Let’s say you’re getting married and want a one-of-a-kind stunning bracelet for your bridesmaids that they will treasure, yet won’t break the bridal budget. Barbara Murray, owner of The Bead Boutique, has helped many brides hold parties where they make identical bracelets or necklaces under Barbara’s coaching. The bride pays for the parts (about $25-$35), and her bridal party each chip in between $10 and $20 to learn the art of jewelry beading. “They leave with a beautiful bracelet or necklace they can wear again and again,” adds Murray.
The Bead Boutique officially opened June 1, 2009. Rick, her husband, assists Barbara in the business by teaching Kumihimo, or Japanese braiding. He designed his own Marudai that is used for the braiding of his necklaces and bracelets. One of his popular bracelets with brides is Swarovski crystals on silk.
Practically any occasion can be marked with specially-designed Austrian Swarovski crystals, Druk glass beads, Chinese crystals, Bali or Thai silver, semi-precious stones or freshwater pearls. Murray recalls a young man who wanted to surprise his bride of 20 years with an anniversary/birthday necklace of garnet Swarovski crystals and a gold charm. Barbara designed the piece, and he called to following week to report: “She absolutely loved the necklace and knew where I’d gotten it the minute she opened the box.”
Barbara has always been interested in creating jewelry. She’s self-taught, very visual, and can put together a necklace, earrings, bracelet, brooch or ring in just over an hour. She teaches classes on beading, pearl-knotting, peyote and herringbone basket-weave, showing individuals how to use a variety of clasps, wires or leather to create unique jewelry or gifts. Classes are taught one-one or as a group, and she tries to accommodate schedules. Repairs are offered on a next-day basis.
“The important element in my business is that people, women and men, learn how easy it is to be creative, and they leave with a lovely personal piece of jewelry or a gift that will be treasured long after the class is over,” says Barbara.
The Bead Boutique
2015 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910