy


Swarovski Chandeliers

Loopy Lou's


I've listed the Pink Daisy Earrings in my Etsy Shop along with this gorgeous bracelet..

Summer Breeze



This bracelet is made by individually coiling 100 beads and then threading them on stretchy elastic.

You can buy this in my Etsy shop also!

Will be listing them on my website, Misi & Folksy shops next week after my fairs this weekend :)




Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Collaboration Women Wednesday Blog Hop - Week 10

Welcome to Creation|Collaboration's 10th and last in this series; Women Wednesday blog roll, hosted by Beads & More by Lois, Soaperstar and Plans and Presents

Creation|Collaboration was set up by eight women, all existing friends, who run small businesses from their homes. We have started Women Wednesday blog roll to link up with other women in business, spread the word about Creation|Collaboration and basically just have fun visiting all of your interesting blogs!


We hope you have joined the weekly blog hops, we will be doing more of them in the future with a slight difference!

Heres how you can join in with Collaboration Women Wednesday:
  • Link up your blog name and URL to your Women Wednesday blog post using the McKLinky below (you only need to add on one blog to be seen on all of the McKLinky blog roll's) Please note that it's for blogs only and not links to your websites or shops.
  • Follow our Creation|Collaboration blog and the hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
  • Grab our Women Wednesday button and feature it on your blog or Women Wednesday blog post.
  • Follow and comment saying you're from Women Wednesday on as many blogs as you likes listed in the McKlinky box.
  • Follow back any new followers from Women Wednesday!
It's that easy and a fun way to discover new and interesting blogs and us women at Creation|Collaboration get to meet other women in business!

Last week Jacquie Swain from Soaphora was picked to be our 5th Blog Hop Feature!


Jacquie has incorperated Soaphora and A String of Beads to handcraft beautiful soaps, creams, balms and lampwork beads in her studio.


We asked Jacquie 5 questions so we could find out more about her and her business.

1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
I started my business in 2006 after a lengthy time off sick from my job, I started making jewellery, which, in turn, I started to sell. I then got more and more interested in where the beads came from (ethically) and so started to source British made lampwork beads. I loved them so much I started making them myself. I still make and sell beads and from time to time jewellery, but it's the beads that are my main passion. 







2. What do you love most about having your own business?
I love that each day is different, I love being able to lock myself into my studio and create when I want. I love the freedom of being my own boss and making the decisions!

3. What would you like to change?
What would I like to change, apart from the obvious, More sales, the only thing I would change at the moment is to perhaps streamline my range of fragrances a bit. There's always room for change though!



4. What do you love most about blogging?
I love the sharing of information, seeing others creativity. Lovely photographs and always learning something new!



5. What is your most favourite thing you have made?
My favourite thing that I've made, hmm thats tricky. Over the years I have made somewhere in the region of 4000 silver core beads and many many sets and its hard to have favourites as I always see the technical flaws, I'm also a relatively new soap maker and my favourites are based on fragrance and how they feel to me when I use them ( I'm biased I know so am bound to say I love them all!) However I would say that that whatever you make your first should always be your favourite as its a constant reminder of how far you've come and what you've achieved. I still feel excited when I see the first soap I made and although it's not the best and it has no smell I'm still amazed that its soap!





Thank you Jacquie for being part of the blog hop and feature.

Make sure you check out her blog


You can buy her products from her Website

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Collaboration Women Wednesday Blog Hop - Week 9

Welcome to Creation|Collaboration's 9th Women Wednesday blog roll, hosted by Beads & More by Lois, Soaperstar and Plans and Presents

Creation|Collaboration was set up by eight women, all existing friends, who run small businesses from their homes. We have started Women Wednesday blog roll to link up with other women in business, spread the word about Creation|Collaboration and basically just have fun visiting all of your interesting blogs!

Join in each week and you could be the following weeks blog feature. Every Thursday we will use Randomness software to pick someone from that weeks blog hop and announce who will be the next blog feature.

