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Author Archive: Kevin on The Blog

And The Winner Is…

Posted by Kevin on November 22 at 03:30 pm

We have a winner in the How May Beads in The Jar contest.

When Mademoiselle M guessed 763 only a few minutes after we started the contest, we thought maybe it was going to be too easy! She was the first person to be within 25 of the correct answer, so she gets a $25 gift certificate.

In the days to follow, we had a great time coming up with the hints and watching such a huge range of guesses come in. The real shocker came this afternoon when the correct guess came in and it was…. Mademoiselle M!!!

There are 781 beads in the jar. This means that Mademoiselle M won the $25 gift certificate AND the $100 gift certificate. The contest was originally intended to award two people, so we’ve decided to also give a $25 gift certificate to the second person that came within 25. This is Charlotte P with her guess of 777 on Nov. 18 at 9:44am.

Thank you to everyone that guessed. We had a ton of fun with this contest and we hope that you did too. We’ll definitely be doing something like this again in the near future.

If anyone wants to share pictures or screenshots of their spreadsheets, scribbled notes, or hand-written tables, we’d love to see them! I thought it was so cool that some of you went all mathematical on us :)

Gemstone Cabochons are Here!

Posted by Kevin on November 20 at 03:20 pm

A few weeks ago, I announced that Lima Beads would soon be carrying gemstone cabochons. I started receiving emails about a week later saying “Hey! Where are the Cabs???” Beaders have no patience! I can say this for sure because I’m married to one. :)

I’m happy to say that we have added gemstone cabochons to our shop today! We’re starting off with shapes in some of our most popular stones and we’ll be growing the line from there.

We have standard cabochon sizes to wire-wrap or set:

Oval Cabochons

Oval Cabochons

We have these standard sizes in:

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Help us Pick the Lunch Specials!

Posted by Kevin on November 10 at 02:00 pm

Hi Everyone,

Each Monday afternoon, we choose what the lunch specials will be. They start getting sent out at around 9pm EST because all the Lima Beaders in New Zealand are eating lunch.

We have chosen the first 6 specials, but we want your help choosing the final 3. Of the following items, which 3 would you most like to see in the Lunch Specials?

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Is Customer Service Dead?

Posted by Kevin on October 29 at 04:41 pm

The Lima team has been experiencing a string of terrible customer service lately. From restaurants to coffee shops to lumber yards, we’ve seen some shockingly bad service over the past few weeks. It’s strange – we’ve all experienced bad service here and there, but lately it has been much more frequent and much, much worse!

Here are some examples:

Rachel and Riki went to a bar and grill (national chain) for dinner. At the end of their meal, they politely asked if the server could just split the check in two, so they could pay separately. He acted annoyed and told them that he couldn’t split their onion rings onto two checks. He said he would put the onion rings on their own check, which of course didn’t really help Rachel and Riki, but not wanting to cause trouble, they agreed. Now, the funny part – when the server returned to the table, he presented the checks and said “Here’s the $9.00 one for the onion rings, that’s $4.50 each in case you didn’t take high school math.” Wow.

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Some Much Needed Planning

Posted by Kevin on October 27 at 05:08 pm

The Lima team spent most of today planning out the next few months. It was cold and crisp in Michigan this morning. That late-fall kind of cold that you’re not prepared for and takes you by surprise when you step out the door to start your day. After getting our (essential) morning coffee, we all crowded around the conference room table at 9:00am, and started talking. Depending on our role here at Lima Beads, we all have different priorities and concerns to talk about.

The conference room

The conference room

Ali wanted to talk about our winter advertising campaign.  With each new season, we try to come up with a new look for our BeadStyle, Bead&Button, and Stringing ads. The next round of ads will come out in late December, which means it’s too early to start talking spring, but too late for a holiday theme. We’re thinking of focusing on silver (and metal in general) because we plan to have our line of silver available by then :) What do you like to see in bead magazine ads? What catches your eye and makes you want to visit a web site?

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Sterling at Lima Beads?

Posted by Kevin on October 13 at 07:10 pm

Here at Lima Beads, we’ve been getting a lot of requests lately to carry sterling silver. This is something we’ve been considering for a long time, but we need your help!

