Bisque Beads Fun for All Ages!
by Bisque Imports
Everyone likes something new for their business; whether it is a new bisque shape, a new marketing concept or even a new product line. When looking to expand your studio offerings, be sure to consider beading. Beads offer excellent margins. The low price points for beads, findings and tools allow you to increase your bottom line while keeping your customer excited and coming back for more. Beading is fun, easy and a great way to make money!
Adding beads to your studio offerings allows you to provide a wearable art project. Bead parties for adults, kids, and tweens are hot activities. A party during which the participants create a work of art that they can take home that day provides a fun and profitable solution to the customers' desire for immediate gratification. Beading also provides an excellent "make and take" project for summer camps or off-site events. If you are short on time or are in need of pieces that do not need to be fired, beading is the perfect option. The tween market is one of the hardest groups to reach and yet is one of the most fun groups to have in your studio. They know what they like and they enjoy creating finished pieces that are unique. They also like to work with friends toward a common goal. By promoting beads in your studio, you will be better equipped to sell to these young customers with disposable income.
Who - When - Where?
Most studios that have opened beading areas offer the activity throughout all studio hours. Classes are often held throughout the month to either teach customers the basics or teach a specific project. Some of the more popular class projects include combining beads with bisque shapes such as platters or serving pieces. Summer camp, scouts and after-school art programs are ideal for introducing beads. Girls like attending friendship bracelet parties during which they can each paint a variety of beads and then exchange with friends. Boys enjoy making simple surfer-type necklaces and bracelets in addition to beaded pieces as gifts for mom. You can add a twist to girls' night out when you encourage groups to work on beading projects.
Beading gives your customer a new way to express their creativity. The best customers are those that loyally visit your studio and become repeat business as well as walking advertisements for your studio. Keep them inspired and they will in turn inspire others by bragging about your studio (word-of-mouth advertising)!
Learning to Bead
The best way to learn is by doing. Order a few beads to get a better understanding of what interests you. Bisque beads may be decorated with glazes, acrylics or silver clay products. Purchase a book on basic beading from your local bookstore or take a class in your local beading studio and start playing. As in all studio aspects, it is important to have well-trained employees who are ready and willing to help customers along this new avenue. Keep your employees involved as you learn more. Their feedback and creativity will go a long way in planning what you will offer. Remember your customer is the ultimate consumer so be open to designs and shapes that may be foreign to your own sense of style.
You have purchased, played and planned. Now it is time to sell! To keep your beads organized and easy to find, display them in either tiered stands, small bowls or jars (preferably with lids). If using jars, it is a good idea to glue a sample of the beads stored inside to the lid for ease in locating the shapes and colors desired. Be sure to add beading to all of your marketing materials, website and signage in the studio. Show your customers your excitement for this product line and their enthusiasm will follow. Create displays of finished bead projects - necklaces, bracelets, key chains, purse pulls and more! Let your imagination run wild!
Studio pricing for bead wire, use of tools and findings (wire, clasps, etc.) varies from charging the standard studio fee to charging only a supplies/finishing fee. For example, if you typically charge a $6 per hour studio fee, you may wish to keep that rate and include the bead wire, use of tools, crimps and other accessories in that price. Conversely, other studios charge a flat rate of $5 - $7 for two projects worth of tools and accessories.
Beads with a Twist
A large bisque bead is painted with glazes or a crystal-type glaze is great as a focal piece. Then add smaller beads for an elegant, but funky look. A variety of beads is a hot look and your customers will enjoy painting a variety of beads to create a chunky necklace or bracelet. One of the best things about beads is that there are limitless possibilities. You may wish to tie in with a local bead shop to combine bisque beads with their varied offerings. Your customers will surprise you and you may just surprise yourself!
In addition, mixing beads with functional (platters, pitchers, mugs) or decorative (picture frames, vases, plaques) is great fun for children and adults. Mixing mediums creates depth and a unique twist on the basic bisque shape. Drill holes in the rim of a platter or serving bowl and thread beads and colorful wire through to create a festive piece such as a centerpiece or clock.
No matter what style you choose, beads are a hot item for most studios. Customers enjoy the variety and the expanded creative options that beads offer. Build projects and events around beads for a fun and friendly way to increase sales while keeping up with the hot beading trends.