No one knows how many people there are in the bead business. The 1911 Census of India indicated that about 0.5% of the population were beadmakers and peddlers. Today that would be about 500,000 people. Some years ago Larry Weiss of Helby told me that 1400-1500 stores bought from him. Some hire more than 20 people. I would guess that at least one out of ten beadworkers sell their creations. And how many people work for the "big boys"? Add authors, publishers, beadmakers, consultants and so on. I hope the IRS people chuckle when they see my occupation -- "bead researcher."
Whatever the number, small businesspeople often find it hard to get help. A majority of small businesses fail in the first two years. I have been in the bead business since 1979.
After the usual shaky start, The Bead Site was launched. It just keeps growing.
Small Bead Businesses | Beading & Beadwork | Ancient Beads | Trade Beads