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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

Six Trollbeads That Can Offer You Something Different

Posted by Louise Rogers on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

 Trollbeads Bracelets with White cap




Just recently I received an order of Trollbeads and as I was looking over the White Cap beads I noticed that out of 24 I had 2 that were so out of the ordinary, I put them aside!  The bright green was more dominant than the blue greens and I know they’ll be a use for that bead for someone for a design needing that color! You can see many of the White Cap beads above in this Trollbeads Bracelet.

When you want to be inspired to build a new bracelet look at the Glass 1, 2 and 3 Trollbeads but look for the differences and try to find something so different that it will be special.  There are many beads that have different appearances than their sister beads because the glass Trollbeads are all created by different artists with different subtle techniques and for a lot of the beads look for different sizes.  Many look at these differences as problematic but I don’t.  I look at them like they are “almost uniques” and I try to find a way to use these beads to their best advantage that I might not use their sister bead for. It seems that many of us Trollies love a good challenge.

Beads to look for these kind of differences in:

White Cap: Besides the bright green tones look for the pink deep within the bead!

Azure Bubbles: Now the differences in this bead really is quite obvious and this bead was created to be different and for this reason I always keep a couple of dozen on hand so everyone has the choice.  The colors I have used on bracelets because of the beads dominant color is: Purple, Brown, Sage Green and Blue.  If you haven’t seen a lot of this bead you may not know how many colors are represented in this one bead.Look at the variety of Azure Bubbles beads in the photo below!

Trollbeads bracelets Troll beads Gallery

Blue Desert: The color range in this bead can go from grey blue to sky blue and then you’ll see a few of these with swirls of yellow, pink and green.  We have collectors that ask for beads like this because the look is so different and the combination of colors is striking, like a sunset.

Pink Desert: This beads ranges all over the pink scale from deep pink with blue casts to a very light pink. All of these tones have a place to fit within the Troll color range.

Purple Prism: As we know many of the Purple Prisms are a shading of purple so the value is quite soft.  I love getting in the stronger color purple but it is a rare occasion! 

 Khaki Stripe: Rarely we will get the Khaki Stripe bead in with a strong hue of pink over the khaki and we have also had blue over the khaki and also has come in a soft yellow, which is quite pretty with the black contrasting stripes. In the photo below you can see a Khaki Stripe with pink!

Trollbeads Bracelets,Troll beads Gallery


Topics: Trollbead Bracelet, Khaki stripe, Trollbeads Universe, Universal Uniques, Azure Bubbles, Trollbeads-United States

Trollbeads Introduces Universal Uniques

Posted by Louise Rogers on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 @ 17:06 PM
Universal Trollbeads for Us

Today the venerable interchangeable bead pioneers released a new kind of Unique beads, Universal Uniques.  The only thing that separates these from the original Unique Trollbeads is the size of the silver core at the center of the bead.  As the original bead line Trollbeads set the course for all other lines and the lines that followed them developed their products so anyone with Trollbeads could not use their chains.  With Pandora the end is larger allowing it only to accept its own beads that have large cores. Chamelia came out years later and they use the same closure, not allowing Trollbeads to be used on their chain.   I have to explain that many Trollbeads collectors know Trollbeads are the original bead brand and are questioning this move to modify on Trollbeads part.  I too was conflicted but now that I've learned the "why's" I understand and support this decision.

Universal Uniques are a meant to be, in Lise Aagaard's exact words, "a migration tool" for other bracelet wearers to be able to add our beautiful glass to their bracelets.  There are so many other people with other bracelets who have yearned for the Trollbeads product, especially the glass beads.  So Lise's idea was to make something for them without impinging on Trollbeads or forcing the other collectors to go without.

Having been a retailer for Trollbeads for years now I have seen many people who wear Pandora look longingly into our cases full of colorful glass beads, discussing the desire to have them but are simply not able to change the chain they wear.  (The glass beads from Pandora are very limited and they have a visually intrusive silver band running on the side of the bead and attached to the core with PANDORA all over it.) When you consider the collectable beads are often gifts from husbands and children (mother’s day being our biggest holiday) the Pandora or Chamelia wearer’s may want to add more color to their bracelets but they don't want to offend the gift giver.  Or maybe it's the cost of starting over but whatever the reason the Universal Uniques will stretch and break the boundaries laid down by the subsequent bead brands. No other bead brand has the history and experience of creating and offering glass beads like Trollbeads and this seems the best way to accomplish sharing of the beads! The Aagaard's are inclusive by nature and want all people from all communities to be able to try Trollbeads while keeping the integrity of the Trollbeads Mantra... excellence is craftsmanship, materials and design.

On Trollbeads Gallery Forum there is an on-going discussion by collectors on the pros and cons of this decision and both sides have valuable merits and you may want to read this discussion. Please join the forum for the most up to date Troll beads information.

This isn’t the first time Troll has offered the larger cores.  In both of the charitable collections one being the breast cancer awareness beads and the beads created to raise funds for Haiti’s earthquake survivors both used the larger core so all collectors could take part in the fund raising efforts.

My personal experience in seeing the Universal Uniques for the first time was overwhelming and if you know me and my history with Unique beads I have always offered them and I am not easily overwhelmed.  Just last week at the jewelry show in Las Vegas dealers were given the opportunity to select their own sets from large bowls filled to the brim with some of the most glorious beads I have ever seen.  Having only met Isabel Aagaard prior to this show I was excited to meet Lise and the rest of the family. I was also beyond excited about the new beads.  For a week prior to the show I kept on imagining myself rushing right past Peter and Lise, the two people I have been dying to meet for years, to dive into the Uniques!  Well it just about played out exactly as I imagined but I did it with a smile.  My son was the first in the booth and had already pulled his selections for Starfish, the Trollbead store in Boulder, Colorado- so I was the natural second.  I want to finish by reporting after my first day of sales they are being met with strong enthusiasm and so far my collectors have been all Trollbead collectors!

If you feel strongly one way or the other I would love to hear your comments.  If you have already left them on Trollbeads Gallery Forum, please also leave them here for the people who don’t visit the forum. (imagine that!)

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Aagaards and Rogers







From l to r:Peter,Isabel,Lise Aagaard,Krista,Louise Rogers,Robin A, Alex Rogers and Nicolas Aagaard at Las Vegas party!

Topics: Pandora, large core beads, Universal Unique, Unique Trollbeads, OAAK Trollbeads, Universal, Chamelia, Universal Uniques, Trollbeads-United States