The recession has hit Britain but The Bead Shop in Manchester has seen even more customers come through their doors, now that people are returning to the ‘make do and mend’ attitude, something The Bead Shop is a huge fan of.
Harvey Kersh, who founded The Bead Shop with his late wife in 1993, believes small, creative businesses work well in tough economic times and they are experiencing lots of new customers.
It is now deemed trendy to create something new from old and customising clothes or accessories has become hugely popular with people of all ages.
Harvey talks about how people had to become clever in remodelling clothes and accessories after the war in the 1940s and certain types of goods were scarce at that time, “People had to make do and mend. Women used to draw a line down each leg so it looked like they were wearing stockings because they couldn’t afford to buy them.”
Harvey believes TV personalities like Kirstie Allsopp and craft programmes are a good way to educate people into being more creative and courageous. When asked if he thinks the retail industry see it as fashion brands verses handmade items he disagrees and believes it is better to mix and match to create your own unique style.
It is now very popular to reuse old clothes and to customise them with beaded accessories. We have all seen old clothes at vintage fairs that have been given a modern twist by people who have added beads or ribbon to a garment. Harvey revealed many of the shop’s customers like to see what the latest bead trends are and often look through the shop’s jewellery making books for ideas.
Making jewellery has become hugely popular over the years and fashion trends like charm bracelets for example have inspired people to have a go at making their own designs and also charm bracelet kits have help many people learn the basics. Harvey agrees, “Learning how to make your own jewellery enables you to customise your jewellery and help you to discover your own unique style, that’s why all our jewellery classes have been so popular.”
Harvey discussed how customers now want to make their own designs rather than buying from high street shops all the time, “When people are buying a piece of jewellery they tend to be drawn to the colour or style, but then when they try it on it is too fussy or has too many beads for example so they want to create a design that they like.”
It is certainly interesting to see how times are changing and people are choosing to avoid the bling and go back to basics. It is so much more rewarding making your own piece of jewellery or customising an item of clothing with beads and studs.
What is a better answer than when someone asks “where did you get that from?” and you answer “I made it myself.”