The WireWorkers Guild
Faux Pearls in a Cluster by Frances @ The Bead Pot
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A R T I S T
S H O W C A S E
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I came across 'THE BEADPOT' quite
by accident and was spellbound
by Frances's beautiful crochet wire
and jewellery designs.
I feel sure you will enjoy hearing
how Frances started on her
creative journey in our recent
interview and considering that
she has only been doing wirework
for just over a year - her work is
quite outstanding! She also has some
great advice for anyone thinking
about setting up an online shop.
WHEN DID YOU START MAKING JEWELLERY AND WHAT MADE YOU USE WIRE?
I have always been passionate about beads. Seed beads and elastic cords were a large part of my teenage years and so was crocheting and knitting. However, just a little more than a
year ago, I started making jewellery. I bought the basic tools, beads and findings to experiment on. I learnt to make basic charm bracelets and beaded earrings from downloadable videos over the internet. I also tried my hands at stringing, but although earrings were easy, I pretty quickly found myself getting bored with stringing bracelets and that was when I knew that my love for wires prevailed. I then realised that I wanted to do a lot more with wires and I started off by making and creating ranges of charm bracelets.
(Above) - 'Garden of Eden' Charm Bracelet
TELL US ABOUT 'THE BEAD POT' - WHAT MADE YOU OPEN YOUR 'SHOP' AND HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT ADVERTISING YOUR SITE?
I started off by making bracelets and earrings as gifts for friends and relatives, which led to my realisation, that there was indeed a demand for handmade, customised items. It was then that I decided to start a blog and try selling my items online. Hence the birth of:
The blog has also made it very convenient for everyone to view my new items without physically meeting up.
Initially, the only mode of advertising was by word of mouth and then, an online reviewer spotted one of my items and my handmade pieces started selling. I have since exchanged links with other beaders with blogshops, linked up with most online reviewers, occasionally commented on relevant forums who promote handmade artisans and I recently started a Fan Page on Facebook, where I post updates.
I do collaborate with Online Reviewers on Giveaways as well. Also, whenever I send out an item to one of my buyers, I include 'The Bead Pot' tags, stickers or business cards, so that I can be remembered and contacted for further sales.
I occasionally do beading parties for girls aged 5 and above. With parents usually also present, they will get my contact details for future reference. Again, word of
mouth is important here.
For those who have more time, you can always participate in off-line flea markets or craft bazaars which could potentially increase and create traffic flow to the online site. However, you have to bear in mind that all these participations will also mean that you should have a lot more available ready stock at hand.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST WHEN DESIGNING?
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN?
I love walking into a bead shop and get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of beads, colours, shapes and sizes! I also like fabric with abstract designs and colours. It does give me an idea on how to mix and match my colours. Like others, I leaf through beading and jewellery books and magazines for ideas or new techniques and I also drool over exquisite wirework by other handmade artisans. I do have a lot of ideas, sometimes not knowing where, or when to start! I will sketch it out on paper if I have a clear visual in my head, or write down what I want to experiment on. At times, I just have a block and that's when I take a longer break than usual ...
'Turquoise Delight' -
I particularly like the colour of copper and I simply love charm bracelets. I also love spirals, swirls, twists and twirls and that is what WIRE is all about! My favourite design has to be my bangles and crocheted cuff bracelets.
YOU CREATE BEAUTIFUL WIRE CROCHET DESIGNS. ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT, OR HAVE YOU BEEN TO CLASSES?
I did sign up for a half-day basic wire jewellery class last year and after that, it's all creativity coupled with experiments and lots of practice. Goodness knows just how much wire I have wasted and beads and crystals I have broken! But hey, 'no loss, no gain', right? There's still A LOT to be learnt and a LONG way to go to reach where some great wirework artisans are
right now, but that's the growth journey and I'm going for it!
(Above) - 'Gardenville - Watermelon' Bangle
As I mentioned earlier, I learnt how to knit and crochet as a teenager. So getting to put those skills to use and treat wire as yarn is exhilirating. I love the outcome and actually can't stop making them. Using different beads and different colour palettes and 'voila'!
(Above) - 'Pearl Princess' Cuff
DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE WEEK WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT THINGS YOU DO?
I hold a full time job, so I only have about 2 to 3 hours every night before bedtime to work on bits of a project. It also really depends on the number of orders I get in the week. I usually complete easier projects first and finish the more complicated ones during the weekend. At the weekend, I try to do as much as I can during the day to maximise natural daylight (for photos of a completed project, etc...). Of course, not forgetting all the household chores too! (*laugh*!).
(Above) - 'Peach & Strawberries' Necklace Set
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES CREATING WIRE & BEAD JEWELLERY?
Playing and practising my violin used to take a whole lot of time in a week. The moment my beads and wires made an appearance I couldn't cope and my violin took a backseat seat and still does (*chuckles!*). In between my beads and wires, I also have a passion for baking and cooking which I indulge in during off-peak times, when my orders are low.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WISHING TO SET UP AN ONLINE STORE?
My main tip is: passion. Without passion in what you do, the online store will not sustain itself. You should have loads of patience too. Patience when making mistakes - learning through trial and error, patience with frustrations - to try and try again ...
Bearing in mind that selling online means that buyers are unable to touch, hold or see the item they wish to buy, clear descriptions and precise measurements, as well as good, clear, large photographs (of all angles, if possible) are extremely important.
I currently maintain one online blogshop at:
and a fan page on Facebook at:
There are plenty of other sites such as eBay and Etsy that you can also use to sell and promote your handmade items in, but only if you're able to cope - should there be a surge in orders. Of course, I'm not saying it's bad too have many orders, however,
I personally believe in maintaining a good balance between hobby/passion and life itself.