Thursday, January 29, 2009

A look at Sue from Blue Marble Beads

Sue is one of the first suppliers I bought from at Etsy. She was always very nice, and she had an almost psychic way of guessing exactly what beads I would want when I'd order a grab bag bead mix from her -- wonderful mixes of beads (usually at least two of each, which is perfect, as I make a lot of earrings). Just little by little we started talking here and there. I've come to appreciate the warm, generous, friendly person she is and want to interview her so that others could get to know her, too.

Tell me what made you decide to get into jewelry design and supplies.

I’ve always had a creative side and had been making jewelry for 20+ years as a hobby. One day after looking at a very popular jewelry catalog, it dawned on me that I could be doing this too and it just might be the answer to our prayers. So, like the girl from “Legally Blonde”, I literally decided to open up a jewelry store one day. To put things out in the universe and see what happens! Blue Marble Beading Company was born. came about from having too many beads! This store was opened as a de-stash site. It was to be a temporary site, but it wasn’t long before I realized that the loose beads were selling faster than the finished jewelry and Blue Marble Beads quickly became a steady source of income. I set about doing some research as to what type of beads was most desirable. I found that the majority of finished jewelry sales were of “vintage” designs. I researched vintage bead distributors and decided to specialize in un-circulated vintage beads. I never appreciated acrylic beads until I really started handling them. They truly are amazing! Having this shop has opened my eyes to the beauty of vintage design. I recently opened up a third store that showcases my finished vintage jewelry.

Truth be told, when all is said and done, is my passion. It’s where I breathe. I love gemstones and silver. The fact that they are harvested out of the earth is amazing to me! Finding and working with exceptional quality stones, creating the one of a kind designs is one of my favorite things to do. The other is playing with my son.

I'm interested in your vision -- why you do what you do?

“Necessity is the mother of invention”, a very true statement in my case. I am a single parent of a multi-disabled child. Due to the unstableness of my son’s medical needs, I realized that punching a clock from 9-5 just wasn’t going to work for our family, and that ultimately I would become unemployable. I worked in the legal field for 5 years and was recently let go due to the medical needs of my son and the responsibilities of being his sole caretaker.

What was, and is, your motivation?

I don’t want to be rich, I want to live well. And by that I mean, I want to be able to take vacations, not worry about college money, be able to get my kid braces, have food on the table and a car that runs. My son’s well being has always and will always be my motivation.

How long have you been doing this and how did you get started?

Blue Marble Beading Company debuted on January 31st, 2008.

Blue Marble Beads on May 20th, 2008.

Whisperings on November 26th, 2008.

Also, what are your goals for the future of your business?

My philosophy for business is this. I would rather have a customer for life, than a customer for a day. I want people to trust me. I want them to know that when they order from me they don’t have to worry about the quality of the product. I inspect everything before sending it out and I am completely approachable should they not be satisfied with their purchase. That policy is true to all my stores. My goal is to continue to provide this quality of service.

If business increases at Blue Marble Beads, I will be looking to employ someone to help me. In the near future I will be taking some trips to wade through a couple of vintage bead warehouses that are pretty near to where I am. I am always trolling for new beads to carry. The “one of a kind” goodies! I may look into carrying some Czech glass too.

What drives and inspires you?

Inspiration comes at me from all sides, but mostly nature. I can grab a color palette from the bark of a tree or a fallen leaf. Nature is completely fascinating. If you haven’t looked up lately, you’ve missed a gorgeous sunset, if you haven’t looked down, a colorful patch of flowers.

Having a child keeps your eyes wide open. You stop to show things to them that they have never seen before, and then you experience them all over again.

I have a very close relationship to God. I see the beauty of what He has made and I am inspired by it.

I believe that every being has the desire to create. I believe that those that take the time to create are really living.


l'actrice said...

A customer for life is a very good recipe! Great person and great interview!

boylerpf said...

Great interview and responses...enjoyed the read!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful interview you did! She has great perspective, and you were instrumental in helping to demonstrate that.

Adorn Me jewelry said...

Isn't Sue great? Thank you all for reading, and for the comments. :)

Anonymous said...

Sue is in my opinion the best bead supplier ever! She never has an issue reserving orders or waiting with whatever life event that may come up.

I am now one of her 'customers for life' just because of her beautiful personality and the care she takes in her shop everyday :)

Adorn Me jewelry said...

I agree, starrwinter. :c)

Tabby Talk said...

I see you recognized Sue's beads in our blog for my son's Gungan City Earrings - we have Gungan earrings version 2 coming soon. We will be posting both pairs in our shop soon. Sue always has a fabulous selection of beads!