Make a Bead & Ring Wrap Bracelet and Caterpillar Bracelet in #ShopShowcase with Bead In Hand in Oak Park, Illinois.
How did you get started?
When my kids were very little (over 20 years ago) I needed, shall we say, a calming activity. So I took some classes and learned how to bead. Then 9 years ago, with my kids grown and the owner having moved, I purchased the shop and here we are!
Where are you located?
We are in the Oak Park Arts District in Oak Park, Illinois. It's a beautiful area, part residential and it has a very intimate feel with low-rise buildings and trees all around.
Which products do you specialise in?
We carry a little of everything -- Czech glass beads, semi-precious beads, African beads, and seed beads, as well as findings, finishing components and tools. Our specialty is helping people find just the right item they need for their project. We have one customer who finds items that will work with his model railroad layout. We've had people buy items to use for fishing lures or other non-jewelry items.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
I mostly work with seed bead designs so they are certainly high on my list. But really, beads are beautiful and it's hard to favor one type over another.
What's on the stereo?
We have a multi-disc CD player, and it pretty much depends on who has arrived first. But it's not uncommon to hear music from the '50s & '60s, as well as blue grass and jazz.
Where else should we visit in your area?
The Arts District is a great place to explore, with cafes and restaurants (the regular kind as well as a specialty pie shop and a handmade preserves store). We have a yarn shop in the area, an apparel store, hair and nail salons, -- it's just a fun place to be!
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Yes, when the world is not experiencing a pandemic. We schedule classes in several basic beading techniques and host family-friendly drop-in projects during holidays and other special events hosted by the Arts District.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
We have a number of free tips and how-tos that are available in the shop and also on our website for downloading and printing. A lot of people feel they aren't "creative", but the great thing about beads is that they are already beautiful. Turn a strand of beads into a bracelet or necklace and you have created something lovely. How great is that?
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