Have you ever lived in a town that was just absolutely craving a bead store with quality gemstone beads? I have for the last few years. Marquette, MI is a town that is flourishing with artist and people striving to create their own handmade items. Almost all of the people I know are somehow involved in a form of the arts. Art and Design is the currently one of the largest majors (possibly the largest) at Northern Michigan University. I would say that one out of five people likes to make beaded jewelry. Marquette had a few places to get beads, but there were no stores strictly dedicated to beads.
There is now an awesome store at 323 West Washington called Bella Beads. Owner Leila Martin is well educated on the subject of beads, and is also able to help with gemstone selection. Many gemstones are labeled and there is quite a variety. She also has a wide selection of findings in copper, sterling silver and other metals. She also has all of the handy pliers and stringing materials you would ever want.
She is currently obtaining more local handmade jewelry including a wide selection of my pieces. If you haven’t had a chance to stop in, I suggest that you should as soon as possible! She has many workshops available including a few that I am teaching. I think that this new store will offer an outlet that many jewelry artists from the area will enjoy for a long time.