Store Name: Beadniks, Chicago

Owner Name: Mary Tokarz & Lauryn Keenan

Address: 1937 W. Division St. Chicago, IL 60622


How long has your store been open? 5 1/2 years

How big is your store space? 1,500 sq. ft

Tell us a bit about your bead store’s design. What’s the greatest inspiration behind your bead store?

Sally Roesler started Beadniks on Martha's Vineyard over 20 years ago and the impressive store is still a haven for bead & jewelry lovers.
Our Chicago location has helped Beadniks evolve into a fashionable brand. We are located in Wicker Park, a hip neighborhood which is perfect for our unique clientele.
We cater to men & women, young & old, elegant & edgy.

What made you decide to open a bead store?

We met in the corporate world- Lauryn was an attorney & Mary did graphic design for a financial firm.
We wanted to work for ourselves doing something that we loved.
We are talented at different things & enjoy different aspects of the business so we make a great team.
Chicago was in need of a bead store that welcomed everyone from a beading novice to a jewelry designer.
We have a talented staff, inspiring atmosphere and a vast array of inventory to help customers create beautiful jewelry.

Do you have a specific product that your store is known for?

In addition to selling a lot of semi-precious stones, we have a terrific selection of chain- sterling silver, 14 karat gold-filled, antique copper, matte gold, gunmetal, vintage brass, matte black, silver & gold plated. We also have a wall full of leather in a rainbow of colors, from natural brown to neon.

Do you offer classes? What is your most popular class?

Bead & chain is a classic for us. This class is very technique based and it allows students to design a piece of jewelry that they will actually wear.
From simple & delicate to chunky, statement pieces- we have it all.

What do you think are some of the biggest change in bead trends in the last 5 or 10 years?

The natural beauty of stones combined with mixed metals.
Druzys, geodes, slices & spikes are very on trend, especially if they are capped or electroplated in gold or gunmetal.
Rough cut, matte finish, anything organic like carved bone, horn pendants & wood are also popular right now.

As an artist and not just a bead store owner, what is your favorite material/style that you use?

Favorite gemstones include ruby, tourmaline, green amethyst, iolite & chrysoprase.
Latest obsession- horn pendants. We have a shelf dedicated to our favorite shape which displays pendants made of bone, turquoise, african brass, even a seal claw.
We are also loving our Indian diamond beads, charms, rings & bangles- the combination of black & gold with the sparkle of rose cut & pave diamonds is to die for.

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LeeAnn King

Date 6/12/2013

Hi Mary,I owned Lake Park/Leocadia a zillion years ago.I now own Stoned & Wired llc in Wausau.It's wonderful to see your success and it's not a suprise at all.Alexis told me a while ago that you owned a bead store.I'm considering having a trunk show with Dakota Stones...I found you on their glad I did. Warm Regards,Lee

Swarovski Uk

Date 9/6/2016

Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful!

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