So, seeing as it’s been a while I figured everyone should know a little bit about the mad crew behind Beads&Bedlam.
There really is only myself, Sally (Hiya) the other 2 don’t really do anything but keep me company, my 2 kittys Angel & Gizmo.
A couple of years ago an event occurred which turned my family’s life upside down and inside out at the same time. We lost my Aunt when she tried to help 2 young girls who were struggling in a strong current in Trinidad. Between everyone there, they managed to get 1 girl out safely, the second they were able to remove from the water, but not soon enough as she died later on in hospital, and sadly my Aunt drowned after they got the second young girl out of the water. She was a massive part of our family, always full of life and always around to lend a shoulder or an ear (sometimes a pc screen) to listen. I had been struggling with my health, I had ME & Depression amongst other things, before this happened and when it did it knocked me for six. A few months after the event, I was still struggling with day to day things, I was signed off work but being at home unable to do much was starting to affect me even more, a friend of mine has been making jewellery for a couple of years and she suggested it to me, I didn’t know it then, but it would help me cope with everything that had happened. I didn’t entertain the idea for a few weeks as I didn’t really see how I could do it, my hands were always shaking, I could barely grip a glass, let alone a pair of pliers and my concentration was terrible. But, I looked into it a bit more each day, I checked out ebay for a starters kit and a few bits and pieces. From my first pair of earrings, I was hooked (literally)
I decided to make simple items for my female friends and family, everyone had a set of earrings, with a bracelet and a necklace.
Who knew, that jewellery making would help so much. After the incident it felt like for a while I was cocooned in a gentle but strong bubble, I was unable to feel anything, sadness, happiness, pain, they just didn’t exist while I was inside of my bubble. But, gradually that bubble’s skin got thinner and thinner until one day, it burst!
I had gone backwards again, crying regularly, not being able to do anything again. At one weak point, I put some beads on my desk, I wasn’t going to make anything because nothing was coming to mind, but I put them on my desk and just pushed them around for a while and gradually it started to ease. Within a few days, I started making again, simple little items, earrings, bracelets using tigertail, and found that through my jewellery making, I could re-enter my bubble again, while I was concentrating on what I was making, life disappeared.
Once we got Christmas out of the way I was still making, but I didn’t really have anyone to make for. I can’t remember who, but someone suggested selling the items I made, so I looked into everything I would have to do, register as self employed and then work out what I was going to do to show my items. I made a Facebook page, SMB Jewellery. My husband actually came up with the name, SMB are my initials and Jewellery was what I was making. I also had a website designed for me, which sadly didn’t do very well at all, so I eventually closed it and stuck to the facebook page.
Beads&Bedlam came around because I was purchasing items in wholesale so that I could offer my jewellery items at a lower price, trying to be competitive with all the other Jewellery Makers. But I was ending up with endless boxes of items, with the Jewellery side not doing very well I went to see an advisor and they suggested becoming a supplier to other Jewellery Makers, I thought at first there was no way that was possible, but she showed me a couple of things that made it look possible. That meeting was in January and I’ve never looked back! I had a few problems with chosing a name, everything I came up with sounded daft! Until a friend on facebook pm’d me with an idea (Catherine, a very talented lady from Susuz Designs & Catherines Wedding Hair), Beads&Bedlam, I loved it! Then with advice from Kathy from Vintage Dreams who had started her own supplying business, I was on my way! With the amount of time I had to have off work I hadn’t realised that I had overpaid on tax, so when I got the letter through the post telling me that I would be receiving a cheque very soon I went into shock and my brain went into hyper drive! I had already found a company I wanted to design my new website, Blue Punk Dog, and with the cheque I was able to get better than their basic start up. All I needed to worry about was ordering the stock for my new venture. I had some regular markets which I attended with my jewellery at first, and after asking the organisers I was able to take a couple of beads and findings items along with me.
I was loving it, I had a new lease on life, our life in the North East came to a sharp end and we had to move back to my parents in the South West! A very big change, but one that was very much needed. I try to take up as little room as possible here, but half of the dining table (and dining room) have now been taken over by the beads and findings, it has become my ‘Office’ of sorts. We will be moving again eventually once we find a home suitable for us, with a massive spare room of course to house Beads&Bedlam and everything that comes with it.
Yes, I still have my bad days, but they are out weighed by the amount of good days I am now experiencing, I am closer to my family and we are happier than we have been in a long time. I have a lot to be grateful for, my friends and my family for getting me through the last couple of years. My husband who has been amazing, caring for me when I wasn’t able to help myself, we have our ups and downs like every other couple do of course.
Last to thank, is you guys, who keep me going. I absolutely love my job, sourcing the beads you all enjoy, helping you find beads you are looking for, at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for you guys, my customers, Beads&Bedlam wouldn’t have a reason to exist, so a massive thank you to you all. I am aiming to blog at least once a fortnight, with what is happening over here at beads&Bedlam HQ, any new items I have found, items which have been re-stocked etc. Feel free to Like the Facebook page, Beads&Bedlam, follow me over at Twitter, Sally Bevan, which are updated more regularly than the blog is.
Take care, and we’ll speak again soon.
TTFN, Sally xxx