I am not the world's best correspondent, and I'm a pretty clumsy typist. I do try to answer questions as quickly as possible, but as many of you know, I can lapse into "snail mode", and it may take me awhile to get back to you with an answer. I've created this FAQ list that should give you immediate answers to 95% of your questions - if you've looked through this list, and your question falls into the other 5%, my contact information is at the bottom of this list. I'm hoping that this list will minimize the time I spend at the computer, and give me more time for the creation and production of new beads.

I'll answer the top two FAQs first, and then proceed in a more orderly manner:

      # 1 FAQ - Do you do custom work?
      # 2 FAQ - How do I get a bead that is out of stock, or not in the current catalog?

      How often do you restock?
      How do I know when you've restocked?
      How do I find out when you've made new beads?

      What are the beads made of?
      How should I clean/polish my beads?
      How big are the beads?
      How heavy are the beads?
      Are the catalog photos in scale?
      What size is the hole in the bead?
      How do I make the bead into something I can wear?

      Where can I purchase beads?
      Do you take phone or email orders?
      Do you have a wholesale price?
      Is online ordering safe?
      What payment methods are available online?
      What payment methods are available at shows?

      Do you take special orders?
      How soon will you ship my beads?
      How will you ship my beads to me?
      What are the shipping & handling charges?
      Will tax be charged on my purchase?

      How do I get a bead that is out of stock, or not in the current catalog?
      How do I get a bead I saw in an ad?
      Can I reserve or pre-pay for a bead that is out of stock?

      How can I get on/off your email list?
      What will I get if I sign up on your email list?

      How do you make the beads?
      What is your background?

      How can I return my beads?
      Is your question still unanswered?


Do you do custom work?
No, I'm not able to do custom work. I have found that it makes me very unhappy, and I do not have the necessary emotional reserves to commit to it. I do enjoy hearing any quotations or ideas you'd like to share, since I never know what will strike a creative spark in me.

Where can I purchase beads?
My beads are available at shows and through my online catalog. Our catalog system is inventory based and will let you know which beads are available. Most orders will ship in 3 to 5 business days; I will contact you if there is a delay. Beads listed as 'out of stock' will be restocked as time permits. Periodically, the entire catalog will be updated; customers on the mailing list will receive email notification.

Do you take phone or email orders?
No, I am not able to take phone or email orders. Please order through the on-line shopping cart or visit me at a show.

Is online ordering safe?
Yes, online ordering is very safe. Our system uses some of the most advanced security technology available for online shopping, using a server that supports advanced 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. SSL encryption is active on our site as soon as you begin to use our online shopping cart.

You can check to see that you have entered an SSL-active area by looking at the URL ("address") line of your browser when you view your shopping cart. If you see a little logo of a closed padlock or an unbroken key, you will know that SSL technology is in place and ready to encrypt your information. Internet Explorer, AOL, and Firefox users will see the padlock, and Netscape users will see the key. If you read the url, you'll see that first letters of our website address will change from "http:" to "https:" when in the shopping cart. The 's' means 'secure'.

When you place your order with our online shopping cart, your information is transmitted in an encrypted form, which is not decoded until is reaches our credit card processing company's computers. Your personal and credit card information is never floating around the internet where it could be stolen.

What payment methods are available online?
When ordering from my online catalog, all orders must come through my website shopping cart, and be paid for by credit card. I accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. I am very sorry, but I am no longer able to make any exceptions to this policy.

What payment methods are available at shows?
When you are purchasing beads from me at a show, I am able to accept cash, checks, and travelers checks in addition to Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards.

Do you have a wholesale price?
Sorry, no wholesale pricing. It is very important to me that each bead is handcrafted and that your individual order is given my personal attention. I am not able to produce a sufficient number of beads to support wholesale orders.

Do you take special orders?
No. I've realized that, much as I want to please, and much as I hate to disappoint, that taking special orders puts me in constant production and cuts severely into my creative time.

How soon will you ship my beads?
Your beads will be shipped to you within 3 to 5 business days. If there will be a delay in shipping, I will notify you.

How will you ship my beads to me?
U.S. orders will be shipped U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. International orders will be shipped by airmail.

What are the shipping & handling charges?
Shipping and handling charges are $6.80 for the United States and $13.00 for international orders.

Will tax be charged on my purchase?
Online orders shipped to Georgia will be automatically be charged 8% sales tax - we haven't figured out yet how to get around this feature of our shopping cart. However, if you provide me with a Georgia resale license number, I will refund this charge. Online orders shipped out of state or out of the country are not charged sales tax.
If you buy from me at a show, you will be charged the local sales tax unless you have a valid resale license number from any state.

