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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Unique Trollbeads!

Posted by Louise Rogers on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

Early unique beads

I believe the most interesting, challenging and totally addictive product from Trollbeads are the glass Unique beads.  If you are a collector of these beads you know what I'm talking about.  Unique Trollbeads are a focus of mine and of my website Trollbeads Gallery.  In June of 2011 we opened the newest version of our website and I started numbering the unique beads on this new site at 1001. I list new beads everyday and today I was working on 5980. If you add in the 1 and half years of July 4th Unique beads, Halloween Unique beads, the Christmas Unique beads and the all the Amber Unique beads (all not included in the 5980) it means I have listed at least 6500 Unique beads in that amount of time.  Besides being an unusually high quantity of beads for any one person to photograph and process can you then imagine writing 6500 individual descriptions for each bead? Talk about being obsessed with Unique beads!   Sometimes I show two to 4 photos if the bead is different on the other side or if it is a kit.  Our latest website is great not only because  I can show multiple photos but there is also a magnifier to look closely at the beads.  That's good and bad.  I can't tell you how many times I have to re-shoot beads because of dust.  I keep a clean studio but I think the lighting I use creates static electricity and sucks every free floating piece of dust to the bead!  So if you have seen the dust on any of my beads let this be a blanket apology.  I guess you're getting the idea that Unique beads are time consuming for me but they're no doubt also a huge labor of love. I hope no one is under the impression I am boasting because it certainly isn't that. It's almost embarrassing that I have been so completely absorbed by unique beads but I guess many of us can say that but just in different ways. 

I've been selling unique Trollbeads for seven years and I still remember some of the older beads and love seeing the photos still hanging around on my computer.  Initially, as I have understood it, the unique beads were considered one of a kind or OOAK because they pretty much were but not all the time.  If a standard glass bead did not meet the set standards as it went through inspection it was put into a pool of beads that the glass artists would then add designs to and by doing that created a unique bead to sell as just that.  Trollbeads never named them OOAK and the US Distributor at the time disallowed the name because they could make more than one and believed the term to be misleading, which it was. Trollbeads Gallery chose the word Unique back when we first started posting them on our site.  When the popularity of the beads grew and grew Trollbeads saw the need to create Unique beads as a category they could offer on a full time basis to their retailers.  The Unique glass beads created by artists in different studios that have been trained to create Unique beads and they keep getting better and better. The two studios I know about are both part of Trollbeads humanitarian involvement one being the Malawi group and the other being with the Tibetan refugees in India.  The recent beads coming from these two studios have been some of the most artistic and some of the most beautiful beads I have ever seen.  Below is a sampling of some of the more creative new endeavors.Trollbeads Gallery artisan beads

In years past we have all been able to see a progression of talent and designs and although you would think a consistency is more desirable ... it is not.  We LOVE seeing the glass artists challenge themselves and we love the different effects they have grown to create.  I know one of the groups I just got in was from the Malawi studio because there was one bead we had with the Malawi beads this summer and the exact bead came in with the smaller core. All of the beads above were the same size as the Malawi classic core and they were all outstanding.   To see the advancement the artists have made from June when the original Malawi beads were released to this group it's astounding.

There are some drawbacks when it comes to in handling the inventory of these beads and I would like to discuss this because many people, especially newer collectors, may not understand the process by which the retailers buy Unique beads.  I've visited some Trollbeads collector Facebook pages and read some negative comments concerning pricing so I would like to explain the situation to defend retailers. It's a hard thing to grasp and even some retailers don't get it at first.   When we buy unique beads we have to purchase them sight unseen in kits of 6 and we pay for the 6 beads. We don't have the option to return them and we don't have an option to choose only the more desirable beads, we have to keep all of them.  It's basic survivor math and we have to charge more for the best beads to help cover the cost of the other beads that may never sell.  One collector wrote something about how retailers were gouging the consumer when it came to the critter beads and armadillos and I have to say that is not the case. I've already talked about how many beads I have sold in a year and a half but what that doesn't tell you are the hundreds of beads I have in inventory many of which may never sell.  It's just basic business.  In order to restock we have to be able to sell what we have or sell the definite sellers for a bit more to cover the future purchases.  I know there are retailers that don't bother with them because of this issue but for me it's what I love and it's what my collectors love. It's because we want to continue to offer them that we charge a bit more for the sought after beads to cover the beads that hang around for awhile, sometimes forever!

Trollbeads Gallery Turtles

To see many of the Unique Styles please visit our Unique Trollbeads Glossary!  It is a very special source for everyone to research and enjoy.  Share it with your friends! We have many more to add in early January!

