Guest blog by Kelli Burns of The Hole Bead Shoppe
Lucite's color diversity, lightness, endless
variety of shapes and inexpensive price makes it a must for today's thrifty
designer - and it can be recycled! Every design that we've had in a magazine
featuring Lucite has been a huge hit with our clients and Lucite fans. And of
course, we always love seeing what other beaders and designers create with our Lucite beads.
Lucite is a form of thermal plastic. Thermal
form plastic pellets are heated to a melting temperature and injected into a
mold making the final shape. Thermal form plastic can be heated again and then
reshaped in a mold, to make another item, which makes Lucite a recyclable
My love of Lucite journey began in 2004 when
I found, Wendy Baker, selling lovely Vintage Lucite flowers and leaves in color
samplers. I didn't know at the time that meeting Wendy and finding Lucite would
change my life's direction. Wendy now sells through Sleeping Dog Studio on Etsy and we've become close friends.
If we had not invested in Lucite seven years ago
and built our business around Lucite we would no longer be in business. Lucite
has put food on our table, allowed us to travel and given us the opportunity to
meet all of the wonderful, unbelievably gracious, generous loving friends we
now have in the bead industry. Aside from that, I saw something in this product
that motivated me, inspired me and moved me. I am just as excited to get a
Lucite shipment now as I was when we got our first shipment! We've gone from
purchasing Lucite beads by the gross to orders of no less than 3,000 pieces -
and I'm still thrilled to see it arrive! Lucite has opened doors for us that
we've never dreamed would have been opened, and we're so very proud of our
growth and our unique products!
I love all beads made from Lucite but we
specialize in flowers and leaves in eighteen standard colors, along with three
other colors that we carry in a number of styles. Keeping up with over thirty styles
in eighteen colors is tricky to say the least, but we feel that designers and bead shops
need consistency in colors to recreate projects. It has taken us years of
building a strong, close relationship directly with our manufacturers to
develop our own unique line of colors that are permanently dyed instead of
being colored with a water soluble dye bath. While Lucite feels more substantial than other plastic beads, it is extremely lightweight and makes a beautiful focal point for a necklace or bracelet. You can use a lot of Lucite in a beaded bracelet or beaded necklace without weighing it down!
At shows we sell Lucite in packages, but
buyers on our website buyers may purchase single pieces. We feel selling by the
piece gives buyers the option to sample many styles and colors at a reasonable
price. We've also spent six years developing over forty different color samplers
of Lucite ranging from thirty-five to sixty pieces as well as kits featuring
Lucite flowers and leaves.
Burns is co-owner of The Hole Bead Shoppe and has been published in over thirty
international publications. You can find Kelli and The Hole Bead Shoppe at six
national shows across the United States. You can reach Kelli at firstname.lastname@example.org
or through The Hole Bead Shoppe website. For some great inspirational Lucite
projects and color palettes, check out Lucie's Garden!