Not so with my next purchase as I bought direct from the bead maker - I have been longing to buy some Christa Keizer beads for quite some time; Christa has a shop on Etsy and I have been drooling over her beads on a regular basis as her shop was one of my browser's early bookmarks.
What finally spurred me on to make my first purchase was seeing a preview of this focal bead, called Shades.
|Stock photo copyright of Christa Keizer|
I am not a member of Etsy, so when this bead was listed I had to go through the joining process in order to be able to purchase the bead. That done I put the bead into my "shopping cart" and settled down to choose some other beads, both to go with it and because I figured it would be cheaper on the shipping to get a few more whilst I was there.
Great idea, but for one small flaw that I was unaware of. I had spent a happy half hour choosing 3 other beads and was just about to complete my purchase when my shopping cart told me the focal bead was no longer available! Much confusion, how could it not be available?
I contacted Christa directly, who informed me that unfortunately someone else had bought this lovely bead, I was still confused... it turns out that in Etsy, when you "put" a bead into your shopping cart, it literally is only there as a virtual item as it still displays in the shop and can be bought by another person whilst you are choosing something else. I was very disappointed, however the lovely Christa replied almost immediately that if I wanted she would make me another one tomorrow (which was a Sunday). Now that is customer service!
"Customer service plus" was achieved shortly thereafter when Christa created a private listing of my yet to be made bead, so that I could purchase it along with my other beads to save coming back and finding that one of my three other beads had been bought in my absence. You can see the type of thought patterns I was experiencing, I'd already identified them as "my" beads, when I'm perfectly sure they were legally Christa's beads at the time!
Transaction completed, now I just had to wait whilst "my" beads winged their way over from the Netherlands. When they arrived there was no setting up of photos to show off the beads artistically, just a quick snapshot between fingers to show friends!
The size of the focal bead was a lot larger than I thought it was going to be, initially I wondered how much use I would get from it (even though I'll never tire of actually just looking at it) and I guess only time will really tell with this, I've been quite busy recently and I've only just literally received my 4th bracelet with my new lock, so I haven't had a spare bracelet to hand to try anything out.
I can highly recommend Christa's beads and shop, the beads are beautiful and well made and the shop itself is very well organised so you can easily find what you're looking for. Christa also makes beads with a variety of core sizes so you can use them on other bracelets and they also go well with other charm brands.
Here are a few quick links...
Sale beads - grab yourself a bargain
Small core beads - only suited to trollbead bracelet sizes or smaller
Larger cored beads - suitable for bracelets bigger than troll
Cubic Zirconia - for those who like their sparklies
Focal beads - for when you want to make a statement
I'm popping off on my (work) travels for a bit so I'll be working on making my bracelet statement with "Shades" in the coming weeks rather than days. I've a few more new things and experiences to share with you before that... once I've come back from my travels.