Rings & Things Behind The Scenes Video Tour

Rings & Things Russ BeadVideo #292: Roadtrip #1-05: Secret Identity of the mystery “Russ Bead” … Revealed!

If you have flipped through a bead or jewelry magazine recently… attended any of the large US bead shows… or even just surfed around the web… then you will have probably heard of Rings & Things. They have, after all, been in the bead findings and jewelry tools business for over 40 years now!

Rings & Things is my favorite place to buy Silver Core Grommets for Pandora Style Beads. And although I have been a customer for a few years, after meeting the staff and going behind the scenes of the showroom and warehouse, we discovered there is a lot more to this company than meets the eye.

In addition to having a diverse selection of items for sale in their Spokane based show room (and ecommerce store), this family run business supports and nurtures a work environment where creativity and individuality is celebrated… and being environmentally responsible is of highest priority.

Just ask any one of the 65 employees… several of which have been with the company for multipe decades. In today’s video, you will get to meet a few of them… Sondra Barrington, Sales Manager (5 yrs); Laurae Sather, Corporate Sales (25 years); Kim Crosby, General Manager (35 years) and Polly Nobbs-LaRue, System Manager (30 years)… daughter of Russ Nobbbs, the owner (40 years).

Now you know a company must be special if the staff are willing to stay on board for so many years…



After the tour I couldn’t help but pick up some supplies for myself… got some Kato Polyclay (it’s about time I try out this brand); A few packs of Vintaj Patina Inks; Another Vintaj Deco Emboss Die; Some non-stick craft sheets; and several other things as well.

Plus… Laurae and Polly gave me a great little goody bag filled with Swarovski Crystals and Pearls; Some steampunk gears; A few Aanraku bails; A bead bar; A bead color chart; Tierra Cast Clasp; An awesome hinged glass locket… and of course some official Russ Beads.

Does anyone else want some Rings & Things goodies?

Polly offered to put together a prize package if there was enough interest. So here’s what I’m thinking…

… what you guys need to do is head on over to the www.rings-things.com web site and take a look at all the cool products they carry. Select some items that you would like to see me demo in a follow up video. Then come back here and post a comment with your demo suggestions / requests.

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a giveaway around here, so this should be fun! Here’s the Rings & Things link again.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

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Comments

  1. What and experience. That was a great video. It is amazing that this started as a little store in a Mall. I have gone to a Rings and Things sale when they came to Des Moines. It was amazing at the inventory they brought. It is exciting to know this company is still family run. How cool is that? I did see Willow and Fisher in the Video, maybe they will be running a similar business in the future. Oh, and the Russ Bead….I am pretty sure he would make a great Gnome for the camper. You cold even make a little Polymer Clay Hat for him. I

  2. This is great! I never miss the Rings & Things Tour when it comes to town – I schedule those days as vacation days as soon as I know the dates!

  3. Awesome! I have begged them to come by Lubbock, but they some how think Dallas or Austin are better stops (can’t say I blame them but still….).

  4. Wow! To actually see a place that you buy a lot of your stuff from is really cool. Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. I don’t know if you have done a Tut on French Barrettes. I have covered decorated these with PC and usually use a Jig/ Form to bake the clay on. I was also amazed with the many cool buttons in metal.
    The hinged picture-frame pendants also caught my eye.

  6. What a fabulous array of beads and I love the bone buttons and the Swarovski elements trapezoid buttons; they’d look great on bracelets. Would love to see some metal stamping. Just love the Tim Holts ideaology line too.

  7. Wow, I could spend a lot of time and money there for sure.
    A great video where it’s nice to see what kind of a place you are actually ordering from. I would like to see how the Vintaj Patina inks work out. I just learned about this new line and am curious how they look since I also do a lot of wire jewelry.
    I loved all the art work on the walls and I thought the Fish was really neat. As for the Russ bead, well I knew it wasn’t Santa but it could be a close second. So if Santa the second wants to send a gift package to my house, I sure would be pleased as punch to receive it.