Heres how you can join in with Collaboration Women Wednesday:
  • Link up your blog name and URL to your Women Wednesday blog post using the McKLinky below (you only need to add on one blog to be seen on all of the McKLinky blog roll's) Please note that it's for blogs only and not links to your websites or shops.
  • Follow our Creation|Collaboration blog and the hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
  • Grab our Women Wednesday button and feature it on your blog or Women Wednesday blog post.
  • Follow and comment saying you're from Women Wednesday on as many blogs as you likes listed in the McKlinky box.
  • Follow back any new followers from Women Wednesday!
It's that easy and a fun way to discover new and interesting blogs and us women at Creation|Collaboration get to meet other women in business!




Last week Polly from Miss Polly was picked to be our 4th Blog Hop Feature!






Miss Polly is a new bath and beauty company based in Ayrshire, Scotland. All their products are handmade with beautiful packaging that makes them stand out.

We asked Polly 5 questions so we could find out more about her and her business.

1. Tell us about yourself and your business.






Hello, my name is Polly and I live in Ayrshire with my husband and son Matthew. I started making soaps as a hobby and gave myself 3 years to start a business. Once I mastered soaps, I then turned to body butters and I will be launching body scrubs, bath salts, bath oils, and Cold Process soaps all before the end of the year. 

I had no idea how much I would enjoy making bath products, or how much I would want other people to enjoy Miss Polly soaps, so it has been a wonderful suprise that the business has taken off so much quicker and more successfully than I ever imagined. And with so much more products than I ever dreamed of making.

2. What do you love most about having your own business?

My business is just that, my business. I thought it, dreamed it, cried over it, have handmade every single product and that is a huge boost for me. I'm not quite my own boss, as the big decisions (e.g. the big financial outlays) are made jointly with my husband, but being the owner of my own business has forced me to find skills and confidence I never knew I had, to get out there, to networking events, to shop owners, and put me and Miss Polly into the public eye. The success of Miss Polly rests on my shoulders, which might sound daunting, but is actually quite empowering and is a great motivator!


3. What would you like to change?

The usual - time and money. I work 3 days a week in an office, and it's hard to craft the other 2 weekdays with a very inquisitive toddler on the loose, so I do most things in the evenings and weekends. It's tiring but worth it as I get a huge feeling of satisfaction when I see all those pretty tins lined up on the shelf. And all the practising, the abandoned projects, just getting to this stage has been costly, so more time and money would help take the business forward and allow me to work on the ideas I have spinning around in my head.


4. What do you love most about Blogging?

For me, blogging isn't just about selling my products,  though that is important too, but it is a way of getting to know the people behing the brand, the individuals who are creating all these lovely products. I am interested to read about their thoughts and their lives, as we are all in similar positions and the community spirit among bloggers means that we all help and support each other, which is fantastic. I would not have been anywhere near this stage without fantastic feedback from networking sites. 

5. What is your most favourite thing you have made?

My favourite has to be my body butters because they work! I love that people will buy a Miss Polly body butter and within a week or 2 they will have lovely soft skin. I take enormous satisfaction from the knowledge that I've created something that has a direct beneficial effect on their skin. 




Thank you Polly for being part of the blog hop and feature.

You can buy Miss Polly products from their website

If you would like to be featured next week, make sure you join in this weeks blog hop, only 2 more left!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Everyone should try Myroo Skincare

Been a while since I've wrote a proper blog post! Things have been a bit rubbish lately, my Nan passed away last week and she was my world, I loved her so much but I know she's in a better place now. To help cheer me up my lovely friend Rachael sent me a special present..


Tried and tested it tonight in the bath and it's truly something special! Smells so lovely and definitely helps you to relax. I really love the clip top glass jars, look so nice in my bathroom with my little scoop!

I have a few friends who hand-make beauty products and I can truly say that they are much better quality then what you find in the shops, all natural ingredients and the love and care that goes into making them gives that extra special touch.

My cousin has just had a gorgeous baby boy so I've ordered this for them as Rachael also has a baby range called milly and flossy.. http://www.millyandflossy.co.uk/products/gift-sets/

I've chosen the luxury one with baby bath, baby balm, wooden scoop and a natural sponge. I know she will love it as she loves handmade products like me.

From myroo I've ordered this..


Geranium hand treat (buy your own HERE!)

