By Kristi Kates
Buffy Monahan drew a bead on a new profession after getting yelled
at one too many times serving legal papers on people in Minneapolis.
Before we decided to do the bead store, my husband and I owned and
operated our own legal processing company in Minneapolis, she says.
It wasnt a difficult decision to make considering the line of
business we were in - its not fun serving people papers. Basically
you drive all over the cities going door to door, making people angry.
Its so much nicer being a bead store owner, she laughs.
Before opening their Bead Hollow shop in downtown Petoskey on May 1,
Monahan and her husband also owned a bead store in Duluth, Minnesota,
for a couple of years.They made a decision to move to Petoskey in part
for personal reasons.
I am a Michigan native, and I wanted to move back closer to my
parents who live in Alanson, Monahan says. My mom convinced me and
my husband that Petoskey would be a great place for our store.
Petoskey has such a unique collection of shops that I knew there was a
good chance we would fit in.
Located in Petoskeys Gaslight District, Bead Hollow is a riot of
color, grouped by shades, with brightly-lit strands of beads hanging
from the wall and in bowls. The shop is often abuzz with crafty
activity, things Monahan has enjoyed since she was a kid.
A LITTLE OVERWHELMING
I have been interested in making jewelry ever since I was little,
says Monahan. I used to go to the local craft store and buy wire and
beads to make my own earrings.
If a person has never been in a bead store, then it can be a little
overwhelming at first, Monahan says. The beads on the wall already
appear to be necklaces and bracelets; but these are just strands of
beads waiting to mixed and matched with others to create a unique
piece of jewelry. There are strands on the walls, and individual beads
Customers are assisted in crafting their own jewelry from Bead
Hollows extensive selection of beads and findings (the hardware and
clasps). And if customers arent as crafty as they might like to be,
no problem - Bead Hollow can put together the design for them.
Well mix and match with the customer until theyre happy with the
design, and then we build it for them; we can usually do this within
the hour while most people browse the other downtown shops, Monahan
says. On the rare occasion that its really busy for some reason,
they can pick it up the next day.
The designs that customers can make are endless. Monahan purchases her
beads from vendors all over the world, as well as from local artisans
who have brought in what she calls an awesome assortment.
As far as the beads, we have the popular Czech glass, German vintage
glass, Chinese crystal and Swarovski Crystals, Tibetan beads, African
beads and a few strands of South West Turquoise, Monahan says. We
have silver thats made right here in the U.S., as well as from Bali
and Thailand. We also have a wonderful collection of beads, pendants
and findings from the Philippines, Greece, Italy, France and Japan.
Finished jewelry pieces are also available in the shop, for those who
want to acquire their jewelry a little more quickly; and Monahan has
plans in place for the fall/winter season in downtown Petoskey.
Well be participating in just about all the downtown Petoskey events
throughout the fall and winter, she says, Im really looking forward
to Halloween and the Holiday Open House.
Monahan will also be offering classes this fall; jewelry-making
classes for starters, and some other classes that will teach
participants how to make their own felt beads (felt beads are so cute
when mixed with other beads, she says) and house decorations.
And guys, dont feel left out - Monahan has plans for you, too. Ive
found that a lot of men like to come in and make something for their
girlfriends or wives, Monahan smiles, they pick out and arrange the
beads - and well put it together for them.
Bead Hollow is located at 218 Park Avenue in downtown Petoskey,
telephone 231-347-BEAD (2323); they may also be found online at