  8. I want to move across the country and work there! How awesome!
    They have been coming to Massachusetts for years and one of the greatest tools they use to get me to go every year is to have a human being CALL you and remind you that they are coming to town. Plus the postcard.
    Great company. Thanks so much for the tour!

  9. I would like more info on how to use the molds like steampunk. Sometimes I look at the molds and think they look cool but can’t decide how to play with it.
    Any tut on jewelry with beads pre-made and polymer beads. Trying to always keep up with the trends of jewelry design and colors.

    I’m loving this new format of videos BTW.

  10. Just loved this virtual visit to Rings & Things. Great to know they have been trading for more than four decades and still a family run company. (must be doing the right thing) The enthusiasim for their products shone through and lovely to hear of all the new items in the pipeline. great to see all the eco- friendly awards and innovative ideas they have come up with.Well done Rings & Things.

    Think you will have to explore the metal etching products CINDY they look so cool and will appeal to the mad scientists among us.

    Just a note on the Russ bead, I’m guessing this is a CERAMIC bead so can take the heat when covered with silver-clay and torched. DO NOT torch a polymer-clay bead covered in silver clay it will give off toxic fumes as the heat will burn the PC.
    You can use wood-clay or cork-clay as your core. Both of these burn off so will cause lots of smoke and fumes. (I always fire these outdoors). be careful experimenting with glazed beads, these can explode or crack. You can buy unglazed ceramic beads especially fired to be safe with silver-clay. If you want to add polymer clay to silver-clay. Fashion and fire your silver clay first. Sand, buff and clean, then add your polymer clay and bake as normal The PC will not stick to the silver item so should be taken out, sanded etc. then glued back using a good jewelry grade cement.

    Do not be afraid to experiment with new things BUT read everything on safety guidlines, wear safety goggles and masks, gloves etc. when recommended

    . Or wait for CINDY to do a tutorial. She really researches, experiments and comes up with the best method, including all the safety issues. Cindy and Doug together make a great team. So glad I found this site and you will be too, so don’t delay……Sign up today…………………………………cheers xx………………………

  11. May I live another 40 years and own a little treasure trove like this one…but all for MYSELF! …none of you can have any….

    Well, Mrs. Rainbow, you were right on the Russ bead. Congrats!

    I headed over and signed up. And thanks, Cindy. Because I’d been looking for Kato concentrates on the google and came up with nothing at all. I just got four packets this week of the regular and they look gorgeous. The concentrates are on my list and also the findings in semi-precious metals are a very good price and variety.

    Swarovski…Swarvoski?! I’m so glad I’m not the only one with this problem. I won’t have to be embarrassed anymore!

  12. Cindy and Doug—

    You’ll probably never make it to Ambridge, PA…

    …BUT IF YOU DO…

    There is a large parking lot to my apartment. And beautiful home made pizza and Baba Rum waiting for you all anytime you say!

    Thanks again for all the enjoyment!

    • We would love to come see you some time Andrea!! The pizza and rum sound awesome. We are hoping to take a long trip for most of the Summer next year which would help us to see much more of the country. Maybe even Pennsylvania? Make sure to go to our first PcT Roadtrip video post and leave a comment there with your location and if you haven’t done it yet, a list of the supplies you have purchased because of the PcT Tutorials. We are hoping to secure several sponsors for these trips since they are very expensive to do, but so valuable for connection with the community. Here is the link to the post if you need it:

  13. I have never bought from Rings & Things, but will definitely look more closely next time I need things.

    I would like some polymer clay and steampunk ideas incorporated together. I’ve done a few things and love taking watches and machines apart. I have a lot of electrical componenets I use in jewelry.

    I would also like to see some resin use w/clay incorporated somehow.

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!

  14. Maybe the folks in the store know this, but if their photographer uses Giclee that is supposed to be able to handle the sparkle. My friend and I are looking for someone in our area who can take photographs for Giclee prints. Our paintings are sparkly and glittery. Nice tour thank you.

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