Vendor Spotlight: Fire Mountain Gems
In response to the most frequently asked question I get, I wanted to share some information with anyone who has wondered: Where do you get your supplies for jewelry making? The answer is not a short one, so I thought that featuring some of my favorite vendors and makers would be appropriate in this and upcoming blog entries.
I'm staring with Fire Mountain Gems because this company's story is so interesting. In a recent catalogue celebrating their 50 years in business, I read through their history and discovered that they actually started in a garage in the early '70s, selling beads and cabochons. What I also learned from that same catalogue is that jewelry making methods were not widely shared during those early years; rather, they were "closely guarded secrets."
Stuart and Chris Freedman set out to remedy that situation and help their customers by researching and writing The Beadmaker's Handbook, which they provide as a free download. I'm just scratching the surface of this resource and have enjoyed reading about the history of jewelry and beads in the first few pages.
Like many of the vendors and makers I want to feature in upcoming posts, the Fire Mountain "family" is generous with ideas - an entire section of the website continues to be devoted to learning about jewelry making - the Jewelry Maker's Library. Customers can find a variety of resources, projects, and inspiration. Again, I haven't even scratched the surface, and I have been a customer for many years.
The common thread through this and upcoming features continues to be the generosity and sharing nature of the jewelry-making community. Yes, vendors want to sell their products, but the amount of work that goes into the tutorials and resources is astounding - a lot of work to continue to market the thousands of available products on the website. So I am just trying to pay it forward and give a shout out to some of the people I can thank for enriching my creative journey.