Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why I Sell Mah Jongg Beads

A customer recently asked me where I get my mah jongg beads. The answer I gave was certainly more than she expected. I think I gave her the entire saga of how I came to sell mah jongg beads in the first place.

I told her that I buy mah jongg beads from sources around the world. The sources change from time to time. But I'm always on the lookout for good beads and mah jongg beads that are a little different.

And, then I told her why I sell mah jongg beads. I think it's worth sharing.

Let there be no doubt, question or second guessing on this. I never intended to sell mah jongg beads. I wanted to keep all the beads to myself!

It was tough enough to find the beads I needed. I searched the Web, shopped at bead stores, hunted around on EBay...all in the name of a good vendor for those colorful bone tiles.

Most times, I had no luck or my success was short-lived. Sadly, my mah jongg offerings reflected the scarcity. I needed good quality, large quantity and consistency.

Eventually things changed. Maybe I just started looking in other places. I found the right vendors and could get my hands on exactly what I needed.

The more items I created, the more I sold and so the cycle continued. Often I found that I had tapped into merchants who were able to sell me mah jongg beads because their limited stock has sat on shelves because of limited demand.

Eventually, these vendors were sending me the last of what they had and weren't willing to order more from the factories because...only a few of us were buying the bone beads anyway. More recently, from what I understand, it is difficult to find beads because of poor qualities coming from some overseas factories and because some factories tripled the minimum order quality at a time when not everyone was willing to put up three times the dough.

I imagine the difficulty in finding diverse and good quality mah jongg beads is what might have sent some jewelry makers into drilling into old mah jongg sets or using their creativity on the chunky acrylic beads that started showing up in craft stores. (Not that there is anything wrong with that. I absolutely adore a couple of the acrylic beads I've worked into the collections.)

Personally, I won't drill granny's (mine or yours) old mah jongg set. I'm a sucker for sentimental value. Plus, I would not be happy if I ruined a good tile with a poorly drilled hole. But there are mah jongg jewelry artists who use original tiles and the results are spectacular.

Eventually I tapped into the right combination of sources for the beads I use to create everything from mah jongg watches, pins, purse charms, earrings, bracelets, necklace sets, wine glass charms and more.

As my collection became more diverse I received e-mails and phone calls from curious others about where to find mah jongg beads.

Now, do you really think I wanted to give my competition one of my guns to shoot me with? Honestly, I didn't. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it made sense to add the beads to the site. I wasn't giving up a source, I was becoming a source.

That was a couple years ago and selling the beads has helped more crafters and beaders make mah jongg jewelry from fun and profit. But I have no regrets about that. It was one of the best business decisions I could have made.

Selling mah jongg and related beads has put me in touch with many wonderful beaders throughout the country. And at the end of the day, I feel good that Gehazi Collections is making it easier for other beaders to get good quality beads and customer service from someone who has walked in their shoes.

So, where can you get mah jongg beads for making jewelry? At Gehazi Collections, of course.

Until next time,

Sandra Davis

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Go Eclectic with a Grand Mix of Color

I took note recently in a local department store. Signs all around welcomed color back. Each time, I smiled and nodded in agreement.

Yes, color is back and so is any eclectic combination of colors. That's good news because Gehazi loves color. The more the better.

That's one of the things we love about our expanding selection of pins, charms and zipper pulls. They are colorful, eclectic and funky.

Instead of a bone mah jongg bead decked with the traditional neutrals or a single color, we've spiced it up a bit with our Fancy Mah Jongg Purse Charm. Several of our pins take color to another level with their mix of Swarovski crystals, batik bone, Czech glass, silver, copper and more.

For those enamored with the peace symbol, we've created the colorful Fancy Peace Purse Charm that is meant to be latched on to something that you want to dazzle up a bit.

The secret is that a mix of colors work nicely with just about everything. That is especially true with smaller items such as pins, brooches, charms and earrings.

For those who are really color shy, just a shock of a bright hue works nicely.

Our new Blue Tile Mah Jongg Pin does the trick. A bright blue acrylic tile with Swarovski crystals and a fancy coin offers a less complicated, yet very sophisticated approach to color.

In these days of an uncertain economy dashes of color are fashionable and easy on the pocketbook. It's a smart way to dress up just about everything already in your closet.

Whether it's a Gehazi piece or something else you pick up, color is hot this season. For sure, you'll see more of these colorful mixes on our site and at our shows.

We promise that you'll get more compliments than you can imagine.
Yes, welcome back color. You've been gone far too long!

Stay Tuned,

Sandra Davis
Gehazi Collections

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Aretha Franklin's Sweet Millinery Treat

We just happened to be at the right place and the right time recently and got wind of a little tidbit about the Queen of Soul's big day in Detroit.

Ms. Franklin celebrated her birthday Saturday, March 21, at Seldom Blues. If you know Detroit, you know that Seldom Blues offers an exquisite dining and entertaining experience.

The story is that Ms. Franklin's birthday cake was flown into Detroit in four pieces a day before the big event. Two pastry chefs are said to have flown in to make sure the cake was assembled properly. Of course!

The cake turned out to be a replica of the hat Ms. Franklin wore in January when she sang at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. You know, that hat the has made

Now that's a sweet birthday treat.

I did attend one of Ms. Franklin's parties years ago. I would have loved to be in the crowd for this one.

Ahh, maybe next year! And if Ms. Franklin invites me, I'll whip up a scrumptious jewelry ensemble to match her hat, coat or whatever she wants.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mah Jongg Jewelry is Ever So Hot

It has been amazing watching Mah Jongg players snatch up every piece of theme-related jewelry that can find.

I had no idea it would be so popular. I remember purchasing my first mah jongg beads. I knew nothing about the game, but saw these intriguing symbols and thought the bone beads would make nice earrings.

Lo and behold, in those Ebay days, customers snapped then right up.

It has been no letting up since then, and it seems every week a new jewelry designer is offering something with a mah jongg flair.

I love being part of the evolution.

Don't get me wrong, I love my other gemstone designs. Yet, there is a special place in me heart for those customers who just can't get enough of their mahj!

Visit the site at and stay tuned for more conversations about Gehazi Collections Contemporary Gemstone and Mah Jongg Collections.

Stay tuned!

Sandra Davis
Gehazi Collections