Ask Your Beadmeister
Cut me, do I not bleed hematine?
Q: Is your site secure? Can I use my credit card safely?
Yes and yes. We protect your information by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on our Checkout and Customer Registration pages.
Norton offers a quick, easy, free, and fun way to check the security of any website. Use your browser's search feature (not the one on our website!) to find Norton Safe Web. With this tool you can type in the URL of any site you wish to check.
Q: It seems like you make a lot of jokes on your website. How do I know you'll be serious about my order and help me if I have a problem with it?
A. Good question. I belong to an organization called The Misanthropic Good Samaritans. We hate it but we are pathologically helpful. We drive around on weekends looking for people who require our help then we cheerfully pitch in. Fulfilled. It's also an addiction and a way to seek day-fulfilling stress. Up here there is a Ben & Jerry's bumper sticker that's popular with the hippies: If It's Not Fun, Why Do It? MY bumper sticker would read, "If It's Not Stressful, Why Do It?"
Q: So, why South Pacific if you are in Vermont?
A. When I got to Boston from Hawaii on June 30, 1977, I had no name for my business. When in August I finally made my way into a Postal Instant Press and had some business cards made up describing what I was selling, i.e., South Pacific coral, heishi and shell jewelry with my name as the business name, the printer laid out the card like this:
Q: I want to use Paypal but I can't figure out how that works in your checkout procedure.
A. After we fill, price, check, weigh your order we will email you a billing request through Paypal and you will pay from that. Wait, be patient, it could be hours.
Q: I'd like to make a trip to see you. Are you far away? What's Vermont like? I've always romanticized Vermont. Anything special I should know?
A. Yes. You are welcome but you should know that you won't be one of us until your family has been here 200 years or four generations. Unless you are French Canadian. If so, you get grandpèred in. Your grandfather moved here when the granite quarries went on strike in the 20's. Maple syrup? The casual Vermonter can identify at least four grades. In the spring we say things like, "Heard the peepers" and we know sugarin's over. We speak our own language when you aren't around. Like the Cajuns in Looziana. It's Verbonics. Don't even try to understand it. It's in the pauses. I once exposed a girlfriend from out of state to it and her first words when we were alone were, "I hate you." Vermont is now Berkeley meets the "The Beverly Hillbillies."
Q: Kari from Barnet writes, "Why did UPS charge so much to ship my package to me? I'm only 40 miles away."
A. Still the Boonies, Kari. UPS charges more to my house than to Miami and my house is only a three-minute drive away.
Q: I can't seem to get my beads organized no matter what I do. Is there some tool or device to help me get organized?
A. Time. Prayer. The autistic kid. He's got it figured out already.
Q: How have you survived the great recession when on the face of it, a bead company should be the first to go, especially you? Who needs beads?
A: What a great question! This is my fifth recession in this business. I am battle-hardened, though not hardened. I've sought stress all my life rather than running from it. It's a lifestyle choice, since I was three. I graduated in the top 85% of my class. I shave without a mirror. I have triceps. As long as there are beads, I AM IMMORTAL.
Q: I met someone special today and want to know what the "official" stone/gift is for the first day of a relationship that will obviously last forever.
A. Obvious. When you've just met "The One" and want to celebrate your first day with gift-giving the "official" stone/gift is Iron Pyrite. FeS2.
Q: Can anyone purchase from South Pacific at wholesale prices?
A. Our prices are sort of wholesale prices (yes, sort of) and are available to everyone on our website. With the internet, China and now the recession, who knows what is retail or wholesale any more? We discourage the locals from stopping by the warehouse for a few items. That's what our retail store is for.
If we are shipping to Vermont or you visit our showroom we will charge you sales tax if you (and we) don't have your tax number.
Q. Will I get the same prices at your showroom as I do on your website?
A. Yes and no. Our regular prices are the same here in Montpelier as on our website. However, some sales offers are good over the internet only. You are welcome to visit us and take advantage of poor Willis with your special bargaining skills. Sometimes specific strands on our website are lumped together under one price here at the warehouse.
