Small Business Monday: An Interview With Carol-Ann From OooohBeads


Today's feature is all about passion.

I've talked before about passion being a really important part of our craft businesses and in most successful cases you will see that it is a passion for a craft or a way of living that is centre to the makers behind the business. This is what makes us the buyers so much more enthusiastic about their brands!

Let Me Introduce To You Carol-Ann From OooohBeads, Who Shows Us That Passion Really Is A Big Part Of Craft Business.

Image and products by OooohBeads

Image and products by OooohBeads

Tell us how you got OooohBeads started?

I have always been an avid bead collector, as a child in South Africa I had boxes of beads ranging from seed beads of the glassy kind to seed beads of the natural kind. Over the years I have dabbled in all kinds of beading and have purchased all kinds of beads, some of my favourites are ancient trade beads and truly ancient roman beads, which I used to buy and sell. As sourcing the genuine article became harder and harder, I decided to stop trading in ancient beads and start making modern beads and that’s how Ooooh Beads started.


Why Lampwork?

There is something about a glass bead that is, on one hand so seemingly fragile but on the other hand so enduring as we see with ancient beads and I love the luminosity of glass, I also love the fact that glass a very tricky medium to work with, I had to forget everything I had learnt about colour in art class because with glass you can’t really mix colours and shades you think would work well together sometimes just don’t so I love the constant learning curve.


Image and products by OooohBeads

Image and products by OooohBeads

How do you develop new ideas?

A tiny kernel of an idea sometimes pops into my head, and I find myself wondering what it would look like in glass so I just pick up my glass rods and play with it, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it does I get really excited and fixated on that particular idea or colour-way, and have such a wonderful time making my beads. So developing new ideas really is a case of waiting for the next one to pop into my head, and then if it is a good one, I just run with it.


How much time do you spend practising your art?

When I am making beads I start in the morning at 9 and work until 2 with only a quick coffee break, unless I have filled my kiln before then and have to stop,  And in Spring, Summer and Autumn I make beads at least 5 days a week, Winter is more complicated as I have this strange electricity thing going on which makes it excessively expensive to run my kiln most days in Winter so I spend that time looking for new products or trying out new ideas, this year it has been my beading cord, which is great because I make that too, so if fills my needs as a maker.


Carol-Ann from OooohBeads

Carol-Ann from OooohBeads

What is your biggest tip for someone who wants to start their own handmade business?

Passion, I really believe one needs to feel passionate about what one is making, if you have that passion then you are well on your way. You also need to become a Jack or Jill of all Trades because to sell your craft you need good photographs and great copy so those are skills one needs to acquire if one does not have them already. Some of the very best advice I have ever received, and this was from an Etsy seller “Take your photographs as if there is no description and write your descriptions as if there are no photographs”


Thank you to Carol-Ann for being so generous with her time and let’s wish her continued success with the business. Don’t forget you can find Carol-Ann at OooohBeads.