Saturday, 20 November 2010
The WireWorkers Guild
You might already be familiar with the wonderful
You could also be aware of its owner, Mel Brooke
(aka Lili), freelance designer featured in several bead
magazines over the years ...
Then again, you could have seen her
free tutorials on You Tube for 'Beadclub'
... and maybe you've noticed her as the presenter
of BeadTV (check it out: www.beadtv.com!)
... BUT ... did you know, that Mel has just brought out
a new B O O K called:
'Lili's FUNKY BEADING BOOK' !!
(Above: Book Cover)
Well ... I've just had a chance to get my beady
paws on it and I have to admit, that I think it's
fantastic! Much like Mel herself: it's VIBRANT,
full of ENERGY, COLOUR and INSPIRATION!
Even though it's not specifically a wirework book
(it has wirework aspects) and is jam-packed
full with quick, simple, fashionable projects that
can be created in no time at all!
It would make the best Starter Book for anyone
wishing to have a go at jewellery making and
great for kids and teenagers wishing to bead
with their friends, mums, aunts and grannies!!
***(XMAS PRESENT IDEA:
Mel's book, plus a bag of mixed beads!!)***
What I specifically loved about it, was the range
and variety of projects, all with different techniques
and materials - a great source of inspiration and
I was also lucky enough to interview Mel, so
please read on to hear more ...
(Above: Mel Brooke)
HOW DID YOU GET INTO JEWELLERY MAKING?
I've always loved trying different crafts, so making jewellery was part of that natural desire to explore creative pursuits. I found it so enjoyable and addictive, that when I began getting more and more requests for my jewellery, I decided to start a small business making and selling via craft stalls and local shops. It was also a good flexible job to fit around family life.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL TRAINING?
No. I am self-taught, as there weren't many classes back then, so I had to rely on any books or magazines that I could find (which were mostly American). I think it's the sort of craft where you can go on learning and developing your own techniques.
WHAT MADE YOU OPEN YOUR ONLINE SHOP - www.BeadsbyLili.com?
After a couple of years making and selling jewellery, I found that I was having to go further and further afield to source interesting beads which I then had to buy in bulk. I started selling off the excess beads, which proved popular, as many people were having the same problem sourcing and eventually, I had to make a decision between the making of jewellery or selling of beads ... and the beads won!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN DESIGNING FOR MAGAZINES AND YOUR VIDEO TUTORIALS ON YOU TUBE FOR 'Beadclub'?
I started freelancing projects for magazines a couple of years ago - it was great to have an outlet for my creative side again! Around the same time, I felt there was still not enough availability of classes or demonstrations out there for new beaders and I was getting a lot of questions on how to make things via the bead website, so I started 'BEADCLUB' on You Tube to both demonstrate techniques and stimulate ideas.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE ON BEAD TV?
I am currently working with Bead TV as their
channel Editor to help bring in new presenters,
projects and ideas.
WHAT FUELS OR INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
Anything and everything! It can be a mood, a colour,
a feeling, a picture, music ...
WHAT MADE YOU WRITE YOUR FIRST BOOK:
'Lili's Funky Beading Book'? AND DO YOU HAVE
PLANS FOR FUTURE TITLES?
There are plenty of beading books out now, but a lot of them still look quite daunting for those who may like to try, but who class themselves as 'not very crafty', so, I decided to write a book of bright and funky projects to inspire people to have a go. Hopefully, this book demonstrates that even the simplest techniques can have impact. It's early days, but I do already have several ideas for a second book, so I'll let you know if my plans for that come together ...
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN FROM THE BOOK AND WHY?
I love the bright colours in the Mardi Gras Necklace, but
the one I have worn most, is the 'Sassy Cherry Lariat',
because I love the simplicity of the design and quirkiness
of the cherry charms!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE SETTING OUT IN THE JEWELLERY BUSINESS?
Running your own business sounds glamorous but can be hard work. First you need to test your market: perhaps throw a couple of jewellery parties to see whether people like your designs and what sells well. It pays to learn as much as you can about starting a business up front, from both a pratical and legal perspective too -
BUSINESS LINK are great for that.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS, ASPIRATIONS AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?
Well, there's Book 2 to plan ... actually, right now I would love to spend 100% of my time split between writing projects, books and filming, but I'm not sure quite how that will come about? Occasionally, I think about opening a 'bricks and mortar' shop for the bead side of things, but in reality, I think it would eat up too much time. I also support the Prostate Cancer Charity and would like to do more to contribute towards that.
TO PURCHASE A COPY OF:
Lili's Funky Beading Book
and browse through the
shop for some stunning
new beads and findings!