January 10, 2013

The story of how and why I came to bead

I've always been into things that kept my mind and my hands busy. Before I ever started to bake, my hobby was making beaded accessories. I enjoyed it a lot. I'd make earrings and bracelets that matched almost every outfit that I had. I was a fan of really big earrings. The longer they dangled, the better. Since I don't wear make up (I can't be bothered with it), I compensated for it with my earrings. I once read an advice from Kris Aquino: If you want your face to be noticed, wear a pair of really eye-catching earrings. If you want your cleavage to be noticed, wear a necklace. I am quite gifted in the chest area, so I have no need to emphasize that part. I never wore necklaces, but earrings were a staple in my wardrobe. I loved bracelets and bangles too.

I was quite tomboyish when I was younger. It didn't help that I was an engineering student. I had to blend in with the male-dominated crowd, otherwise I'd stick out if I looked too kikay. Way back in college, I only wore hypoallergenic earring studs. Prior to that, I had my ears pierced at least three times since I was 8 years old. My piercings would always get infected, so I had to leave them alone so that they could close up again. By the time I was in high school, I felt the need to have my piercings back. I shoved hypoallergenic studs in two of the three closed up holes in each ear. I thought it was cool. However, it really wasn't. My ears continued to get irritated, and the holes got bigger until two of them intersected in each ear. They combined into bigger ear piercings. One morning when I was already 22, I woke up to find a hypoallergenic stud completely intact on my pillow. I was baffled. Then I realized that the studs were too small for my ear piercings, so I couldn't wear them anymore. I quit wearing studs, and my piercings closed up again.

My love affair with accessories started when I started working. A new friend gave me a pair of dangling earrings. They were really simple: just two wooden beads, one hot pink the other bright orange, strung together and attached to an ear hook. I was reluctant to wear them at first, but soon I realized that they looked good on me. My friend gave me another pair: white and pink beads in a hoop. I loved them too. Now I could go to the office without looking plain. I liked that they had hooks; they won't fall through my piercings, but I had to take the earrings of before going to sleep. The best part was my ears didn't itch at all, never mind if they were just nickel-plated. I always wondered why that was especially since my ears would swell even if I wore gold earrings.

That Christmas (of 2005), I went to Robinsons in Cebu. In the top floor, there was a bazaar, and there were really a lot of beautiful dangling earrings. They were sold at around 150 to 200 each. I bought around 20 pairs (for myself and as gifts for my friends) and found some guts to haggle and ask for a discount. I was so surprised when the lady told me she'll give me everything at half the price since I bought a lot. Wow!

When I got home, I studied each pair. They looked pretty easy to assemble. I thought to myself: "The saleslady wouldn't significantly reduce the price to half if she couldn't make anymore profit, would she? So these things may not cost as much to make! Maybe I can make them on my own and sell them too!"

My friend who gave me my first pair of earrings showed me where I could buy the materials (she made the earrings she gave me), and she taught me the basics too. I also did a lot of research on beaded accessories. I found out that you can sell beaded accessories at more than XX% the cost of the materials used (trade secret here; not putting real figures :D). And so there started my first business ever: beaded accessories.

I've been selling beaded accessories for around 4 years before I stopped and switched to baking and cake decorating (food businesses are more profitable). However, I am thinking of restarting it this year after (FINALLY!) convincing my sister about it.

I'm so excited at the idea of making beaded jewelry again. I hope I still have enough time, although my sister vows to help me now. I've gone bead shopping again, and I am so excited.

Wish me luck!

P.S.

This friend who taught how to bead is the same friend who taught me how to bake. I am grateful to her.


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