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Well, I don't know where you grew up, but Syms is still around and a boone as far as I am concerned. I grew up in NYC and shopped there all the time until I moved here to Baltimore twelve years ago. But, lo and behold, Syms opened up here about two years ago. It's a small one, but an educated consumer can do just fine. I was in there about a week ago where I got a very comfy pair of New Balance cross trainers for about $40.

My concern is being a more educated consumer in purchasing sterling findings, etc. I find that some of the earring findings, french hooks, whatever...are clearly of a lesser quality than others. I realize it is a buyer beware situation, but does anyone know of someone who is honest and reputable and sells a consistently good product? I am willing to pay for a good product -it isn't like I got a bargain on the lesser quality items.

I suppose much of this problem comes from being self taught and not being involved in a beading community here in Baltimore. I am trying to locate some classes to get involved in.

This actually brings me to another problem I could use some advice on. On another forum, I wrote to a jewelry designer telling her I admired her work. I also told her I thought that she'd thought up a great name for herself and that I wished I'd thought of it for myself(it would work for my name as well as it worked for hers), BUT that I was using my name for 5 or 6 years and liked my name and had no intention of changing it. I then went on to compliment her on the small sterling tags she had on each of her pieces. I explained that I had been trying to do the same thing on my pieces, but had not been able to figure out how to do so affordably. I asked her what her process for doing it was. Was this an absolute etiquette DONT? I didn't think it was - I explained that she seemed to have solved the problem I was struggling with. Did I do the wrong thing? I wasn't copying a design and I wasn't going to copy a logo - I just wanted to know if she stamped the tags herself or if she'd had a stamp made and where she'd gotten her tags. I wrote this to her about four days ago and have not gotten a reply, which is why I am so worried that I have offended her. Did I do the wrong thing? I guess I don't know what proper etiquette on these things is. So if someone could tell me what not to say - I would really appreciate it.
Three Strange Angels

Laura Kramarsky

Ann -

This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. If the person is on a forum, chances are they are there because they get information and give information. If you were on their website and wrote to them as a stranger, I would say that it was a bad idea, but since you were both on the same forum, I'd say it's possible she either hasn't read your message or hasn't been able to find it again (if it's the about.com forum, I know I have not answered some posts there myself because I cannot figure out how to get back to them.)

Are you talking about paper tags, or the little silver ones? With paper tags, I know a lot of people print them up on their computers. Saves having the stamp made and you can adjust the size of your image if you want a really small one for one piece and a larger one for others. I got the stamp for my little sterling ones from Harper Manufacturing. Mine's VERY basic because I wanted the smallest possible tag. The more detail, the bigger the tag, the bigger the cost, etc.

For findings--wow, there are so many places! I think it would be a great idea for a post to have favorite wholesale/retail links. I get fancy earring findings from the discount part of Rishashay.com. Simple ones I get when I need to fill out an order from a company, so I get them from lots of places. Halstead comes to mind immediately, probably because they have a minimum so I end up buying stuff to flesh out my order!

Oh, and I grew up in NY, too. I just haven't seen a Syms ad in a while!


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