Saturday, May 08, 2004


I am, of course, a sucker for all things vintage needlework. When I heard of a local distributor offering a bone bead that was in fact for us needleworkers a thread winder/bobbin I ordered a few of them last year and sold them at Rockome. When Nashville trade show approached, I ordered several hundred of them and gave them out to customers and nice people of all sorts.

They created a furor of interest at the show and I even sold some of them wholesale and had interest from a national sewing catalog and shops in obtaining more of them.

I thought, fine, so I go into the bone bobbin biz. WRONG!! NOT EASY!!! My source dried up. They had about 10 more bobbins in stock and it would take them 6 months to have more from their Indian manufacturer. Bribes, whining, nothing produced a workable solution as I NEEDED these for summer shows and for a potential wholesale market.

Bless the internet. Google helped me find a plethora of Indian bead manufacturers. Off went the e-mails "please sir, could you look at this item # and can you manufacture something similar?"

One response only, but the right one. Aamir of Utter Pradesh works far too late into the night. I began getting the e-mails he dispatched at midnight Indian time. "Yes they could do this". The price was higher than the original source and a bit of negotiation ensued. The price remained higher, but the quality of the samples I received was also higher than the original.

I asked for 1 sample of a protype and in my mail came the 6 samples seen here. Aamir and his craftsmen took this assignment far beyond what I had envisioned. He also decided I might like a bone needle and whipped up a sample of that as well. This is a businessman who knows how to please a potential customer.

I have the initial order of several hundred of each winder in the clutches of UPS and hopefully it will arrive in California this next week. I will put the little bits of art on our website as soon as I have them in my hands. Then it is on to having Aamir turn out something else as special for us to import.

I never thought to wind up in the Import Biz - but the need seems to be there and I seem to have a marvelous resource in the craftsmen of Uttar Pradesh, an area known for artisans in bone and metalwork.

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