Find answers here to commonly asked questions about Bead Parties. We welcome your questions, comments and success stories!

Before your Bead Party

What is a Bead Party?
What is a Spotlight Bead Party?
How is a Bead Party host rewarded?
Can I make my Bead Party a fundraiser for another organization?
Do I need to tell you if I change the date of my event?
What if I am unable to hold my Bead Party as scheduled?

What are the Bead Party box sizes and their retail values?
May I customize my Bead Party box?
May I have a “Make Your Own Jewelry” Bead Party?
What makes the Youth/School package different?
Are the products in the Bead Party the same as what is sold on the website?
When can I expect to receive my Bead Party package?
If I live in Colorado can I pick up my Bead Party box?

 

During your Bead Party

If I sell out of something, can I get more?
What if the amount of product in the box doesn’t match the Inventory Summary Sheet?

Can I get a replacement Inventory Summary Sheet?
Do I collect tax on the sales?
Do you have any tools to help me keep track of my sales?
How do I accept credit/debit cards?
May I accept donations?
How often should I send in funds?

What if a piece of jewelry breaks during my Bead Party?

After your Bead Party

When do I need to return the beads?
Can I keep the beads if I decide to have another party?
What do I do with the cash I have at the end of my Bead Party?
How do I return my package/beads after my party is over?
What do I do if I’ve lost my UPS return label?
Can I get a summary of my credit card sales?
How do I know if BeadforLife received my return?


What is a Bead Party?

Bead Parties are the primary way to get involved and raise funds for our programs in Uganda. Bead Party hosts are volunteers who sell our jewelry and Shea butter products at home, work, church, social events, community fairs, or anywhere else they choose. It’s easy - once you register to host a Bead Party, you receive a box with a variety of our beautiful recycled paper bead jewelry and Shea butter products. You sell what you can and return the funds you raise along with any remaining product using the pre-paid UPS shipping label that we provide.  We’ve thought through all the details for you! Your Bead Party includes a Resource Folder full of materials, including a DVD and CD, to help educate you and your guests about BeadforLife’s mission and programs.  The Bead Party Host Handbook and Checklist will guide you through the process step by step.  Plus, there are many more tools available on our website here: http://www.beadforlife.org/host-resources.  [back to top]

What is a Spotlight Bead Party?
A Spotlight Bead Party is an in-depth investigation of a specific poverty-related issue.  When you register for your Bead Party, simply include the promotional code (listed below) for the specific topic you have chosen.  The Bead Party box you receive is the same as a traditional Bead Party, but you will also have access to a special section of our website with a wealth of resources about your chosen topic.  There is background information and statistics, as well as articles and video clips you can share with your guests.  This is a great format for a book club or church women’s discussion group! [back to top]

Two topics are currently available: 
Rural Poverty (Promo code SPOTRURAL)
Women’s Empowerment (Promo Code SPOTWOMEN)

What’s in a Bead Party box?

There are several types and sizes of Bead Party boxes from which to choose. These vary throughout the year, as we change the product assortment when we introduce new products and promotions.  Please go to http://www.beadforlife.org/whats-in-a-bead-party-box to see the current product list for each box.

Each Bead Party box contains an assortment of beautiful handmade paper bead jewelry and Shea butter products (soap and lip balm).

  1. The Standard Bead Party is recommended for the first time host and contains products with a price range of $4-$28.
  2. The Party-to-Go Bead Party comes in a tote bag and is for hosts who prefer less product and the convenience of being able to take it to different locations.
  3. The XL Marketplace Bead Party is designed for large events (fairs, markets, etc.) where there may be 200 people or more in attendance.
  4. The Youth Spirit Bead Party allows the host to specify two colors of Sanyu Bangles (you’ll get 40 of each color and 40 mixed colors) and contains items under $20.

In addition, the box contains a Resource Folder packed with the educational materials listed below.  Be sure to check out the Bead Party Resources section of our website, where you will find all these items in downloadable form along with some additional resources, such as invitations, flyers and bulletins, sales tracking tools and price tents. You can find those materials here: http://www.beadforlife.org/host-resources.  

