My first interaction with beads was a small Minnie Mouse tin full of seed beads. I don’t remember where it came from but I carried that thing everywhere, just to enjoy looking at them and running my fingers through the tin, and when a neighbour kid spilled it into the grass – thereby losing most of them – I was inconsolable. I was probably five years old.
As a teenager, my family took a trip around our homegrown, gorgeous Cabot Trail and I stumbled upon a tourist shop selling wee velvet bags that you could stuff with tumbled gemstones out of a fake treasure chest for a few bucks; and another selling little square plastic container full of tiny, tumbled gemstone chips. It became a minor obsession to stuff as many bags as I could and to find as many of those tiny chips as possible.
Mind you, I wasn’t doing anything with these beads. I didn’t make things with them. I just loved owning them and touching them and learning about the stones. That is, until a friend sent me a necklace he had made from stainless steel wire and stone beads. It wasn’t until I touched that wire that I found the missing link between my love of beads and doing anything other than admiring them.
Well, from there I was unstoppable. My collection grew, my knowledge of jewellery and gemstones expanded, I began selling what I made, teaching classes, and creating youtube tutorial videos, and eventually I wrote a book which as of August 2018 has sold 22,000 copies. I graduated from buying tourist packs of gems to wholesale orders of beads, to trips to gem shows and even a Paris bead district, to eventually making my own beads. Five studio locations later, making jewellery is my full-time job and my current 200sqft space is stuffed to the brim and I’ve had to expand to yet another room in my house.
There’s no way I’ll ever live long enough to use all of this. It’s ridiculous to hoard it. So, here we are: my jewellery supply shop.
But, I’m not a reseller. Nothing you find here will be straight up “hey, I bought a bead, now you buy it from me but for more money.”
Nope. Here I’m offering handpicked bead mixes, kits of materials to go with my popular tutorial projects, my own artisan focal beads, and themed inspiration packs that I pull from my own stash. The idea is for me to give you a kickstart on your own projects and help you learn and grow. I want to share my love of colour with you and I want you to have fun. I hope you can find inspiration in what I’m offering and go make the world more beautiful!
By the way, I don’t know what happened to the Minnie Mouse tin, but those gemstone chips are still in a glass jar at my front door, and I still regularly run my fingers through them.