Trolllbeads Gallery Unique Beads (Scales Beads from the Glossary of Unique Beads)

Topics: Unique Trollbeads, Universal Unique Trollbeads, Trollbeads Gallery Uniques

Malawi Glass Beads:Trollbeads Humanitarian Effort

Posted by Louise Rogers on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 19:07 PM

Trollbeads gallery malawi beads
The newest limited edition beads released by Trollbeads are the Malawi glass beads.   For Trollbeads this is another more effort by the Aagaard's to use their talent, their ideas and their where with all to help a country that is in great need but the Aagaard's take it further to a whole new and very essential step.

Just as Trollbeads brought a self sustainability to the Tibetan refugees living in diaspora in India they have given the people of this community in Malawi the tools, the studio and the training to allow them to move forward. With this gift they can work to sustain their families in a culture so in need of this.  I can't imagine a gift to give back more effectively than this. This particular group/release of beads is limited in number but they are already creating unique beads for us in many other diverse designs so although this release is limited the craftsman of Malawi are working hard for their future and for the future of our collections! 

To understand the endeavor in full here's a little background information on Malawi for you.  Malawi is a country in Southern Africa that was originally colonized by the migrating Bantu peoples in the 10th century and in the late 19th century they were colonized by the British but then again in 1953 by the CAF, the Central African Federation and in 1964 the land was given independence and called Malawi. The country is very pro Western and has a working relationship with many independent countries. Malawi is among the least developed countries and has a very low life expectancy but while the government is working on increasing healthcare the people are in dire need of finding ways to sustainability and what Trollbeads has accomplished is something that makes us all so proud to be a part of this organization.  This past month top retailers were awarded Hero Awards from Trollbeads and while very meaningful to the winners, in reality the Aagaard's are the true heroes here, over and over again.  Below is a photo of Lise and Isabel Aagaard on one of their visits to train the glass makers.  Look at the beads they are all wearing!  The smiles they are wearing are as broad as the horizons these people are now seeing thanks to Trollbeads and in a very small way we are a part of this.  So buy your Malawi Trollbeads and wear your Malawi bracelet with pride!  The dresses both Lise and Isabel Aagaard's are wearing were made in Milawi as was the fabric.  Look closely and you'll see colors within the natural dyes that they have brought out in the Malawi beads!

Trollbeads Gallery Malawi photo Aagaard's


I am busy listing the Malawi Trollbeads and will continue to do so for as long as I can get them! You may have noticed the beads come in a number of designs and the designs come in multiples so if you missed a bead you wanted it may just come around again!

In a description on the Trollbeads retailer site:

They are young, artistic and surrounded by an immense mix
of colors. the talented glass artisans from Malawi create the most
intricate and playful glass beads. each of the beads’ inspiration
can be found in the everyday lives of their designers; from a pattern
of a woman’s vibrant dress on the street, a combination of exotic
fruits in the marketplace, or a peculiar flower in the grasslands.
once trained by Lise Aagaard, Trollbeads, these skilled artisans
are now running a flourishing business by designing glass beads
for collectors across the world.
The Trollbeads project in Malawi was set up in late 2010 with the goal of helping the challenged youth of the African country. Using the same overall formula as with a similar project in India, Trollbeads gave a group of young men and women the opportunity to learn the artistry of making glass beads over an open flame.
Besides providing financial backing for the project, Trollbeads also trained the staff in all aspects of running a successful jewelry business, including supply-chain management, production, design, and marketing.
Today their local operation employs around 12 people and is on the way to becoming completely self-sustainable.

From Trollbeads

Our Responsibility
"At Trollbeads, we believe in two things;
operating from our hearts and maintaining
a social responsibility. These values are
essential factors for us when running a
global business, just like they were when
we first began selling beads from a small
store in Denmark over 35 years ago.
As we have grown, we have embraced
new sets of challenges and opportunities.
One of these has been to help people
in developing countries in setting up
self-sustainable businesses of their own."

Topics: Trollbeads Malawi Endeavor, Malawi Trollbeads, Trollbeads Gallery, Universal Unique Trollbeads, Unique bead, trollbeads gallery forum, Universal Uniques

Holiday Wishes and Trollbeads Thoughts

Posted by Louise Rogers on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 @ 11:12 AM





Trollbeads Gallery image of Tivoli

As the year comes to a close and as the holidays are upon us I find myself thinking about what Trollbeads will create for us in 2012.  I just received an email from Trollbeads United States outlining the new approaches and new ideas and this has definitely got my mind going and my imagination wandering.

Just imagine what great things are coming our way! Each year we can look forward to new beads, new limited edition releases and new surprises through out the year.  Just think of the surprises we got this year! I think my favorite release this year had to have been the Silver Whorl and second most favorite the Anniversary Coin!

