Updated: Jan 27
It's been 6 months or so since Teeny Bead Co came to be. And still, every single order gives me just as much of rush of excitement as the very first. I'm Ellen —chief Teeny Beader — and this is the Teeny Bead Co story.
Can't find it? Make it.
It all started in the first UK lockdown. I'd been searching for a fun, tiny bead necklace made with something better quality than plated nickel. Don't get me wrong — I found some absolutely gorgeous jewellery — but nothing that was quite what I was looking for.
I've always been quite crafty. I love making and creating. Having never tried my hand at jewellery-making before, I turned to Google. I researched various materials and methods, on the hunt for ways to make exactly what I had been after using high quality materials. But there was one more thing I wanted to consider: environmental impact and sustainability.
Eco-friendly from the beginning.
Although at this point I was still just looking to make a necklace for myself, I wanted to make sure the materials I used were coming from independent local businesses, were recyclable or biodegradable, and weren't packaged in single-use plastic wherever possible.
This research laid a lot of the ground work for when I decided to turn this hobby into a business — I'd already found a handful of great suppliers who ticked most of my sustainability boxes.
Making the leap.
So, I'd sourced my recyclable or biodegradable materials from independent local businesses and I'd created some bead necklaces that were exactly what I'd been looking for. Like with all my crafty conquests, I posted photos on social media.
But this time, not only were my photos greeted with positive comments from friends and family, but also some asking if I would consider making some to order. Maybe I was onto something?
~ DISCLAIMER ~
I want to make it super clear at this
point that I'm doing nothing completely new with Teeny Bead Co. I'm not saying that similar jewellery doesn't exist — bead jewellery made with glass seed beads has been around forever. But I had found that there was nothing that ticked all my boxes: fun, delicate, high quality metals, eco-friendly and local.
Teeny Bead Co was born.
I won't go into detail about the ins and outs of creating this business — that's a post for another day. But after interest from friends and friends of friends, I made the leap from making jewellery for myself to making a go of it as a proper business. I set up social media accounts, built a website, commissioned the lovely Maltby Design Co. to create a brand, and teamed up with the ever-so-talented Alexandra Wallace Photography for some gorgeous product shots. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Here's a little clip of me — Ellen Holcombe, chief Teeny Beader — chatting about how I started jewellery making on the BBC Breakfast show on Tuesday 27th January 2021.