Saturday, July 14, 2012

Competing with China

My favorite: Fat Ass Pear Bead
Borosilicate 2011
We're all talking about how to market our handmade (or artisan made) products in this day of disposable items. Everywhere I look, cheap lampwork beads from China are selling for pennies. No one seems to care that they are probably not annealed and may explode at any moment. I've even had someone pay me a compliment, "if you can make flowers like that, you could work for Troll beads." What???

I've tried to fight back with education, but that always falls flat. Most people just don't care.

Last night I hired my neighbor to help me set up at a local show. She cleared everything up for me: "You have to make things that are different." She pointed to one of my beads, "I can get that at Walmart." Ouch.

Apparently, the style of bead matters. Spacer beads are done to death. Dicro is everywhere. Small and cute has been done. I need to re-stock my supply of organic shard focal beads, and work on creating beads that can't be reproduced in China. Yet.

Now you know.