No definite plans except for the National Trunk Show events.  I know many of you have been discussing the pros and cons on discussion panels and when the holiday is over I will go and read all about them.  There will be a total of 3 during 2012.  You may be missing the opportunity to go to more trunk shows but on the flip side of that Trollbeads is giving retailers the choice of offering other specials through out the year. 

No more serious business today because I am actually writing to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for whatever days you want to celebrate. Below are some new holidays that you might want to add to your list of days to celebrate.

1.December 26th is national "Play With Your New Trollbeads Day".

2.December 27th is "Buy New Trollbeads With Your Christmas Money Day".

3.December 28th is "Return all that other jewelry you got and buy a lot of Trollbeads Day." 

OK, you get the idea. How can you not celebrate being a part of a line of jewelry that brings people together from all over the world, gives back in many charitable venues and is simply the most exquisite line of beads ever created.

I have just added a page to Trollbeads Gallery about the company and it's philosophies. If you are want to read or see the page and you aren't near this blog you can find it on the site's home page on the top row of features on the far right. I hope you will go and read it, here is the link.  About the Company.

(The photo above show the holiday decorations inside the food concession at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen where I shared glogg with my favorite Trollbeads designer, Soren.)

Trollbeads Gallery COin  

Topics: Trollbeads Gallery, Troll beads, Limited Edition Trollbeads, Universal Unique Trollbeads, Trollbeads bracelet

Universal Unique Trollbeads: Are they still controversial?

Posted by Louise Rogers on Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

Universal Unique TrollbeadsThis past July saw the introduction of the Universal Unique Trollbeads.  I was fortunate to be at the Las Vegas Jewelry Show where they were debuted in the U.S. and where I saw the Universal Unique beads for the first time.The Universal Uniques or U.U.'s are created with a larger core enabling them to be used on Pandora and Chamilia chains.  At the show I was able to hand chose the bead kits while keeping my customers and my Trollbeads Fest, which at this point was still in the future, in mind. 

This new introduction from Trollbeads was  monumental and even more so than perhaps expected.  After this exquisite release it was to my surprise many forums the world over had the buzz going and there were many long time collectors that were not happy with this new introduction. One collector said Trollbeads had sold out. Sold out? WHAT is that supposed to mean? Honestly I couldn't understand that opinion. Yes they were altering one part of the line but they would be still be making the standard classic size core Uniques.  Why should they not change or alter something to allow other chain brand collectors to wear Trollbeads? How is that selling out? What they did was undo what Pandora and Chamilia had done to keep Trollbeads off their chains. Trollbeads has created a larger core to fit over the larger element that Pandora had implemented to keep the Trollbeads from being used on their chains and then Chamilia copied Pandora. Remember Trollbeads was the first on the market and Pandora created the same add-a-bead concept but with an end element was designed so it was too large for Trollbeads to fit over.  The change that occured within Trollbeads isn't selling out, it is exactly as Lise Aagaard made the decision for, it is simply to share the beauty.

As you are reading a Trollbeads blog you may not have ever seen the Pandora glass beads. They are limited in number, are not creative, they don't vary and they certainly don't have uniques. Plus they have a huge flange of silver with "Pandora" stamped around it which design wise is too obviously a commercial branding effort. Is this necessary on personal jewelry? The reason is Pandora is not managed or owned by artists as Trollbeads is so the outcome of product is a direct result and always has been.  What Lise saw and what she understood is something so sensitive and so practical no one in the Pandora frame of mind could comprehend it.

Lise understood that Pandora chains are often given to a woman as a gift from her husband or from her children and she knows many woman don't want to replace what was a special gift.  Lise also understood the financial aspect. Even if Pandora wearers love the Trollbeads glass beads it could be a financial issue for them to decide to start all over.  So the decision was made to offer the most beautiful glass beads on the market to everyone so all can enjoy them. It was a generous move.

Do you know that many of the Unique Trollbeads are made by Tibetans living in India in diaspora?  The Aagaard's have been instumental in training these people and paying fairly for 6 years and stay in close contact with new training and techniques. This is just one community the Aargaard's have been aiding in making self reliance through housing, training and by building them the state of the art, well vented studios for them to use to create the unique beads.

Trollbeads has recreated a win-win situation and I don't, for one, understand the controversy over the Universal Beads especially now when we have all seen how beautiful each one is and everyone has seen this too from new collectors to the old collectors.  Come to think of it I think whatever created the buzz has dissolved and the buzz has turned into a purr.

The Green Armadillo shown here is a beauty of a Universal Unique bead and a great example of the quality coming from Trollbeads.

Universal Unique Trollbead

Topics: Pandora, Universal Unique Trollbeads, Universal Beads, Trollbeads bracelet