Hello, friends! I recently realized that one of the questions I get asked most frequently after I share a photo of a new piece or pattern somewhere is “Do you sell kits?”. And while the simple answer is “No, I don’t, but thanks for asking!”, I wanted to explain a little more about why I don’t and offer a few alternatives that I have.
First off, I don’t sell kits because I can’t sell beads. I sell finished jewelry and PDF’s of my beading patterns, but selling beads would actually be against my work contract. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I work for Beads Direct USA as my day job and if I sold beads, I would be in direct competition with my employer, which is a big no-no.
Beyond that, though, I really don’t want to sell beads. It’s what I do all day at the office and it’s a LOT of work. I wouldn’t be able to offer competitive pricing and it would take so much extra work (I already have a full time job and running my Etsy functions as a part-time job beyond that already). I don’t use kits myself and the idea of spending my evenings counting out beads and putting together little bundles that I would then have to keep in stock and ship is just not something I’m interested in.
But! That does not mean that you’re completely on your own if you’re looking for kits of my patterns. I don’t make them or sell them myself, but there are still some options!
If you’re local to the Cincinnati/Dayton area, a great option would be to visit Beaded Bliss or Bead Stash. I don’t allow anyone else to sell the digital versions of my patterns, but both Cathy and Carole sell printed versions in their shops. If you want to get the pattern and the beads in one place, that’s probably the easiest way to do it! Cathy and Carole both have amazing tastes in color, so even if they don’t have the exact beads that I used, they should be able to help you select something pretty. Cathy even has a few kits made up for a few of my patterns (mainly the St Petersburg Ombre and Tiptoe Chain).
If you don’t live locally, you still have some options online! Cathy has recently taken parts of Beaded Bliss online through her Etsy shop and she now has the St Petersburg Ombre bead pack available. It’s not a full kit because you still need to get the pattern from me (she links to my Etsy listing for the pattern in the descriptions box), but it’s the perfect way to get the same colors I used without having to buy 8 or 9 separate tubes of seed beads. It’s not really a “kit”, since it doesn’t include the clasp, fireline, or my pattern, but if you need the seed beads, it’s really a super great bargain.
I have a similar deal worked out with Claire Lee of Supply Emporium. Again, I don’t allow anyone to sell my patterns digitally, but Claire has gorgeous color sense and a huge selection of beads available, so she makes bead packs that you can buy to go with some of my patterns. You can see a bunch of the options here. You can grab the pattern from me and then have Claire select your beads for you!
One more option to consider is the gorgeous selection of Miyuki combo packs that we offer at Beads Direct USA. Liz (the owner) and I work really hard to come up with interesting combinations of Miyuki beads that look lovely together and that we can package up and offer at a discount. We offer all sorts of bulk packs, assorted mixes, and coordinated combinations, but my favorite section in the whole shop is our section of Miyuki 11/0 combo packs.
The 11/0 combo packs are great for patterns that require several colors of beads or look particularly pretty with an ombre gradient (like my Ruched Tila, St Petersburg Ombre, Stash Worm, or Tiptoe Chain bracelets). Sometimes you need the color inspiration for a project more than you need a “kit” and these combo packs are PERFECT for that. Liz and I carefully curate each mix ourselves and we’re so proud to offer them up as little sample color palettes for you to experiment with.
So, even though I don’t sell kits, I do my very best to work with my local bead shops and some trusted friends and colleagues online to make the beads I use easy to find and obtain. Personally, picking out new colors is my absolute favorite part of beading and I don’t quite understand the impulse to copy someone else’s. But I am so flattered when people love the colors I chose and now every pattern I put out has the colors I used listed at the end. Some of my old ones are available here on this blog and if you can’t find the bead info anywhere, you can always email me and I’ll do my best to get that color info for you.
I hope you all can forgive me for not making kits and check out some of these fabulous bead shops that sell kits, packs, and combos and give their shelves a little love. I’m so lucky to have the cooperation of so many small business that serve our beading community. Happy beading and happy bead shopping!