Charm Bead Bracelets Make Charming Holiday Gifts for Girls of All Ages
The latest in beaded baubles has us charmed, we're sure.
Dangling charm bracelets? They're sorta last year. Today, it's all about charm beads, beautifully detailed European-style beads that are threaded on a bracelet, rather than attached with a ring, and are available in a slew of designs.
Think sock monkeys and robots. Hearts and flowers. Owls and octopi. Ice skates and wedding cakes. Lattes and takeout boxes. If you can imagine it, there's likely a charm to match.
Kit Junya, owner and CEO of Ohm Beads, says costumers are drawn to charm beads because of their quality, size and multidimensionality.
"The new style of European beads is substantial in weight," she tells ParentDish. "The solid silver beads are attached to a bracelet via threaded cores that keep them securely attached. Also, the charms are intricately detailed by hand and, depending on the design, some are enhanced with laser etching, crystals, gemstones or 14 karat gold accents. This creates an heirloom piece to be passed down through generations."
Ready to invest in a beaded bracelet of your own? Or want to begin buying beads for a daughter, mother, friend or niece? Here are three businesses offering charm beads we're practically swooning over. And, at around $25 a bead, can you say, stocking stuffer?
Why you should check it out: Chamilia's beads are a new take on traditional charms with "more contemporary designs, fashionable color combinations and fine detail, giving our beads a more feminine look," Chamilia co-founder and designer Killian Rieder tells ParentDish. "We've found that women want to commemorate certain times with a gorgeous and modern look."
Rieder says the company's designs, which use materials including 14 karat gold, .925 sterling silver, Swarovski Elements, Italian Murano glass and colored stones, are versatile enough to allow a woman to wear her jewelry during the day for one look, and then change it for a new look in the evening.
"There are no two women alike so why should their jewelry be?" Rieder says. "We've found that women love having the opportunity to completely customize their bracelet, necklace or earrings to create something unique for every occasion."
The company also offers Miss Chamilia, a line for kids, which includes charm beads ranging from cupcakes and hearts to "BFF" and "OMG" to flowers and butterflies.
Best sellers: "Gold and rich jewel tones are trends we are seeing right now," Rieder says.
What it'll cost ya: Most beads are $27 and up; $20 to $25 for most Miss Chamilia beads
Get It: Chamilia.com
Why you should check it out: Owner and CEO Kit Junya says Ohm Beads prides itself on its intricate bead designs.
"Each bead goes through several stages of design sketches before a highly-skilled jewelry designer hand carves the design into a wax mold," she says. "After each bead is cast in silver, it will be hand and machine polished and many designs will undergo oxidization in order to bring out additional dimensions to the design. We may also use lasers to cut into the silver bead to add a design element, intricate pattern and/or a limited edition number or name."
Best sellers: Top-selling beads include Sock Monkey, Robot and Birthday Cake, as well as any bead in the fairy tale and/or crystal categories. Customized beads are also available.
"Each style of European beads attracts a certain personality type, from individuals who would like to accent their outfit with some bling, or those who want to show their love for certain items," Junya says, citing quirky themes (garden gnome), pets (cats and dogs), fairy tales (pumpkin carriage) and astrological (zodiac signs).
What it'll cost ya: Starter bracelets are $45 and $70, with most beads ranging from $20 to $40.
Get it: Ohmbeads.com
Why you should check it out: If you're drawn to Ohm Beads, you'll want to check out Charmish.etsy.com, where Ohm designer Alysse Hennessey sells her own designs.
"European-style charm beads have become wildly popular all over the world," Hennessey, who has a background in costume design, tells ParentDish. "I have many customers from our east coast, U.K., Canada and Australia."
Hennessey says the smooth style of the beads make them comfortable to wear, with no snagging or losses that can come with dangle charms.
"European charm beads are a collection of tiny treasures you arrange and wear on your bracelet, that represent all the things you love," she says. "You can design your bracelet around a season, your favorite hobbies, pets or holidays, pick charms that symbolize your current life journey, or simply choose all the things that fill your heart. I think they are widely appealing because charms are just so much fun, a conversation piece, gorgeous, meaningful, dear to gift and, of course, silver is always a good investment."
Hennessey says favorites from her own charm bead bracelet include charms representing her two sons, the Sewing Machine and Pin Cushion set, Cuddle Cats and Sydney Opera House.
Best sellers: Recent hits include Mr. Gnome, Books and I Love You Hand (in American Sign Language).
What it'll cost ya: Most beads are $20 to $40
Get It: Charmish.etsy.com
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.