  • Bead Party Host Handbook (includes “Fast Facts” about poverty and BeadforLife so you can easily explain these concepts to your guests)
  • Bead Party Host Checklist (to keep you on track before, during and after your event)
  • BeadforLife DVD
  • Product Price List
  • BeadforLife Brochures
  • Creation Story
  • Bead-Making Membership Program Timeline
  • Member Biographies (in table tent format so you that can include them in your display)
  • How to Roll a Bead (a step-by-step instruction sheet and template so you and your guests can give it a try!)
  • Map of Africa
  • Music CD

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How is a Bead Party host rewarded?
Unlike commercial home party plans, we do not offer incentives or rewards to our Bead Party hosts. Thousands of past hosts have told us that the feeling of empowerment they gained while helping to improve the lives of many women and families in Uganda is their greatest reward. Plus, they love introducing their family and friends to beautiful, affordable items that make a difference in the world.  We value our volunteer hosts’ time immensely and try to make the process of hosting a Bead Party as easy as possible.  [back to top]

Can I make my Bead Party a fundraiser for another organization?
Yes! We offer a Fundraising Bead Party that donates 20% of the funds raised for BeadforLife to the non-profit organization of your choice. This is the perfect option for educators who teach the BeadforLife Curriculum, and for organizations like sororities and women’s service groups that support philanthropic projects. 

To participate in this program, you must supply a W-9 form for the designated charity. We cannot write a check to a person. Please visit the Fundraising Bead Party page on our website for more information: http://www.beadforlife.org/fundraising-bead-party. [back to top]

Do I need to tell you if I change the date of my event?
No.  The start date and return date on the Bead Party registration form are used for shipping purposes, not to refer to your actual party date.  We make sure to get the box to you on time and ensure that you return it on time.  We can arrange for an extension if necessary (as long as you have not exceeded two months).  [back to top]

What if I am unable to hold my Bead Party as scheduled?
We completely understand that sometimes things come up.  Bead Parties do take on average six hours to organize (counting inventory, inviting guests, setting up your display and reconciling your sales).  Please give us as much advance notice as possible so that we can reschedule your Bead Party and delay your shipment (or cancel your event altogether).  If you have already received your product and need to cancel, we’d greatly appreciate a donation to defray the cost of shipping as we are very careful with our expenses.  [back to top]

What are the Bead Party box sizes and their retail values?
We offer packages that are designed for both small and large groups.  If you are hosting a party at your home or for no more than 100 people, we suggest the Standard Bead Party. There will be a wide variety of styles and colors, so there is no need to “order up.”  If you are representing BeadforLife at a public event, like a gift fair, choose the XL Marketplace Bead Party. The Youth Spirit Bead Party contains only items that cost $20 or less and the Party-to-Go Bead Party has the smallest amount of product and comes with a tote bag for all those people on-the-go!  You can see a breakdown of the Bead Party options and what products are currently going out in each box, here: http://www.beadforlife.org/whats-in-a-bead-party-box

Here are your current choices:

  • Standard – 259 items - $2,895 retail value
  • Party-to-Go – 184 - $2,100 retail value
  • Youth Spirit – 269 items-$2,365 retail value
  • XL Marketplace – 523 items - $5,855 retail value

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May I customize my Bead Party box?

BeadforLife jewelry arrives from Uganda pre-bundled in an assortment of colors.  There is sure to be something for everyone!  Here in the US, we pre-pack the boxes with a wide variety of product (not every item available on the website comes in each type of box).  If you are a first time host, we strongly recommend the Standard Bead Party.  If you are an experienced Bead Party host, or have special needs for your event, please contact the Customer Care Team (beadparty@beadforlife.org) so that we can discuss your request.