I won one from Rachael a while back and it's a miracle for the hands, especially if you put it on at night with gloves! I'm treating my Mum to one of these and a peppermint lip balm, oh and an orange lip balm to myself - I couldn't go without!!

I'm looking forward to having myroo skincare at my pamper party in July so I can share all the lovely delights with my friends and family, Rachael you are going to be very busy!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Collaboration Women Wednesday Blog Hop - Week 8

Welcome to Creation|Collaboration's 8th Women Wednesday blog roll, hosted by Beads & More by Lois, Soaperstar and Plans and Presents

Creation|Collaboration was set up by eight women, all existing friends, who run small businesses from their homes. We have started Women Wednesday blog roll to link up with other women in business, spread the word about Creation|Collaboration and basically just have fun visiting all of your interesting blogs!

Join in each week and you could be the following weeks blog feature. Every Thursday we will use Randomness software to pick someone from that weeks blog hop and announce who will be the next blog feature.

Heres how you can join in with Collaboration Women Wednesday:
  • Link up your blog name and URL to your Women Wednesday blog post using the McKLinky below (you only need to add on one blog to be seen on all of the McKLinky blog roll's) Please note that it's for blogs only and not links to your websites or shops.
  • Follow our Creation|Collaboration blog and the hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
  • Grab our Women Wednesday button and feature it on your blog or Women Wednesday blog post.
  • Follow and comment saying you're from Women Wednesday on as many blogs as you likes listed in the McKlinky box.
  • Follow back any new followers from Women Wednesday!
It's that easy and a fun way to discover new and interesting blogs and us women at Creation|Collaboration get to meet other women in business!




Last week Suzanne from Scent Trail was picked to be our 3rd Blog Hop Feature!



Suzanne is a soap maker living in the North West, her soaps are made using the hot process method and are all palm oil free. She also makes lovely bath salts and body butters, read more to find out more about Scent Trail.


  

We asked Suzanne 5 questions so we could find out more about her and her business.

1. Tell us more about yourself and your business.



My name is Suzanne Jones. I live in the north west of England, and work part time in a dog food company, run a small petsitting business which I have had for about four years, and more recently set up a bath and beauty company. Oh, and I make jewellery from time to time, using Fair Trade silver beads and findings which I get direct from Thailand.

Over the past ten years or so, I have become more concerned with what I eat, where the products I use come from and how they have been tested.  For a couple of years I played with the idea of making soap, something I wanted to do but found courage lacking. The support I received from one of the forums I am a member of gave me that courage, and  finally I found something that I am good at (I think) and that I love to do. It has taken me a long time to decide what I want to be when I grow up but this is it. I love it.

The company was started after foisting my soap on a number of guinea pigs, who came back for more!  I knew then that I had the recipe right, so one safety assessment later, I set up Scent Trail in February of this year.  Since then I have created and recently launched a body butter, and I am working on a foot balm and have ideas for more products than I have time to make.  I believe in the Fair Trade ethic and like to use Fair Trade ingredients if they are available.


2. What do you love most about having your own business?



I love being my own boss. There is something quite liberating about not having to answer to someone, having creative control, and being able to go off on a tangent and see where it leads. I love standing in the kitchen stirring my cauldron and experimenting with new ingredients.



3. What would you like to change?

More money would be nice, but mainly, I would love more time to devote to the business. It is frustrating to have an idea for a new product, or packaging idea and not be able to do anything about it for a couple of days because everything else gets in the way. I need to try to build the business and that takes time that at the moment I am struggling to find.

4. What do you love most about blogging?

I have always kept a diary and love using words, blogging is an extension of that and is such an immediate way of contacting people, and is a great way of networking and showcasing your products.

5. What is your most favourite item you have made?


My favourite creation? That is difficult because they are all my babies. It is probably what I have done last, and in this case it is the body butter I made yesterday. It absorbs beautifully and makes the skin feel gorgeously soft.






Thank you Suzanne for being part of the blog hop and feature.

You can buy Scent Trail products from their website

If you would like to be featured next week, make sure you join in this weeks blog hop, only 3 more left!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Collaboration Women Wednesday Blog Hop - Week 7

Welcome to Creation|Collaboration's 7th Women Wednesday blog roll, hosted by Beads & More by Lois, Soaperstar and Plans and Presents

Creation|Collaboration was set up by eight women, all existing friends, who run small businesses from their homes. We have started Women Wednesday blog roll to link up with other women in business, spread the word about Creation|Collaboration and basically just have fun visiting all of your interesting blogs!

