I'm sure you've read recently about a few designers who have been struggling with thieves stealing their designs. It leaves one feeling frustrated and angry. But we can't spend our energy focusing on the negative in this world. Life is just too short. So here are some ways to show your support.
1. Show your love by buying beads from your favorite hard-working beadmakers. There is no better way to help them stay in business and take care of their families! Buy directly from the beadmaker if you can, but also supporting shops that carry their work is great too.
2. Spread the love. Use handcrafted art beads in your submissions to magazines as often as you can. I am thrilled when I see my beads in a designer's work in magazines and books.
3. Send folks their way. Blog about your favorite bead they offer or show a design you created using their beads. If you have a website add a link under a favorites page. Or include their blog link on your sidebar. Or hey why not go crazy and include a sidebar of links to your favorite beadmaker's bead shops.
All the photos above feature pewter beads from Green Girl Studios. Read my article on the Art Bead Scene on how to avoid buying fakes at bead shows: Faux Pas - Avoiding Fakes.
Some of my favorite beadmakers
Not a complete list, but the ones that come to mind first. I stalk their etsy shops on a regular basis, I have their beads in my stash at the moment or I have used their beads in my designs.
Okay, your turn. Do you have a favorite beadmaker that's not in my list? I'd love to learn about them, please leave a link in the comments!