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May I host a “Make Your Own Jewelry” Bead Party?
Bead Parties come pre-packed with an assortment of finished paper bead jewelry.  However, we do offer loose beads in the Youth Spirit Bead Party (or as a special request item for other Bead Party packs).  Each bag has approximately 120 loose, multi-colored beads. You will need to provide all the other materials needed to make the jewelry.  [back to top]

What makes the Youth Spirit Bead Party different?
The Youth Spirit Bead Party consists of only items under $20.  Exclusive to this Bead Party is the Nuru Pendant ($10), which was created with youth in mind and has one very large, flat paper bead.  It is sure to be a hit on campuses!  Additionally, this Bead Party allows the host to specify two colors of Sanyu Bangles to help encourage more school spirit (you’ll get 40 of each color and 40 mixed colors).     [back to top]

Are the products in the Bead Party the same as what is sold on the website?
You will receive every category of product: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, jewelry bags, Shea products.  However, limited-inventory items, like the Obi Band for men (which are simply larger Zola Band bracelets in dark colors) and our Imena painted necklaces are not included in Bead Parties.  Shea Nilotica (raw shea in 8oz jar), Shea Sugar Scrub and Shea Body Crème are currently only available on our web store.  [back to top]

After You've Registered For Your Bead Party

When can I expect to receive my Bead Party package?
Your Bead Party package should arrive via UPS 7-10 days before your scheduled start date.  You will receive a phone call from our office the week that your box ships.  When the box has left our office, you will receive an email with tracking information directly from UPS.  [back to top]

If I live in Boulder, CO or the surrounding area, can I pick up my Bead Party package?
Not only can you do this, we encourage it!  Please contact us and we will have your box ready for you.  When you pick up your package, you can also enjoy visiting the studio and take a peek into the fulfillment room.  [back to top]

If I sell out of something, can I get more?
You can make a request for a 2nd shipment during your BeadParty and we will let you know if it is something we can accommodate at that time. Depending on the time of year, we may experience inventory constraints. We make every effort to minimize our expenses (i.e. shipping), so that we can maximize community improvements in Uganda.  Therefore, we can honor only one request per Bead Party for additional items. [back to top]

What if the amount of product in the box doesn’t match the Invoice?
All product is counted and bundled by hand, so there can be errors.  These are generally very minor and all you need to do is indicate the actual amount received on your Invoice.  Your own count becomes your new “starting point” for your inventory.  This is why it is very important to count everything before starting to sell.

If you experience a major inventory discrepancy (i.e. missing all of one item), please contact us and we will send a corrective shipment.  [back to top]

Can I get a replacement Invoice?
Yes. If you have misplaced your inventory paperwork, just let us know and we’d be happy to email you a new one.  Please do this instead of returning your leftover beads with no paperwork.  [back to top]

Am I required to collect sales tax?
No need to do so. Please charge the exact prices indicated on the price list included in your Bead Party Resource Folder.  [back to top]

Do you have any tools to help me keep track of my sales?
We offer a variety of tools to help you track your sales during your party.  Visit our Bead Party Resources webpage and check out the sales tracking tools.
Always count your inventory when the package arrives to make sure it matches your Invoice. List the actual number of items received in the column “Qty Rec’d by Host.”  This number becomes your new inventory starting point.  When your party is over, write down the number of items sold for each item type, the amount collected and number of items being returned.

The Invoice is meant to be used before and at the conclusion of your BeadParty.  During the party, you can use one of our tracking tools, or devise a system of your own.  [back to top]

How do I accept credit/debit cards?
We will send you an email one week before your party that contains an online link for using Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. This link will take you to a secure website where you can enter in guests’ purchase information. There is no transaction fee for the guest.  The web page is very easy to use and is much like ordering something online. This site is open continuously and available to you for the entire duration of your Bead Party.  You can also use it to charge the cash total you collect to your own credit card.  We highly recommend offering this convenience to your guests if you have access to the internet. 

If you requested a Square credit card reader when you registered for your Bead Party, we will send that device with the rest of your Bead Party materials. It's important that you follow the instructions outlined in the email that we'll send two weeks before your Bead Party Start Date to ensure that you are set-up to collect funds through BeadforLife's account.

Note:  if you are hosting a Bead Party at a retail location, please DO NOT use your store credit card machine.  [back to top]

May I accept donations?
If the donation is in check form, please have your guest write it out to BeadforLife and write ‘DONATION’ in the memo line. Donations can also be made online on the credit/debit card website or the BeadforLife website. List all donations at the bottom of your Invoice in the space specified.

