I recently had the opportunity to chat with Tricia of Bead Booty, a shop full of -- you guess it -- beautiful beads of all shapes, sizes and color. She says she loves looking for fun new ways to use them, whether for her necklaces or bracelets. Read on for more about the inspiration behind her shop and her tips for keeping fashion fresh without breaking the bank! xoxo
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Official Web site: Bead Booty
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What inspired you to start the shop?
No inspiration really -- just a small spark that lit a flame. One day, I was browsing ads on Craigslist when I came across one placed by darbygirl for either a pair of her earrings or one of her purses. Two things struck me about the ad: First, darbygirl was from the Philadelphia area like me (I am South Philadelphia born and raised), and second, she was selling beautiful, simple pieces she made herself. I wasn’t looking to start an online business and had never heard of Etsy before that day, so I visited the site, did some research and wondered seriously if selling my own handcrafted jewelry online was something I could do. At that point, I had been creating jewelry for myself and friends for about 20 years. But selling what I made to people I didn’t know was something I had to think about. Since I made the decision to go for it, I’ve enjoyed the experience immensely. I still refer to Bead Booty as my hobby. It’s not a second income or a career -- it's simply a way to pass the time and connect with other people.
What’s your best piece of advice for people looking for great online shopping deals?
Well, a year or two ago, a friend suggested that I join Ebates. I do probably 98% of my shopping online. And in the time I’ve been with Ebates, I’ve received several hundreds of dollars in rebate money, saved money by buying from shops that offer free shipping and taken advantage of unadvertised specials. And the best part is all of this great bargaining takes place under one “roof” -- Ebates. So my best advice when shopping online -- join Ebates for great deals and cash back!
In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
Of course, there are always the consignment shops that only sell higher-end, gently worn clothing and accessories with prices sufficiently low enough to put together some super chic, fashion-forward looks for less. But another, far more creative option is fashion swapping. The site Swap Style is a great place to start. In essence, this is the place to swap (or even sell) individual pieces, whole outfits, shoes, accessories and even maternity fashions with other people looking to do the same all around the world. There are actually a number of these sites to choose from, all with the same basic idea. It’s a great way to go green, too!
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Hands-down, my favorite pieces in my shop are the Beaded Skeleton Key Necklaces I create. Each necklace is comprised of some of my favorite components: Leather cord, beads of all colors and textures and authentic vintage skeleton keys (What secrets do these keys unlock?! And for whom?!). So for me, these necklaces have the mystery of the key combined with the beauty of the beads all bound together by the sturdy leather cord. Beautiful!