Q: What is the average time to process an order once you receive it?
A. Average time is a day and a half. That's working days, not holidays, Saturdays and Sundays when we are closed. It is in my self interest to get your order out quickly, get your money, buy more beads.
Q: Is it catching?
A. Is what catching? Oh, yes, Capitalism, yes. Stand back. It is catching. My son's nickname from the sixth grade on was Captain Capitalism. You too can defeat the forces of poverty. Beading? Yes, it's catching.
Q: How do you ship my order? A. About 70% of our orders go out Postal and the rest UPS. Visit our Shipping Information page for things you might like to know. If you choose "cheaper" we'll ship it out the cheaper of the two.
Q: What methods of payment to you accept?
A. We accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Paypal. Also cash and checks if you are visiting. Thoughtful barter.
Q: Do you offer open accounts or COD orders?
A. No. I've gotten too old to hunt "them" down. "They" have ruined it for everyone.
Q: You've been successful for so long. What is your secret? Do you have someone watching over you?
A. Yes, my Patron Saint is St. Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of television. She brings me live sports and nature shows so I can work an extra 3 - 8 hours a night and every weekend.
Q: Why don't my beads look just like the picture?
A. Because stones are made by Mother Nature and she appreciates diversity. The colors and amounts of inclusions in natural stones vary considerably. Find out more about Mother Nature at www.thorntonburgess.org. Click on the link below to see examples of how much some natural stones can vary.
Then, of course, there is humankind's tendency to try to one-up Mother Nature. See below.
Q. Is it dyed?
A. Of course, silly!!! Sometimes it's obvious but we don't always know. If we think it is we'll tell you, but we don't always get it right. You can type "dye" or "dyed" into our search box and it will bring up a list of items we think are dyed.
Q: How big is a millimeter?
A: You mean, "How small is a millimeter?" A millimeter is very, very small. You need more than three of them to make an eighth of an inch. A pea is about 6mm. See our Millimeter, Inch, Gauge chart for specifics.
Q: Does size matter?
A. Yes! Beads smaller than 4mm are usually more expensive than 4mm or even 5mm beads because you are paying for the labor, not the material. There are many more 2mm beads than 4mm on a strand. I estimate twice as many.
Q: Is your site and workplace still a Michael Stipe-free zone?
A.You bet! Other than this you will find no references to Michael Stipe on my website and we are still a Michael Stipe-free work place. It's an OSHA thing. Or should be. No post Danke Schoen Wayne Newton either. Duh!
Q: What is the official South Pacific song?
A. Obviously Herman's Hermits version of Wonderful World.
Q. Then you must have a company poem, too.
A. Yes. It is Invictus by William Ernest Henley. Times are tough. We need inspiration. It used to be Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night". And before that it was Frost's beautiful but wimpy "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Since the recession hit that one seems like an invitation for the Barbarians to storm the gate any time they like.
Q: Is there a danger that I may become an addict?
A. To beads? Heck no! I've been working with beads every day for over 35 years including weekends and holidays without a vacation and I'm not addicted. But you may not be so strong.
Funny story: I was abused in the basement of a church when I was three and passed it on as an adult. My Mom sent me to nursery school and on day one they made us string macaroni necklaces at a picnic table and when I got home I declared to my mother I wasn't going back to that place because men don't make necklaces and she couldn't make me. I was an easy three year old to get along with if you didn't cross me. And here I am surrounded by millions of beads.
Q: How do I learn more about Vermont?
A. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL7uW4TYqbs Vermonters can dance, Vermoners can rap.
Q. What are the state stone and gem of Massachusetts?
A.Rhodonite is the state gem and Roxbury Pudding Stone is the state rock. And of course babingtonite is the state mineral.
Q. So, what about Vermont?
A. Grossular garnet is our state gem and marble, granite and slate are our state rocks. Talc is our mineral.
Q. Are you a green business?
A. No, I am a registered member and supporter of ihatecilantro.com. Who eats that stuff?