What kind of silver would you like to see at Lima Beads?  We’re thinking of carrying the following:

  • Head pins
  • Wire
  • Chain
  • Clasps
  • Ear wires

What are we missing? We would like to start of with a full line of standard items in standard sizes and branch out from there. Our goal is to allow our customers to get as much as they can in one place to save on shipping and time!

We’re especially excited about the wire — it will go nicely with our upcoming line of Cabochons.

Please let me know what you think.  If you’d like to see a certain item in sterling or even a specific brand of silver, tell me in the comments.

We want to do this soon!

New Gemstones in Fall Colors

Posted by Kevin on October 09 at 01:33 pm
Mystic Blue Feldspath

Mystic Blue Feldspath

We’re adding 20 new gemstone beads to the Lima Beads shop today. These beads are great for fall – they range from bold reds to earthy browns and greens. You can find them all on the new beads page

The first addition is to mystic blue feldspath. We’ve added a standard 20x15mm thin pillow and 3 funky shapes: a cool little pendant, large 18x13mm rice and an awesome little 10x8mm barrel.

Copper Green Opal

Copper Green Opal

Next, we’ve added 10 new beads to copper green opal. There couldn’t be a more perfect stone for fall. It’s extremely popular and we’ve been waiting forever to get more shapes in stock. Today, we’ve added a teardrop, puff coins, rice, rondelles, rounds and one very cool tumbled nugget.

My favorite addition this week is the red jasper. The boldness of its red coloring is absolutely gorgeous! There is just enough pattern to keep it interesting without taking away from the color. We’ve added an oval, a rice, a thin pillow and a large puff square (30mm!).

Red Jasper

Red Jasper

You can also find a small apatite tumbled nugget and a citrine freeform slab in the new beads. The apatite tumbled nugget is a great little accent bead.

Let us know what you think!


Whole Foods Hot Bar – Good or Evil?

Posted by Kevin on October 08 at 01:13 pm

Our office (The Lima Loft) is downtown. This means that we frequent the same places (see our favorites) for lunch each day. Occasionally though, I have to run errands that aren’t downtown. On these days, I bring my car and my choices for lunch are virtually limitless! Yesterday, I had finished my errands and it was time to start thinking about lunch.  I was near the new Whole Foods that everyone has been talking about, so I decided to check it out and try the hot bar. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately and I knew they would have some great stuff.

For people that love food, walking into Whole Foods is like being a kid again and walking into Toys R Us. I think they arrange the fruits and vegetables by color – it’s like a work of art! My nose led me straight to the hot bar near the back of the store. I couldn’t believe the enormous selection. I’d be able to put a healthy, tasty lunch together for sure…

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Cabs on the Way

Posted by Kevin on October 01 at 12:08 pm
Larimar Blue Crazy Lace Agate

Larimar Blue Crazy Lace Agate

Wire wrappers rejoice – Lima Beads has a full line of cabochons coming soon! We’re very excited about this line. We’ve taken some of our most popular stones and had them cut into cabs by a marvelous factory. The cut and polish are unbelievable!

Matt & Steve are currently designing and building a new section of our web site for the cabs. You’ll be able to shop them by stone or size. Most of them will be a standard oval cut with one flat side, but a few of the stones will have really funky cuts! We’ve only received about half of the shipment thus far, but I know that some of the stones are:

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Fall Beads Upon Us!

Posted by Kevin on September 25 at 01:21 pm
Matt hauling a box of beads up the stairs

Matt hauling a box of beads up the stairs

Each year about this time, our fall lineup of beads starts to trickle in. Don the UPS guy pulls up in his truck and beeps the horn. We all run down to help him unload the boxes. In the past week, we’ve unloaded about 50 boxes that average 60 pounds each. Steve, Matt, and I carry all the boxes up the stairs (22 stairs to be exact!) and line them up in the hallway.

Once the boxes are upstairs, we can’t wait to tear them open and see all the new stones! This fall is going to be awesome. We’ve got a lot of gorgeous new beads that are brand new to the market. We also have additions to some popular stones, including high quality fluorite, labradorite, garnet, rhodochrosite and more.

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Stampt Metal — We Love It!

Posted by Kevin on September 11 at 12:28 pm

“Could you check your spelling on Stampt? Should it be Stamped?”

