Store Name: Beadniks, Chicago
Owner Name: Mary Tokarz & Lauryn Keenan
How long has your store been open?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.