This blog is about the evolution of a beader and, as a group, how our behavior can be described. While this is Not a scientific study (please, it’s BEADS, let’s not get TOO technical…), it is based on my personal observation over decades. Those tiny (and big) glorious things with holes in them affect us but not always in the same way. Some people evolve quickly through the stages. Others seem to stay in one level. Not everyone is the same and there no estimates or averages for the time spent at any given level; individuality rules. So….. Where are you in the evolution process?
Stage 1: CASUAL BEADER
This is the beginning stage where the magic of beads is introduced. People in this stage experiment with some techniques, buy a book or two and may even take a few classes. Bead purchases relate to the projects that are undertaken, in other words, beads are purchased as needed and there isn’t a real “stash” of beads. Often, casual beaders buy kits, a self-contained package where the beads and instructions are all there so the time investment is controlled (often necessitated by life circumstances). This is the fun, exploratory stage where the wonders of the bead world are revealed.
Stage 2: USER
In this stage, the appetite for learning techniques is increased as is the appetite for beads. This is evidenced by the appearance of a bead stash. The size of the stash is not critical and is often impacted by the level of disposable income, the key thing is that there is a stash. More techniques are explored, more books are purchased, more classes are taken. New friends are made of other people in the bead world, joined by the common interest in beading. This is very helpful to more quickly and easily understand the terminology of the bead world: “how is that pronounced?” “so that’s a top-drilled bead!” “seed bead sizes? “
This stage is very fun, new techniques, new beads, new friends and the seeds of addiction are sown….
Stage 3: ADDICT
Hello, My name is Jamie and I am a beadaholic.
There are many attributes for this stage, not all beaders have All of the symptoms, but they have more than a few.
- The bead stash grows. No longer is a shoebox sufficient to hold those beauties. Some addicts even need an entire room in the home, commonly referred to as “the studio”, the existence of which is envied by other addicts. Decorating tips, storage tips give a whole new opportunity for “bead talk”.
- Purchases of beads are celebrated with other beaders, but often are hidden from family, a spouse and non-beading friends. Not out of shame….but really, it gets tiresome to answer “So, what are you going to do with that?”. If a fellow beader asks that question, and you answer “I don’t know”, they will respond “COOL!” then they drool over the beads and ask “Where can I get some?”
- You can’t leave a bead store without a purchase . The size of the purchase is often dictated by financial circumstances, however, the draw of the beads, (ooohhh that color) (oooohh that shape), (ooohh ETC!) is too strong to ignore totally.
- You used to buy jewelry to finish an outfit, now you buy the outfit to wear with the jewelry.
- Budgets are manipulated to accommodate bead related purchases… who Really needs to eat lunch when those new beads are beckoning?
- You spend more time with enablers. Bead friends, bead clubs, blogs, online bead friends are all enablers that understand and applaud your position in this evolution of a beader, because they are there too! Ahhh, validation!
Stage 4: PUSHER
Come on….. you know who you are! Bead vendors, authors, beading teachers, you all must admit you are in this stage. Yes, you are often still an Addict, but you have gone beyond that to helping to create new addicts. So, instead of spending the entire day at the local bead show mixing with the other addicts, you are now behind the counter, still spending all day there but now selling or demonstrating. Very satisfying.
So where are you in the evolution process? Be sure to take my survey (you already know where I am!)