Announcing The Allegory Gallery Bead Society!
Hello Everyone! We've got some exciting news!
The other day, much like many other days, we were "daydreaming out loud". Basically, that means we talk about all the things that we wish we could do and as we talk, we build on each other's ideas and create something new. We make something bigger than ourselves – something that neither one of us on our own could envision individually, but build together, drawing on our own personal experiences and expertises. Sometimes we can and we do make these mental conjurings come to be. The store is a good example of that. It started off as a one-day-maybe-someday daydream and now we've been in business for 8 years. We've met thousands of people and they too are now part of that dream. It's more than just the two of us now. Hopefully we've created a legacy of kindness and beauty. Hopefully we've helped make the world a better place, even if it's only just a little bit better.
The other day, much like many other days, we were daydreaming out loud. And when we were done, we both said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that."
The thing is…where there's a will, there's a way. Sometimes everything perfectly aligns just so and everything clicks into place. Other times you've got to blaze your own trail and build the road to get where you want to go one stone at a time. We've experienced both. Sometimes things are easy and manifest miraculously. Other times…most of the time…we've had to work really hard and adopt unconventional ways of doing things.
For instance, the new AG Bead Society is our newest brain child. We were talking about all the things we'd like to do and like most small businesses, our next conversation was about how to go about that. Securing capital is never easy. Angel investors…they're great, but few and far between. Governmental or nonprofit grants…almost rarer than unicorns. Taking out a credit card…relatively easy if you qualify, but the interest rates will make you repay your modest request tenfold and then some. Small business loans…the interest rates are better, but securing one can be be a nightmarish process as a small business owner. Plus, if your business is feast or famine, the additional financial burden might be fine during the boom times, but the kiss of death in the lean times. (There are some lenders who provide flexible repayment and those are all nice, but if your return on investment isn't immediate, you can tread water while 30% of your sales go towards repaying your loan.) Fundraising events…they can be good for exposure, but require a lot of planning and upfront resources and the return on investment can be rather low when all is said and done. Crowdsource funding…sounds great at first, but if you make rewards for pledges, this can easily overtake your life and ultimately distract you from your business and/or be difficult to fulfill if something pressing arises in your business that requires your full attention. Saving up the old fashioned way…that's super great, but takes much longer and is contingent that nothing will come up between now and then. Plus, if it's an opportunity that is only available for a limited time, it could pass by the time you save up enough. It's never really easy deciding what the best way forward is.
With the new AG Bead Society, we thought it was a good way for people to make their initial investment back and help support our activities and empower us to keep doing what we're doing. It's also low-impact on us. This was particularly important to us, because we're still fulfilling other crowdsource funded projects years later. Adding more product-based rewards to an already teetering plate seems like a recipe for a nervous breakdown. And no one wants that.
The other day, much like many other days, we were daydreaming out loud and at first it seemed daunting and nearly impossible, but we found a way. Little by little.
For more information on our new AG Bead Society, please visit our website: https://agbeads.com/agbeadsociety
~Andrew & William