The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 28, 2013

Rock Creek woman’s design wins worldwide jewelry contest

Star Beacon

ROCK CREEK — Jeannie Sanger screamed when she read her e-mail last week and learned she was one of 10 people to have their jewelry design chosen from thousands of entries in a worldwide contest.

Not only was Sanger one of 10 winners worldwide in the 2013 Trollbeads People’s Choice contest, she was the only winner from the United States.

Trollbeads is the original beaded jewelry line, similar to well-known Pandora beads, that began in Europe in 1976 and started the “bead craze.” Pandora was actually a part of the Trollbeads company that broke away and came to the United States, said Sally Hufnagle, manager of Avalon Jewelers in Mentor.

Sanger has been a customer of Avalon, a Trollbeads retailer, for several years and learned about the contest through the store.

Each year Trollbeads hosts the People’s Choice contest and invites people to submit a drawing of their bead design, under a common theme. This year’s chosen theme was “Traditional Sayings.” Sanger chose to design her bead around the saying “Leopards don’t change their spots.”

Her bead will be constructed in sterling silver and sold at Trollbeads retailers all over the world, Hufnagle said.

Out of the thousands of entries received, the Trollbeads staff narrows them down to the top 100 designs and from there, the people choose the winners, according to

“It was an experience,” Sanger said. “Last year I entered and had one bead make the top 100. This year I had two beads make the top 100 and I won.”

Sanger said she was shocked and excited when she received the e-mail notifying her that her bead was one of the 10 chosen.

“I screamed,” she said. “I read the e-mail at least 10 times before it sunk in.”

Sanger immediately called Avalon Jewelers so they would be the first to know she won, Hufnagle said.

The store is locally owned and operated, and for a while, it was one of the only Trollbeads retailers in the area, she said.

The staff at Avalon sent Sanger flowers to congratulate her and are throwing her a release party Oct. 5 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the store on Heisley Road, Hufnagle said.

Sanger’s bead will be released Oct. 5 and Avalon has ordered plenty of them to sell in their store. Sanger will also be designing a whole bracelet around her bead which will be raffled off at the event, Hufnagle said.

Trollbeads are priced starting out at about $28 for sterling silver beads and about $31 for glass beads. Sanger’s bead will retail for about $45 because it is a little larger than typical beads, Hufnagle said.

Sanger said it is quite an honor to have her bead design chosen. She received prizes and said she will have to make appearances to promote it.

“It’s hard to believe my bead will be sold in 1,500 stores in 35 countries around the world,” she said.