I am extremely late to the Pandora-style bandwagon. I didn't think they would ever be for me, b/c #1 - I don't like silver on me. #2 - I don't wear lots of different jewelry; I wear things either obsessively or never. #3 - It's a rare bracelet that won't get caught in my Lady Godiva hair. #4 - I have my old school silver charm bracelet from growing up that I feel "too old to wear" :-P but so why do I need something else like it? And #5 - I am too stinkin' cheap to pay that much per bead or, heaven forbid, for gold charms! :-D
I *did* fall in love with the idea of them, though, this spring at Love Letters Monograms & Gifts, when I explored their Trollbeads (another brand just like Pandora, Chamilia, & Biagi) up close. I really liked the idea of having colors that compliment my wardrobe, being able to offset the silver with touches of gold, and that the smooth, round (read: won't snag my hair) beads could have special meanings - a prerequisite of all my jewelry.
The thought of a bracelet like this grew & grew on me. I kept researching & thinking, (b/c I can never *just buy* anything) and realized, if any place would give me what I wanted accessory-wise at a price I would actually be willing to pay, it would be the Charleston Market! Enter my & my mom's awesome girly day trip last month!!! I spent - I kid you not - an hour & a half at one of the stalls designing a bracelet for myself. :-D I absolutely LOVE it!!! It goes with everything I wear, it doesn't rip out my hair, and it's trendy but personally unique to me. I chose every bead with meaning: I esp. love my three beads made from real seashells, the purple pearl, and gold starfish for my love of the beach, (& they're from my beloved Charleston, which makes it even better!) I got my Southern hospitality pineapple, too. ;-)
Since they were so relatively inexpensive, I started one for Annelise, too! (She's been asking about "nice" jewelry ever since she got a beautiful engraved silver ballerina jewelry box for her birthday this year.) I'm giving her hers next week as her prize for finishing the Summer Reading Program at the library; I just started her out with six charms, so there would be room for lots of future gifts: a purple crystal dragonfly (she saved a dragonfly's life in our pool - a surprising summer highlight that keeps garnering mention), a green & pink flower bead (green was her 1st fave color), a horse-drawn Cinderella carriage (princess!), a pink purse (the girl loves bags!), ballet shoes (she says dance is her #1), and a silver giraffe (b/c she loves animals & zoos maybe more than I do! I swear, she may become a zookeeper! :-D) She has mostly charms, while I have mostly beads - seems perfect for a little girl! BTW - for her whole thing - her silver bracelet, six charms, and a silver stopper bead? $32. Mine has nine more beads, but wasn't exponentially so much more. Take THAT, $30-60 PER GLASS BEAD! :-P ;-)