I have a start-up e-business that creates beaded bracelets with a sustainable and mind, body, spirit focus. Originally I`ve been buying my supplies from wholesalers on the Internet. As I expand I wanted to try to create relationships where I could buy in large bulk beads directly from manufacturers and artisans. How would I go about doing that? Is there a special license I need to look out for if I look for help? Is there a type of person that can help me create these supply relationships?
Get a wholesalers license and then start going to gem shows, bead shows and the like. Look online at places like alibaba.com for international suppliers (but be careful who you deal with).
Also, you can look into buying from wholesalers like fire mountain gems and various others.
Finding good, reliable suppliers is something that takes a lot of time and a lot of research. People do not easily give up their sources so you will have to look around and talk to a lot of people. Keep at it. Gem and bead shows in particular will pay off for you because you can begin forging personal relationships and meeting people from all over the world.
I am a gemstone and gem rough junkie and I have cultivated two good suppliers over the years. It takes time.
Thanks Jeff. I currently buy some of our beads from Firemountain, but I want to get to a place where I am small boxes of them and reducing cost by cutting out the middle man. I will look into trade shows and how to get a wholesale license. I also looked at alibaba and I need to contact some of he manufacturers...it seems like a lot of the sites are pretty generic, which makes me a little bit sceptical of them.
Remember that on alibaba, the vast majority of the sellers are overseas. Thats why I said be careful who you deal with.
For beads, I would look at Indian suppliers. They seem to specialize in cabs and beads of all kinds as well as simple premade pendants and jewelry in silver.
Check out www.beads-manufacturers.com to find some decent wholesalers. My stepmother used to make her own jewelry (LilyB designs) and found her suppliers through this website. Obviously, due diligence is in order but she found excellent deals through this website.
Lily E. Chambers CPS, CQU
"Why hire a mere mortal when you have access to a Goddess"