Copper Connector

Copper Connector

I received that email from a customer shortly after we unveiled the new line of Stampt metal. To clear up any confusion – Stampt is the correct spelling. It is actually the brand name of this gorgeous new line of beads. If you follow the beading industry, you’re surely aware of the immense growth and popularity of brass beads and stampings over the past couple of years.

Gold Pendant

Gold Pendant

Stampt has taken these marvelous items and plated them in high quality metals. The stamping and plating are both done by small companies in the U.S. that have been doing this work since before I was born! The quality is impressive.

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Hope you didn’t miss ‘em!

Posted by Kevin on September 10 at 08:56 am

It looks like the Lima Lunch Specials released yesterday are going to be another big hit. There were 2 shapes of the popular Fire Pink Freshwater Pearls, along with gemstones and 3 different metal beads. So far the Amethyst is the hottest seller!

There’s no reason to miss out on these awesome once-per-week bead deals! If you’re not getting the Lunch Special emails – sign up now and you’ll get them next Tuesday. It’s too late to get the deals below, but there will be 9 more next week, so don’t miss out again!

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Help Make Lima Even Greener

Posted by Kevin on September 03 at 08:13 pm

Ali & I have always tried to make environmentally friendly decisions at home and at work. I asked our landlord if he’d consider installing solar panels on the roof of our building and he just laughed at me. Oh well – there’s plenty we can do on our own.

Feed Me

Feed Me

A few years ago, we replaced all the light bulbs in our office with new energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. We went from 27 regular bulbs at 75 watts to 27 energy efficient bulbs at 9 watts. That’s asavings of 1782 watts! To put that in perspective, most toaster ovens draw about 900 watts, so the energy we’re saving could power 2 toaster ovens all day long – that’s a lot of toast. One note, be sure to recycle these bulbs properly, they contain mercury! Some stores, like Ikea, now offer drop-off stations.

We recycle everything. Boxes, paper, containers, plastics, everything! Recycling is a big deal in our city. “Recycle Ann Arbor,” started in 1978 as Michigan’s first curbside recycling service. We’re a really small business, but the amount of waste we generate is amazing. If we didn’t recycle, I can’t believe how much we’d be contributing to landfills. Because of all the recycling, we’re usually able to limit our trash to one (very full) bag per week.

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1000 Customer Fresh Picks!

Posted by Kevin on August 27 at 12:42 pm
Purple Passion

Purple Passion

Judy M. from Clarksville, TN designed the 1000th customer Fresh Pick yesterday! The Lima Team is so excited about this, we’re sending Judy a $50 Lima Beads Gift Certificate.

Judy’s Fresh Pick is called “Purple Passion”.  See all 6 of Judy’s picks.

What are Lima Beads Fresh Picks?

Fresh Picks are arrangements of beads created by members of The Lima Team and customers like you. They’re good for generating endless ideas for color and texture arrangements and are meant to be a launch pad for your designs. You can Design Your Own Fresh Picks just like Judy did. Click here to learn more.

For even more information, check out Ali’s blog post about the history of Fresh Picks!

Thank you to Judy and all of the other great Lima customers who have been designing Fresh Picks. We have some exciting things planned for them! If you want to get lost in design ideas — you can view all 1023 customer-designed Fresh Picks now!

Lunch Specials for Aug. 26

Posted by Kevin on August 26 at 10:41 am

Lima Lunch Specials have been released for August 26, 2008! Last week’s specials were super-popular, and we’re hoping that we can match the excitement with the new deals. There are 9 deals again this week, including gemstone beads, copper, pewter, and a big pendant! In order to be eligible for these deals, you have to be on the Lunch Specials e-mail list… so if you missed out this week, make sure to get signed up for next week!

Here are the specials that we’re sending out today…

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Meet The Lima Team

Posted by Kevin on August 21 at 09:13 am

Lima Beads is a small bead shop in Ann Arbor, MI. We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and the quality of our relationships with our customers. We started in the spare bedroom of a college apartment and now work out of a downtown historical building. We love what we do. We obsess over details. We provide consistently great quality. We spend the 15 minutes before lunch deciding what to eat and the 15 minutes after lunch talking about how good it tasted. We laugh with each other and with our customers. We strive to provide a great value. We don’t strive to sell the cheapest beads. We give back to charities. We respect the environment. We’ll make sure you’re happy with Lima Beads.

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