I wanted to pop in here really quickly to ask y’all something. Are you guys on Instagram?
Because I am actually very new to Instagram! I didn’t actually have a smartphone until 2018, so most of my twenties went by with limited social media access. You can use Twitter and Instagram on a laptop, but the interface is a little clunky and you really can’t do much on Instagram if you aren’t using the app (like, you can’t post pictures at all, for example). So I’ve only very recently gotten to explore using Instagram for beading and, guys? It’s really awesome!
So, I started with creating a specific account for my beading and Etsy stuff (I have a personal account, but like Facebook, that’s only friends and family – I like to keep my beading interactions separate). So, if you do decide to get on Instagram, you can follow me at my Wescott.Jewelry Instagram page.
I post the same sorts of things that you would see on my Facebook page – in progress pics, finished jewelry, news about sales etc. I even had a giveaway when I hit 1,000 followers. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve made friends and how fun posting there can be. If you guys remember the really fun bead swap I did last summer with Danielle Wickes? Our friendship blossomed pretty much entirely on Instagram.
I also just recently took over management of the Beads Direct USA Instagram account – if you don’t know, that’s the online bead shop where I work. I spoke about it quite a bit recently when I wrote a post explaining why I don’t/can’t sell kits. My boss, Lizelle Hards (you may know her from the Beads Direct USA YouTube channel) has the had the account for a long time, but hasn’t been super comfortable using it, so she recently handed me the login and told me to go to town.
Surprisingly, it’s been a really different experience from running both my personal account and my Wescott Jewelry account, because the focus is more specifically on the beads. I get to really spend time thinking about which products to highlight and how to best photograph them. What are the key features to tell people about? What’s the best lighting for each finish? Which tags should I use? I’m still learning, but I’m trying to post every day or so and it’s been a really fun experience.
Speaking of tags! I really think that Instagram’s tagging system is one of the things that makes it so well suited to crafting and following your interests. Sure, you can follow individual people (like Danielle) or even follow online bead magazines that will introduce you to new accounts and articles (like A Beaded Life) and that will denfintiely fill your feed with amazing designs and inspiration. But I think that following tags has been my favorite part of my Instagram journey. You can follow topics the same way that you can follow people.
These are just some of the hashtags that I follow – #handmadejewelry, #beadweaving, #beadwork, #beadingtutorials, #beadweavingpatterns and so on and so forth. By following the tags, I get a steady stream of content that has used those tags, even if I don’t actually follow the accounts posting them. It gives me the opportunity to see more branches of the community and to come into contact with accounts I didn’t know about and may want to start following. If I’m feeling inspired to try macrame again, for example, I can checkout the #macramejewelry tag and find an endless list of inspiration, even if the accounts I follow don’t generally post macrame.
Anyway, I don’t know if this post will be super useful – I am certainly not the first person to tell you that Instagram is fun. But I just wanted to make sure you guys knew that there was this giant flourishing beading community that you could discover and participate in. I really didn’t realize until recently how much joy and what a supportive community was waiting in the same app where I used to only post pictures of Bridget.
Not that she isn’t worth her own account, for sure. <3
Anyway, if you’re already on Instagram, feel free to ignore my ramblings. But if you’ve been curious or never realized that there were beaders on there, I encourage you to give it a try. I’m always ecstatic to find a new healthy beading community to join. It’s a real joy to share the love and creativity of other artists and this platform is well suited to it.
Back to your regularly scheduled bead-y content next week. <3
Oh! And if you are on Insta already or decide to make an account, drop your account name in the comments so I can follow you!