Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Home

Poppy Field Bead Co will have a new home!!! I decided to find a new, nearby, permanent location for the reincarnation of Poppy Field Bead Co. As I started making plans for the store, I realized that I did not want to start looking for a new location and moving while I was settling into running a new business. So...I am doing all the legwork now, finding a locale, and creating a beautiful bead-space. My other areas of interest are micro-macrame and wire work, so I plan to be adding those areas to the store as well. Of course there will be a learning space set up for classes. There is also a planned area for kids.

Margo and Barry have been working hard on organizing and getting ready to close down and do the inventory. We are still planning for a passing of the torch after Thanksgiving. I will keep you posted about the actual re-opening / Grand Opening - as I get a better idea of when that will be.

I've got a space picked out, but until the lease is signed, it's an unofficial secret - not yet ready for the Beady Grape Vine. Tune in for more news.

Until then, Peace and Beads, and Gratitude.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fan Mail

A big THANK YOU to all who took the time to send me an email or leave a comment on the blog about my purchase of Poppyfield Bead Company. It is clear that Poppyfield means a lot to many people. I relish each message and really look forward to meeting you. I cannot respond to each message right now, because I am just preoccupied with the details involved in this transaction.

So thank you Elaine, Barbara, Mary Ann, Dana, Becky, sister Susan, Marge, Hal, Steven, Mary Ellen, Keri-Lynn, Lee, Georgian, Julie, Valerie, Joanne, Elly, Fran, Lesley, Sara, Meg, Terri, Lynn, and Karen for your words of support.

Please don't be shy about leaving comments here. It helps stimulate discussion by the readers.

As far as an update: Things are moving along. The timeline remains the same: Margo will close for Thanksgiving and I will re-open on Monday, Dec 6th. New classes in January. The telephone number will remain (505) 880-8695. We should have a nice supply of seed beads and delicas on opening day. See you soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Bought A Bead Shop!!

Poppyfield Bead Company, my long time seed bead source was closing. Margo Field, the owner, and a master seed bead artist, was ready to retire. On Wednesday, she sent out a one sentence announcement, and within minutes I was at the shop offering to buy it.

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Eleven months a year, it is the bead capital of the United States (except February when Tuscon enjoys that distinction). We have Rio Grande Jewelry Supply, Thunderbird Jewelry Supply, Indian Jewelry Supply, Thomason Stone Company, Bead and Fetish, and at least 2 other retail shops, which cater to the individual. There are a slew of wholesale shops selling in bulk to the trade. But no shop offers Poppyfield's extensive supply of seed beads. When I sat at Margo's counter on Wednesday, the phone rang off the hook with desperate callers. Yesterday we agreed on terms and shook hands. Margo turned her closing sale into a one day celebration sale. I started receiving emails thanking me for "saving Poppyfield" and pleas to keep up the seed bead supply.

In my 48 hour whirlwind research of bead shops nationwide, I discovered a trend...bead shops are closing, and have been since 2007. Internet sales at low prices have seriously undermined the viability of local bead shops. The economy has hurt stores that have not managed their risk well. Still I feel confident about my venture and here's why:

Margo's mission is my vision: Offer the best supply of seed beads and delicas. These particular bead prices remain competitive in local shops because buying bulk bags allows owners to offer better price points than one could ever find on the internet. Individuals are not going to order bulk bags of seeds. Projects usually require 5 -10 grams of a color. Bulk bags come in 100-500 grams. The best bead stash is the most varied stash. Only a shop can manage both bulk quantity and extensive variety. Of equal importance is that nothing compares to being able to stand in front of a vast array of beads of myriad colors, finishes, cuts and textures, and pick and choose the "just right" combination for the bead weaver's dream design. Seed bead projects are extremely time consuming. The ability to start with the choice beads makes it a pleasurable labor of love. Having the selection at your fingertips is key. Poppyfield has always offered that.

In addition, Margo and Bobbie Yoakum, her assistant in the shop, have offered the highest quality classes and wonderful customer service. Both are avid beaders and teachers, as am I. I've taught at Poppyfield in the past, and it has been a blast. Margo will continue to teach intermediate and advanced level classes. I will also offer basic beading classes and some of my more advanced designs as well.

I really look forward to helping new beaders get comfortable with technique and materials. For the uninitiated, it can be tempting, but overwhelming. Just as in the past, there will always be a bead artist at the shop to assist customers with bead selection. Thats the fun part for me. Helping others enjoy what these tiny points of color and light have to offer.

Because Margo has filled this very specialized and unique niche for so many years she's got a very loyal customer base that knows how to find the shop at 2531 Jefferson St. NE. It is centrally located, but on a quiet street (click here for map). For now, Poppyfield will stay nestled where it is. Margo will close on Thanksgiving weekend for inventory. I will re-open on Monday, December 6th. Classes will resume in January. Bobbie has other commitments, but has offered to stay during December.

To my local beading community, I say come by in December and say hello, and tell me what you'd like to see at Poppyfield. I am already ordering inventory to have at the shop. Feel free to leave a comment here. Introduce yourself, tell me what's important to you and what your wishes are. I will continue to update you via my blog. For those reading from afar...tune in to follow my journey.