Friday, June 12, 2009

Planting the "SEEDS" of quality

Over the past few years, over lunches, working, walking, traveling and building our little business, one of the main issues that surfaces in our conversations and at times passionate debates at every level is the selection process of quality beads. To my own surprise, the topic comes up more and more frequently. As we own a business that at the end of the day aims to be viable and profitable, we are faced with the collective consciousness that has proliferated that "cheaper is better".
It is reduced to the smallest measurement in our field and that is the minute seed bead that is used for weaving, textiles embroidery and embellishment. Both Bettina and I have worked very closely with all types of qualities and ranges. After painstaking research, sampling and testing the simple equation that when you start with quality at the microscopic level, your chances as an artist, designer and craftsman to make something worthwhile increases dramatically. In the sea of sameness, this in itself will be a more visible differentiating feature.
It may take a longer time to catch on, but if I put myself in the shoes of a designer or craftsman I would want to work with the best materials. So, what we bring into the store for our valued customers and friends is what we would want for ourselves. Great product at a fair rate. In our own objects that we create that is our philosophy and part of what we want our visitors and clients to experience time and time again. A return back to quality that we seek in the people who create something that appears as insignificant as a seed.
The images above are an ideal example. Aside from the technique and the concept, it is the inherent quality of the materials and in particular the seed beads used that enables the object to move to another level. The seed beads used here are considered premium quality from both Japan and the Czech Republic. The stones in the beaded collar were selected and cut by none other than world renowned lapidary artist Gary Wilson. In the case of the Embroidered Cuff; the seed beads are also from the most talented producers , both in Japan and the Czech Republic. The moon cabochon is made by artisans who specialize in this range.


doubled said...

When I first came in the store, I put on the dark grey peyote cuff, and till now, I still love the feel of the beads against my skin, its like no other I have felt. Light and elegant. Other beads that you find commonly in the market are quite harsh and machined such that they can let one thread and one needle. So there is no way of securing the piece you've laboured on endlessly. There is a vast difference, between what is out there, and really, I have stopped going
to the market, because, well, I deserve better and so do my customer(s). Since that first visit when Bettina showed me the cuff, and the few classes that I have taken with Lubna, well, I have become a true believer now. I does make a difference! One ..thing.. when are we getting more in ? gold ab czech size 15 pretty please :)

Lubna said...

After working in today's Viral Spiral class, and sampling various premium quality seed beads it's hard going back. Our selection process for our very first order has been painstakingly meticulous to make sure LB o J'zazzers are able to sample a wide range and variety. It should be sooner rather than later. Will post when we are expecting our first batch in.