What's Not to Love About Lucite Beads?
Guest blog by Kelli Burns of The Hole Bead Shoppe
Lucite's color diversity, lightness, endless variety of shapes and inexpensive price makes it a must for today's thrifty designer – and it can be recycled! Every design that we've had in a magazine featuring Lucite has been a huge hit with our clients and Lucite fans. And of course, we always love seeing what other beaders and designers create with our Lucite beads.
Lucite is a form of thermal plastic. Thermal form plastic pellets are heated to a melting temperature and injected into a mold making the final shape. Thermal form plastic can be heated again and then reshaped in a mold, to make another item, which makes Lucite a recyclable material.
My love of Lucite journey began in 2004 when I found, Wendy Baker, selling lovely Vintage Lucite flowers and leaves in color samplers. I didn't know at the time that meeting Wendy and finding Lucite would change my life's direction. Wendy now sells through Sleeping Dog Studio on Etsy and we've become close friends.
If we had not invested in Lucite seven years ago and built our business around Lucite we would no longer be in business. Lucite has put food on our table, allowed us to travel and given us the opportunity to meet all of the wonderful, unbelievably gracious, generous loving friends we now have in the bead industry. Aside from that, I saw something in this product that motivated me, inspired me and moved me. I am just as excited to get a Lucite shipment now as I was when we got our first shipment! We've gone from purchasing Lucite beads by the gross to orders of no less than 3,000 pieces – and I'm still thrilled to see it arrive! Lucite has opened doors for us that we've never dreamed would have been opened, and we're so very proud of our growth and our unique products!
I love all beads made from Lucite but we specialize in flowers and leaves in eighteen standard colors, along with three other colors that we carry in a number of styles. Keeping up with over thirty styles in eighteen colors is tricky to say the least, but we feel that designers and bead shops need consistency in colors to recreate projects. It has taken us years of building a strong, close relationship directly with our manufacturers to develop our own unique line of colors that are permanently dyed instead of being colored with a water soluble dye bath. While Lucite feels more substantial than other plastic beads, it is extremely lightweight and makes a beautiful focal point for a necklace or bracelet. You can use a lot of Lucite in a beaded bracelet or beaded necklace without weighing it down!
At shows we sell Lucite in packages, but buyers on our website buyers may purchase single pieces. We feel selling by the piece gives buyers the option to sample many styles and colors at a reasonable price. We've also spent six years developing over forty different color samplers of Lucite ranging from thirty-five to sixty pieces as well as kits featuring Lucite flowers and leaves.
Kelli Burns is co-owner of The Hole Bead Shoppe and has been published in over thirty international publications. You can find Kelli and The Hole Bead Shoppe at six national shows across the United States. You can reach Kelli at firstname.lastname@example.org or through The Hole Bead Shoppe website. For some great inspirational Lucite projects and color palettes, check out Lucie's Garden!