How can I return my beads?
I want you to be completely satisfied with your beads. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your beads when they arrive, I am happy to accept a return and refund the cost of your beads to you. Please contact me within two weeks of your receipt of the beads for return authorization and instructions.

How do I get a bead I saw in an ad?
How do I get a bead that is out of stock, or not in the current catalog?
I can add you to my "Wish List" for beads that are out of stock or currently on vacation. Let me know which bead you are interested in, and your email address, and you will be notified when the bead is available again. I cannot promise a specific time frame, since production is entirely dependant on my whims, but most beads do cycle through the catalog at least once during a year. It's best to check the catalog as soon as possible after you hear from me, to avoid disappointment. The number of beads available when I notify you may be quite small, and others may be waiting for the same bead. I am sorry, but I am not able to reserve or accept pre-payment for beads that are out of stock.

Can I reserve or pre-pay for a bead that is out of stock?
No. Since my production time frame is so variable, taking reservations or pre-payments is not practical for me.

How often do you restock?
I generally add brand new beads to the website towards the end of the first week of a month. At the same time, I add back of my older designs that have been on vacation. During the second two weeks of a month I restock new beads as necessary, and rotate a selection of older beads in and out of the catalog. I try to keep new beads in stock for a month or two. Older beads stay in stock for a week or so as they cycle through the catalog. The last week of a month, often don't restock at all, since I'm working on new beads.

How do I know when you've restocked?
If business has been especially brisk, and the catalog is pretty depleted, I will post a restock date at the top of the catalog. Normally though, restock dates are flexible, so the best thing to do is to check the catalog about once a week.

How do I find out when you've created new beads?
If you'd like to know when I add new designs to the online catalog, you can sign up on my email list. My list is absolutely private - it's never sold or shared. I send brief, text only messages, about once a month to let you know when the new beads are available. I try to add new beads about once a month, towards the end of the first week of the month.

How can I get on/off your email list?
Click here to add or remove yourself from my mailing list. You may also update (by removing the old address and adding the new address) your email address at this same link.

What will I get if I sign up on your email list?
I send short, text-only messages to let you know about new designs - nothing else, ever. No huge pictures, no dancing hamsters, no loud music. I send messages about once a month.

What are the beads made of?
My beads are made of sterling silver, and given a dark patina with liver of sulfur (potassium sulfide ) to bring out the details.

How should I clean/polish my beads?
Your beads will come to you polished with Wenol, which leaves a protective coating of wax to help prevent tarnishing. If your beads should begin to tarnish, a silver cloth or a paste polish (such as Wenol or Wrights) will gently clean them without removing the patina. Wenol, which is what I use, is available at Williams Sonoma stores and includes a wax in its formula that inhibits tarnish. Never, never, under any circumstances, use a dipping polish such as TarnX - it will ruin the patina and leave your beads grey and white, splotchy, and plain old ugly!

How big are the beads?
Bead sizes vary, and the dimensions of each bead are included in its catalog description. Some of my beads are only 1/2 an inch tall, and some are 2 inches tall. To give you a rough idea of the range of sizes available, we've taken pictures of a representative collection of beads with regular and miniature marshmallows for scale. Please click here for size comparison photos.

How heavy are the beads?
My beads are hollow, and the bead walls are thin, so they are much lighter than they look - even the largest bead weighs less than 3/4 of an ounce (21 grams) -- about the weight of 3 US quarters.

Are the catalog photos in scale?
No, the photos are not in scale. Different computer monitors will show the images in different sizes. It is very important that you read the dimensions in the bead descriptions in the catalog before ordering.
Please click here for size comparison photos.

What size is the hole in the bead?
I make the beads with a 2 millimeter (1/16") hole. If you'd like a different size hole, a diamond bead reamer (available at your local bead store), used gently, will quickly enlarge the hole. The silver on the ends of the beads is relatively thin, and cuts easily. If you are very sure what size hole you need, you can let me know the size you'd like when you order, and I can make it for you.

How do I make the bead into something I can wear?
The simplest way to wear a bead is as a pendant, worn on a cord or chain. Your local bead store is a great place to learn to make one, using a head pin and a jump ring. Many of the bead magazines have directions in issue on how to do this - "Bead & Button", "Stringing", or "Simply Beads" are three I can recommend.

How do you make the beads?
They are lost wax cast and fabricated. I cast the bodies of the beads from clay molds that I carve, and then solder on sheet silver for the tops and bottoms. Click for photos and explanation of the process.

What is your background?
Everything but formal art training - click for my artist's statement.

Is your question still unanswered?
You can contact me by email or by regular mail at Anne Choi, PO Box 133116, Atlanta, GA 30333