Sunday, February 19, 2017

B-Fashion Trends: How Fashion Design Helped Define my Handmade Bead Woven Earring Niche

Handmade Bead Woven Earrings with Czech Glass & Miyuki Beads

Early inspiration for my earring designs came from fashion shows, Pantone Color Trends reports, and inspired me to start B-Fashion Trends.

I'm certainly no earring designer by nature - even penned myself The Accidental Artist - selling beads and all things bead related was a more natural fit.

Anyway, there was a time, due to complications from injuries sustained in a very bad auto accident, that I thought I'd have to reconsider the bead business.The down-time in front of the computer was taking a serious toll on my bead business.

So, thought if I could use a different part of my brain while trying to figure things out it might help in the decision-making process.

The only thing I could think of was to learn to use the many beads that bead art jewelry designers were buying from me - especially, if I could figure out some of the stitches like peyote & brick- which always fascinated me but I just never had time to really figure them out;  so I started with learning all aspects of Brick Stitch.

Apparently, it was just the challenge I needed, because not only was it a terrific outlet, but it helped me learn so much more about the beads and their relationship with other beads, findings, jewelry components and bead stringing materials - I got hooked!

I totally understood how others just totally fell in love with seed beads, Delica beads, Charlotte cut beads, and bugle beads.  I started to understand how Czech glass fire polished beads, druk/pressed beads worked together with the various seed bead types I was experimenting with.

But I still was not an earring designer!

I wouldn't wear them, but when friends saw them they offered terrific feedback and made requests to purchase, but I refused,  I just didn't think they were good enough.

I always loved fashion, especially high end, even though I didn't wear I loved the craftsmanship and attention to detail, so I studied the fashion week via The New York Times fashion section paying close attention to the accessories.

Then I happened onto Pantone's bi-annual color trend report which helped me to better balance my colors (not sure if that's a fashion/jewelry term).

Seeing the long flowing gowns, sparsely accessorized - which I can understand as even on the runway you can have much of a good thing - so I started thinking of my earrings as a type of fashion design - shirt... waist/belt... skirt/dress.

And that's when I started liking my handmade earrings. even though I used the same basic stitch, the variation of beads made all the difference; which is why I like my tag-line:

... It's All About The Beads!

I made a pair for a special gala event and I immediately started getting orders!

I took them to my hair appointment and sold four pairs while waiting to get my hair done. The salon owner asked me to bring more and display them or set up a table to sell the earrings.

Most designs pictured are about four years old and I still not only get compliments but requests to purchase.

Still loving the bead business with all its challenges, but I'm so looking forward to getting back to creating new beaded earring designs!

KD_Bead The Bead Stylist

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