Following is a guest blog post by Will Minter. Will and his wife Leah are the husband and wife team behind a new beading app called Beadographer. Will does the coding; Leah supports users. We recently started using this app and highly recommend it to our customers looking for bead design software.
In fact, we're so enamored that we're offering coupon codes for 10% off of any size Mirrix loom* to everyone who purchases a one year subscription of the software through the end of July. That's right, spend $6.99 on Beadographer and get $9.50 to $54 off of a loom. Not a bad deal, right?
To get the discount, simply purchase a subscription to Beadographer through the end of July and you will be sent a coupon code.
Written By Will Minter
I first discovered beads at a street market in China. I bought a handful of ceramic beads with elegant calligraphy and dragon designs. Once I got into beads, I noticed them everywhere: at a local powwow, at craft shows, in museums… I even did a special project on beads while at college. Unlike my wife, Leah, who had been bead-weaving on a loom for years, I had never thought to try beading as a hobby myself; I just appreciated beautiful beads.
When the pandemic came, I knew I would need a new hobby to help me stay healthy while stuck inside. I decided to spend the evenings bead-weaving. I bought some 11/0 seed beads and we got started with brick stitch by following tutorials on Youtube. We soon wanted to create our own designs, but found the process cumbersome. I was using Photoshop and couldn’t find an easier solution.
Beadographer started out as a really simple way to make brick stitch and loom patterns for ourselves. In the first version of the program, the canvas was really small and there were only a few rudimentary tools.
Beading and Beadographer turned out to be a wonderful distraction from the anxiety of the pandemic, so Leah and I threw ourselves into developing it further. We talked of little else. Tentatively, we shared Beadographer in July 2020 to see whether anyone else would find it useful. We ended up building not only an app, but also a community of users who exchange tips and designs with each other.
The positive feedback, advice, and encouragement was what really drove Beadographer to become a better app. Users wanted more stitch types, iPad compatibility, PDF exports, and word charts. I set to work adding these features, and still more ideas kept coming from the community. As we enter the second year of Beadographer, we have our eyes set on translating the app, as well as including 3D patterns.
We are not bead-weaving experts—not yet, that is—so we have made sure to implement our users’ feedback as quickly as possible to progressively improve the software. We also use the software every day to create our own projects, so we are tweaking it constantly. One challenge has been balancing the needs of experienced designers who want a lot of custom features, while keeping the app accessible to beginners, especially those who are intimidated by software. We want the app to be powerful, but we also want it to be easy to jump in and use without guidance.
The best thing about this past year has been meeting new friends in the beading community. The engagement, both critical and encouraging, has kept us motivated to make the app better. It’s been such a pleasure to meet everyone! Beadographer now has members in all 50 states and over 30 countries around the world.
Beadographer is not yet our full-time work. We would love the program to grow enough to support our family (we have a 3 year old daughter and baby on the way!) and to enable us to spend more time developing it. Each new and returning member makes the project a little bit more sustainable – for every one of our members, we are grateful.
Click here to visit the Beadographer website to try it out!
Click here to watch a video about Beadographer.
*Terms and Conditions: Valid through midnight PT July 31st, 2021 at mirrixlooms.com. Not valid with any other offer, sale, discount or on starter packages. Cannot be used on past orders. Can only be used once. Only valid on items in the "loom" category of the Mirrix online store.