Join in each week and you could be the following weeks blog feature. Every Thursday we will use Randomness software to pick someone from that weeks blog hop and announce who will be the next blog feature.

Heres how you can join in with Collaboration Women Wednesday:
  • Link up your blog name and URL to your Women Wednesday blog post using the McKLinky below (you only need to add on one blog to be seen on all of the McKLinky blog roll's) Please note that it's for blogs only and not links to your websites or shops.
  • Follow our Creation|Collaboration blog and the hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
  • Grab our Women Wednesday button and feature it on your blog or Women Wednesday blog post.
  • Follow and comment saying you're from Women Wednesday on as many blogs as you likes listed in the McKlinky box.
  • Follow back any new followers from Women Wednesday!
It's that easy and a fun way to discover new and interesting blogs and us women at Creation|Collaboration get to meet other women in business!




Last week Michelle Wyatt from Melusine Soap was picked to be our 2nd Blog Hop Feature!



Michelle is a lovely soaper based in Somerset, she handcrafts all of her Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - free, glycerin soaps at home, she sells them online and at fairs. Read more to find out more about Melusine Soap!


 

We asked Michelle 5 questions so we could find out more about her and her business.

1. Tell us more about yourself and your business.

Hello, my name is Michelle, I live in the beautiful county of Somerset and I'm a mum to my 1 year old daughter, Mathilda. I've been making glycerine soaps for about 10 months now.  It started off as a little hobby to do while I was on maternity leave, making soaps as gifts for friends and family and then it just snowballed from there!  I was very fortunate to be subject to a random act of kindness from a lady I met through a soap making forum and she basically helped pay for my Safety Assessment for me to start selling soaps to customers.  From then on I've been gradually building up my collection, which is heavily inspired by my surroundings, nature and folklore.  I also set up a shop on Folksy and I had my first ever craft fair at the beginning of May.  It went so well that it helped me to decide to not return to my 9-5, well-paid job as a buyer for a helicopter manufacturer, and to focus on bringing up my daughter and making and selling soaps from home!

2. What do you love most about having your own business?

I love the creativity.  That is definitely my favourite part as there's nothing more satisfying then creating something beautiful that people also enjoy and get pleasure from.  I also love belonging to such a lovely community of fellow crafters.  Virtually everyone I've met, either on Twitter, social networking sites, or at craft fairs, have been very supportive and helpful, which is something I never noticed while working for a large company.

3. What would you like to change?



I have a list as long as my arm at the moment regarding things I'd like to change!  My business has only just started, and I'm completely learning everything from scratch.  My main priority at the moment is to clarify my brand and my logo, it's something that has been put on the back burner for far too long while I've been busy experimenting with soap making!  I'll then be working on a website which I aim to be up and running by the end of the year.

4. What do you love most about blogging?

I'm also very new to blogging, but I'm enjoying it very much.  It's a very important part of networking and I love how it can be great exposure for my business and I'm enjoying the the Folksy Friday and Creation Collaboration Women Wednesday blog hops.  Again it's like being part of a great community of crafters, who all support and learn from each other.  Taking part in blog hops means that I can meet even more crafters and keep my finger on the pulse.

5. What is your most favourite item you have made?



I'm very proud of my Oats, Milk and Somerset Honey soap.  It took a lot of planning because I really wanted to make something using local produce and to try and make it unique in some way as Oat, Milk and Honey soaps are very popular among other soapers.  It was interesting to make because it involved several different ingredients and techniques (including the bubble wrap technique to create a honeycomb effect for the honey layer) so I felt like it tested the skills I had developed over the last few months.  It's a popular seller at local craft fairs and was even ordered by someone in Alabama recently, which was an amazing complement to me and my work!



Thank you Michelle for being part of the blog hop and feature.

Buy Melusine Soaps through her Folksy Shop

You can catch Melusine Soap on Facebook

If you would like to be featured next week, make sure you join in on this weeks blog hop!