Observing the Troll in it’s Natural Environment

One of the most anticipated parts of my trip to Copenhagen was, of course, to see how Trollbeads was represented in the local stores and in particular to visit their flagship store in Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli is a pleasure garden in the European tradition, with manicured flower beds, immaculately trimmed trees, limestone gravel paths, fountains and various pavillions.  The overall theme is one of the fantastical orient, and so there are onion domes, miniature minarets and even a hotel that feels very “Arabian Nights”.  There are carnival amusement rides for children and an impressive array of open air concerts for those with more adult taste.

Trollbeads’ shop is modest in size, but fits beautifully into this whimsical environment.  The design of the shop is simple, with the boldly patterned floor taking center stage.  The floor features various motifs that appear in the Trollbeads line, including signs of the Western and Chinese zodiacs, animals, and foliage.  A few beautifully presented displays meet you at the door, and a work bench on one side attests to the craftsmen that sometimes demonstrate their lampwork glass skills in the shop.

One of each bead pattern, both silver and glass are displayed in the glass counter case, each nestled in its own little box.  On the counter is a basket of bundles of uniques.  They are grouped in sixes, but may be sold as individuals.  Naturally, I had to take my time and carefully review the entire basketful!  Only a very few precious beads came home with me, as special reminders of the pilgrimage, but it was inspiring to see and feel how Trollbeads presents their own wares.  A special thanks to the lovely ladies who patiently helped me make my choices, and then surprised me with a gift of a bead for my own bracelet!

Tivoli aside, I was surprised to see that most shops in Copenhagen that carry Trollbeads seem to have less stock on hand, and less appreciation for Trollbeads than we do at Tartooful.  Inquiries were met with a casual wave in the direction of the Trollbeads rack, where beads were grouped by silver or glass and hardly any display bracelets or necklaces were on view.  I can’t imagine greeting a Trollbeads customer in this way – we’re always interested to hear about her collection, see what she had done with her bracelet or necklace today, or find out what special occasion is being marked by this bead!  The shops in Copenhagen that seem to be treating Troll as just another jewellery product are missing out on a wonderfully creative and personal experience.  Perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt… perhaps they were just having an off day.

My Troll hunting expedition to has made me both appreciate what we have, and are doing right… and has inspired me to do even better….


Trollbeads Update: Road Trip!

Today I am leaving for my first, official Trollbeads Road Trip… a journey to the place where the magic happens: Copenhagen, Denmark.  I plan to take long walks through the streets, soak in the atmosphere of the town, and try to scratch the surface of this fascinating place.

Of course, no trip to Copenhagen would be complete for a dedicated Trollbeads collector without a visit to the already-fabled Trollbeads shop at Tivoli Gardens.  This pleasure garden in the heart of the city features the only shops owned by Trollbeads themselves, and are well known for offering uniques, ambers and even stones that are simply unavailable elsewhere.  I’ll be making the pilgrimage with a little list in hand of very special beads that our dearest Trollies have been wishing for.  Hopefully I’ll return with hard-to-find treasures!

However, we don’t have to go that far for inspiration:  every day I’m astonished by the beautiful compositions that our local collectors have created… and they inspire me to constantly re-design my own bracelets and necklace.  After seeing EO’s “Jade & Fresh Cream” bracelet I decided to shuffle my beads and see if I could build something similar:

This is the brilliance of Troll:  even when I’m consciously trying to create something similar to EO’s latest bracelet, I still end up giving it my own personal twist.  While my version may *feel* the same, or have the same aesthetic mood, it’s nevertheless distinctly my bracelet.  The beads that are strung on this chain each have a meaning that is personal to me… a story of who gave it to me, or when I picked it out… on which occasion, or to mark what tiny battle or celebration.  So while I enjoy the new colour combination and feel like I have a fresh piece of jewellery – I still can savour having my dear and familiar companion beads on my wrist.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Unique Green Prism”,  “Brown Dot (retired)”, “Green Jade – limited Edition Chinese Series”, “Etruscan (retired)”, “Organic Bubble”, “Unique Amber”, “Labradorite”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “White Paper Fold”, “Sparrow”, “Picasso Jasper – limited Edition Stone”, “Grey Armadillo”, “Wildcat”, “Bee on Hive (retired)”, “Blue Desert”, “Green Dot (retired)”, “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.

Wish me good luck on my Trollhunting Road Trip – and see you soon!