Store Name: Santerre’s Stones ‘n Stuff
Owner Name: Neil Santerre
Address: 42 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833
How long has your store been open? 6 years
How big is your store space? 1100 sq. ft
Tell us a bit about your bead store’s design. What’s the greatest inspiration behind your bead store?
We are located in the historical downtown area of Exeter, NH. The outside of the building and sign was dictated by the historic society’s rules. We carry a mixture of beads, minerals, and stone gift items.
What made you decide to open a bead store?
We were tired of doing shows. However, it wasn’t our intent to open a store. On a fluke one Friday night we were searching the web for rental spaces, found the location in Exeter, saw the property on Saturday, and signed a lease on Sunday. I think we then looked at one another and said – oh boy, what have we gotten ourselves into!!
Do you have a specific product that your store is known for?
Yes.We are known for having the best quality stone beads in the area. Additionally, Neil does custom cutting so people come see him to see what unique cabs he has created or to have some of their own material worked on.
Do you offer classes? What is your most popular class?
Yes, we offer classes. In Exeter, our most popular class is wire wrapping. However, we also teach many weaving classes and kumihimo.
What do you think are some of the biggest change in bead trends in the last 5 or 10 years?
The biggest trend we have seen is that the beads and finished pieces have gotten bigger.
As an artist and not just a bead store owner, what is your favorite material/style that you use?
Neil’s favorite material to work with is stone. It can be in its rough form (i.e. not polished, not a bead). He is able to polish stones and create beautiful custom cabs that can’t be found else where since each one is unique. He owns a drill, a saw, and both faceting and cabbing machines so the possibilities are endless as far as what he can create.
Do you have any other passions/hobbies outside of beading?
Number one is mineral collecting. Neil likes to go digging to find mineral specimens. He says the neatest thing about it is that you are the first person to see what is getting pulled out of the ground. Wildlife photography and woodworking are his other 2 hobbies. All the bead trays, cabinets and counters in both of our stores were built by Neil.
Please share any additional information regarding you and your bead store.
A year and ˝ ago we opened a second store called Just Beading Around. Dedicated to all things beads.We did not have enough space in Exeter for group classes or parties, so we opened our second location in Epping.
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