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Custom Orders & Designs

Custom Designs and Special Orders


Special and customized orders are available upon request, with a setup fee of $10 - $50 or more, depending on item and complexity. We also request that you provide any special materials or colors you would like us to use, unless they are the standard seed beads, crystals, stones, buttons we have available here in Guatemala. Photos or actual models are required. Custom designs can go through three or four revisions until the item is acceptable, and the artisans are paid for every step of the way.

 We will work until something is as the customer desires, and we ask that the client be prepared with skype to talk about the design and view the models as we work on them. It can take a month to six months to create a new design. Modifications can be made in less time, but a setup fee and approval is required during the design process. After the intial design is completed, we will workto provide the product in quantity at a wholesale price that is beneficial to both buyer and seller. Many of our products are exclusive and we offer this at an additional cost.

We have developed a niche market for our beaded creations, designing and producing exclusive customized collections for various prominent institutions. We created special camels and peacock keychains for the American Museum of Natural History’s exotic “Traveling the Silk Road” Exhibit. The renowned Brooklyn Botanic Gardens ordered a selection of garden-themed keychains, and we are currently designing cherry blossoms necklaces for their Cherry Blossom Festival this spring. The NC Museum of Life Science Butterfly House contracted a selection of customized beaded butterfly designs.

If you have a special request, a large order, or a special color or design, production may take longer than the standard 30 to 40 days. Shipping and transit times to your location or country is separate from the needed production time.

We try never to impinge on other artist's designs without permission or giving credit. If a design comes from a book or magazine, and it does not specifically state that it's OK to copy it, I write for permission if I can find an address. Since we do this to raise money for schools and medical care, we've rarely been refused. We can also change the design a bit so as not to copy it exactly. We always, whenever possible, give credit where credit is due. Note that many new designs come to us unasked, and there are hundreds of artisans working on new designs or altering them at all times around Lake Atitlan and all over the world.

We love new designs and create them and seek them out all year long. Talk to us if you have a design you would like produced in single or wholesale quantities; if you have orders and don't have time to complete them yourself in time for sales or a trade show coming up. We work with 50 artisans in our group and are associated with 300 to 400 more! The finest beadwork comes from Lake Atitlan and creating a market and jobs for the people here is the only and best way to combat poverty and bring education and medical care to one of the poorest countries in the world.

The indigenous Mayan Indians that live in the thirteen villages around Lake Atitlan have been doing seed bead work for over 40 years, and have a long history of beautiful beadwork throughout their cultural history. We try always to respect their work and their livelihoods, and hope everyone that visits here does the same.

For more information or to inquire about customized jewelry, keychain designs or special orders for you or your organization, contact us at AtitlanArts@gmail.com. We will be happy to provide more information and additional photos. We will work with you and the artisans in Guatemala to create the perfect design to meet your needs. 



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1. Necklace Dimensions (length, width, number of strands)

2. Materials: Seed beads, buttons, crystals and/or stones (large and small)

3. Figures: size and quantity (sunflowers, fuschia flowers, animals, etc.)

4. Closures & findings: we use a beaded "T", crystal, or magnet closure. We can use other findings if you provide them.

5. Price Range: this will determine how many parts go into each piece; whether we use more expensive crystals or not, etc.

6. Quantity: retail and wholesale (six to twelve is standard wholesale order)

7. Design work: artisans are paid double the wholesale price for creating the first design (they won't know the price until it's finished, but can give an approximate price beforehand), and then the discount wholesale rate is based on the size of the order. One piece is considered "retail" and priced accordingly. Your designs can be given "exclusivity" if required, with a separate contract for this.


 8. Timeframe: depends on availability of materials and other orders in the works. New work can take one to two months or more. Be prepared. Rush orders are available at a substantially higher cost.


 9. Shipping / Delivery: We bring shipments back every three to four months. We then ship USPS flat or priority rate from the United States unless we ship directly from Guatemala. 


 10. Shipping from Guatemala: we ship parcel post, which takes a minimum of two to four weeks from Guatemala. Costs $10.00 for a very light package (such as one model or six small keychains) or more, depending on weight. We use DHL from Guatemala for large shipments. Minimum DHL cost is $150.00 to $300.00 USD.