I've been making jewellery for years, and set up Pretty Things about six and a bit years ago. I knew my target customer and I knew that I wanted to make jewellery that anyone could wear, that was a bit different but not over the top, and that people could afford without selling their first born and mortgaging the cat. I still hold true to that ethos but I'm finding it less fun than it was.
It's harder to find unusual beads, every bead seller seems to sell the same things but just at different prices. For example, at a bead show at Sandown Park racecourse last weekend, I saw exactly the same crystals on three different stalls and varying in price from £1.75 to £3.20. Every stall seemed to be awash with either crystals or with the same cuts and types of semi-precious stones. I want good quality, unusual beads that you don't find everywhere, but with the exception of handmade lampwork beads, there just isn't that much choice these days.
So on the one hand, it seems I am talking myself into giving up. But then I remember how much I love having stalls at fairs, the anticipation of setting up, of people oohing and aahing over my jewellery and the thrill of knowing that someone likes it enough to part with their money for it.
So what do I do? Carry on as I am, searching (usually in vain) for the unusual beads and findings that I want, and for good quality local fairs and markets, or give it up altogether? Any ideas?