For a couple or years all I had were Pandora beads, since that’s what’s available in my city. I was always reading about Trollbeads on Endangered Trolls, so I used the store locator and lo and behold it said there was a seller just a few minutes away. Excitedly I drove downtown and went into the store only to discover they only had about half a dozen beads. I did buy one though, a universal unique, so that it would fit on my Pandora bracelet, because that’s all I had. It really is nice, mostly red with a tinge of yellow. I marvelled at how it looked from the side, because at that time Pandora’s glass beads, while pretty, were not exactly complex.
I began to buy Trollbeads online, mostly from Perlen and then we planned a trip to South Korea, China, Finland and Estonia. Once again I used the store locator and found several stores in Seoul. We (husband and two sons) headed out on a subway on a rainy day to find the store and it was in this really cool neighbourhood, with Kiehl’s and Marimekko nearby. The boys parked themselves at the Starbucks while I had a quick look. Trollbeads in Asia are way more expensive than what I could get them for at Perlen, so I only bought a black leather bracelet. I think the sales lady could see my excitement though and she gave me two coffee mugs! (I lugged them around in my backpack for the next month and gave one to @mcctrish).
Twice more I dragged the boys along so I could see Trollbeads. Once was on the drive down to Disney World. We stopped at Trollbeads Akron and the people were super friendly in that welcoming American way. I bought a Moonlight Bubbles and took a photo of it at Coronado Springs resort, where we were staying.
Most recently, I was able to go to a Trollbeads concept store in Singapore. It was incredible as they had 6-7 versions of any bead you wanted to see. Again, they were quite pricey compared to North America so I just bought two. My son James was most patient while I looked around. Thank goodness for that spinning chair! 😀
On that trip, which ended in Japan, I did get to go to a Trollbeads counter at a department store in Tokyo. I had no money to buy anything but the saleslady gave me a catalogue and I showed her the bracelet I was wearing. There was one other customer at the counter who had on the most fabulous bracelets and super long necklace, all in grey and beige. That night, after I had posted a photo to Instagram, a Japanese lady asked if I had been at the Trollbeads counter that day. She had recognized me from Instagram but had been too shy to say hi! I couldn’t believe this had happened in Tokyo, one of the largest cities in the world!
Since then a Trollbeads concept store has opened in Novi, Michigan, which is about a 2.5 hour drive away. Hopefully my girlfriends and I can take a day trip down there, maybe in the summer.
I’d love to hear anyone’s stories about how you started collecting Trollbeads!