Since I was a little kid my family has been in the jewelry business in one form or another. By the time I was ten I knew every shape, number, and color in the Swarovski lineup. My daughter, who works by my side, knew all this by the time she was seven!! Our company is now in it's
third fourth generation of family ownership. Since this was written in 1998, the fourth generation has joined us, he is now almost 3 years old and well on his way to becoming an excellent designer! Nowadays we are busy selling the beads and whatnot that was accumulated over a period of more than fifty years. From Nineteen Forty Seven through Nineteen Fifty Eight my company was involved in making glass bead jewelry and bought millions of beads for that purpose. Many of the beads we bought were at auctions where we got a lot of older material, some of it going back to the early 1900's. As it was difficult then to maintain steady supplies and suppliers, we often bought a run of beads on a one shot basis, and always had some left over. Those were categorized mainly by color and stored in the basement of the building we own. Information such as
country of manufacture, year of manufacture, processes used etc were all recorded along with the beads.
Even how many we originally bought vs. how many were used in production runs. Rarer items were also so noted as my father, the founder, was very attuned to every little detail. Many of our beads were specifically made under contract with the bead manufacturers of the day and many of our Swarovski beads were made either exclusively for us or for other major manufacturers which we then acquired at auction. In the early sixties beads went somewhat out of fashion and we moved onto other things.
As time went by the beads lay there forgotten. In 1998 we were contacted by a large bead dealer in New York who heard we had a large hoard of beads, and he asked if he could see them. We let him come and his eyes lit up when he saw a few samples of what we had. He offered quite a sum of money for the whole thing, but when we hesitated he immediately upped his offer. I became suspicious and asked for more. Again, more was added without hesitation. So I told him I would think about it. Then, I sent out a mass e-mail over the internet to about 400 people who indicated an interest in beads. Of 400 emails, I got over 200 answers!! I offered to sell them by weight but most of the respondants said they would rather buy by the bead. A few hobbyists clubs came, and they too got excited. I allowed a few of them to select some and make me a per bead offer, explaining that I would let them buy BUT they could not clean me out of any one bead. In the first week I sold thousands of beads and for the life of me cannot tell you what is missing from my stock. It did not even make a dent. This, all to hobbyists. After a while I established a network of people whom I would allow to buy from me, the ones with attitudes were asked not to come back. It became time consuming, though, and disruptive to my regular business. I did not like the idea of people wandering around my premises during business hours and after closing, and playing with all my beads. So, I shut down that side of it and decided that I would sell them at my leisure, if I felt like it, on the Internet. Then someone mentioned the auction sites and I did some on eBay and Amazon with phenomenal results. Almost every day I would get a letter asking me about my "website", which at that time did not exist. All told I probably have over 10,000 styles and literally millions of beads in my inventory. Some of them I know I have in the thousands while others I have only a few pieces. Even I have no idea what goodies I am going to find when I search through them. It is rare to come across beads like mine because ALL of mine are really old, and none have ever been "used". Experience and my customers have taught me that what I have is unique and most of it cannot be found anywhere else in either the online nor offline bead markets. I offer my rare and unique beads out to the beaders at reasonable prices and I put them into the hands of people who appreciate a good bead!! I call myself the "King of Vintage Glass © " on all the Internet sites, a name given to me by a customer who bought early on from me. My website, is 24/7, BUT I honor orders on a first come first served basis and when I run out of any given bead, that is it! There are no more of them to be had. So I encourage bead lovers to buy the beads they covet WHEN they see them, because I offer no guarantees that they will be there the next time they visit the site.
From time to time, at no special intervals, we offer discounts and special beads to members of the mailing list. In order to access these specials, a member must enter a code on the checkout page. This code is not made available to any but members of the mailing list, "outsiders" will never know it is there. Discounts can be substantial and special bead and other offerings are not available on the regular website. The ONLY WAY to avail yourself of these deals is to be on the mailing list BEFORE they are sent out. Also, the codes may not be shared with anyone else, if your name is not on the list you cannot use the code, even if your friend tells you what it is. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, invalid email addresses will be eliminated from the list. So if you change your email, be sure to re-register on the mailing list. YOU must do this yourself, we cannot do it for you as you will get a confirmation at your email address which you must then use to verify that you did indeed join the list. If your ISP uses a spam filter then it is imperitive that you immediately place email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com on your allow list. Otherwise you will never get an email about specials or anything else from us. The most notorious ISPs for this obnoxious activity are Earthlink, Peoplepc and Mindspring but there are others also so play it safe and just put those three addresses in your address book or allow list. Sometimes we send out mail ourselves and other times we use a commercial mailing service. Either way, if the arriving email runs into one of these "filters" it will send back a notice to the mailing program and that address will immediately be removed from the list. Once a name is removed from the list it cannot be reinstated, by law, so if you truly have an interest in our products then you have to do as we advise.. This is all part of the anti-spam efforts and laws of the internet at large. So please cooperate.
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