If you have a Square credit card reader, you can also take donations by choosing the donation options listed in the Library.  If someone wants a receipt, you will have to include their full name and email address or mailing address in order for us to provide them with a receipt once your Bead Party return is processed. [back to top]

How often should I send in funds?

If you are keeping your Bead Party for six weeks or longer, we highly recommend submitting funds periodically as you raise them.  This will allow your guests’ checks to clear more quickly. Simply write a cover note with your name and Bead Party start date and send it to the BeadforLife address listed on the top of your Inventory Summary Sheet, attn: Business Office and we will credit your Bead Party account as you go along.  Another easy way to do this:  just take a copy of your Inventory Summary Sheet and attach it to your payment (keep the original to complete at the conclusion of your Bead Party). [back to top]

What if a piece of jewelry breaks during my Bead Party?

First, please allow your guest to make another selection from the same price range.  Put the broken item in a baggie marked “broken” and send it back with your Bead Party return.  Make a note of this on your Inventory Summary Sheet.  [back to top]

When You Are Done With Your Bead Party Materials

When do I need to return my package?

Your Bead Party box needs to be shipped via UPS (with the return label that we provide) by the return date listed on your Bead Party Invoice. You will receive an e-mail reminder two weeks before your return date. If you need an extension beyond your original return date, please contact your Customer Care Team contact or beadparty@beadforlife.org. Please note: if you choose to return the Bead Party with a different return label and/or a different company, BeadforLife is not responsible for any lost product during the return trip. [back to top]

Can I keep the beads if I decide to have another party?
For accounting and inventory purposes, there is a six week time limit on Bead Parties.  If you are within this window of time, you can request an extension. If you have reached the maximum time period (two months), we ask that you return the package and register for a second party.  Extenuating circumstances will be considered.  Please contact your Customer Care Team contact or beadparty@beadforlife.org.  [back to top]

What do I do with the cash I have at the end of my Bead Party?
Please do not send cash in the mail. Instead we ask that you deposit the cash into your own account and write a personal check to BeadforLife for the same amount. You can also send a money order or pay with your credit/debit card. To pay with a credit/debit card, you can use your Square device or the secure online credit card payment option provided via email before your event.  Finally, you are always welcome to call our main number (303-554-5901) and ask for the Studio or Business Office so that someone in our office can assist you in charging the balance. [back to top]

How do I return the materials after my party is over?
There is a pre-paid UPS return label included in the Resource Folder that is sent with the Bead Party package. Simply seal up your box (after reconciling funds raised with remaining beads and noting all corresponding details on your Invoice), put the return label on the outside of the box and drop it at any UPS location. You can find the location closest to you at www.ups.com.  The pre-paid service does not include UPS coming to your home to pick up the box. Please note: if you choose to return the Bead Party with a different return label and/or a different company, BeadforLife is not responsible for any lost product during the return trip. [back to top]

What do I do if I’ve lost my UPS return label?
Please contact your Customer Care Team contact or beadparty@beadforlife.org and we can arrange for another UPS return label to be emailed to you.  You are not required to absorb the expenses for return shipping unless that is something that you'd like to do.   [back to top]

Can I get a summary of my credit card sales?
Please contact your Customer Care Team contact or beadparty@beadforlife.org and we can get this information for you.  Please note that BeadforLife has access to the purchaser’s name and total amount charged, but not credit card numbers. If you have used the Square device for credit card transactions you can find a list of each sale in the Settings Menu in the app. [back to top]

How do I know if BeadforLife received my return?
You will be sent a reminder email two weeks prior to your return date that includes the return tracking number for your package. You can use this number to track your package back to our office on the UPS website. We send confirmation emails whenever we deposit funds and a final closing email once the return has been completed. It typically takes us about three weeks to process a returned Bead Party. [back to top]

 

Bead Party tips and tools

Get useful resources, like price tents, sales trackers, African recipes and more.

Better TV

See a Bead Party in action, featuring BeadforLife co-founder and Executive Director, Devin Hibbard.