Building A Stash?

Q: What is the best way to build up a stash? I find that when I go into a bead store, I'm so overwhelmed that I usually wind up buying one or two things, and usually only in the colors I like. I'm thinking of starting tosell work, and I know I will need other colors and styles of beads.

A: I say this for your own good, to save you the "heartache" I've known... Stop before you, too, become addicted to the shiny devils we call "beads". If you proceed on your current path, soon every inch of your house will contain "beads." This includes every closet, spare bedroom, even the little nooks and crannies on your tile floors and in your carpets. Run. Run while you can still escape! Now that I tried to save you, my conscience is clear. My stash built up over time. It doesn't take long. As you make things, you'll have beads left over here and there. You'll fall in love with some magic color, and you'll order an extra tube here and there. People will ask you to make things for them, so you'll use the colors they like. Your "stash" will grow like the "Blob" in the old horror movie. If you're asking for bead sources, that's another story. :) Let me know and I'll send you my personal favorites. I shop exclusively online since there aren't a lot of bead stores on our little hunk of rock in the middle of the Pacific. When I go bead shopping, I try to choose a "rainbow" of whatever style of beads I'm buying. FE, if I'm buying color lined seed beads that day, I'll try to select 5-6 colors in a spectrum that ranges from warm to cool colors. I've shopped this way for years, and over time I've built up a really nice selection of colors & finishes. Before I started buying this way, I would inevitably end up buying the same (favorite) colors over & over. Choosing "rainbows" or spectrums caused me to experiment with different palettes. Now I can offer my customers beadwork in a wider range than just "my" colors! I find that the process works best when you do NOT buy beads to make particular things. Well, for the first few you might, but I just went into the bead store and went "ooh, look, these are cool - and how about these - and I HAVE to have some of those...." If you decide to make a particular style of bracelet or necklace, and buy beads for that, your work will look just like everyone else's. You will also find that you have trouble "seeing" those beads in any other designs. I tend to just rummage through the stacks until serendipity hits. My favorite style is to start with a great focal bead - lampwork, or polyclay or cloisonee - and build on it.