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Business Spotlight: Brighton Beads and More

Brighton Beads on Grand River sells all of the tools to craft jewelry as well as classes to learn how to do it.

Business Spotlight: Brighton Beads and More Business Spotlight: Brighton Beads and More Business Spotlight: Brighton Beads and More

Eleven years ago this month, Nancy Garber had the idea for a bead store with craft classes and convinced her husband, Paul, to finance her.

Today operates much the same, with the few changes here and there to accommodate new styles and fashions.

"I wanted a business that would be good for my daughter and me," Garber said. "I like crafts and my daughter likes people, organization and color. I really think our community and our society needs a healthy place where people can hang out and meet each other. People come here, hang out and do crafts."

Garber said her store is a lot more than just beads. Brighton Beads and More also offers glass supplies, precious metal clay as well as classes that teach how to do those crafts.

Brighton Beads and More teaches classes in enameling, simple soldering - the process of melting tin and lead alloy with heat to join pieces of metal, wire working, metal clay, basic beading and more. Costs vary depending on the class and do not include materials. The store offers a 10 percent discount on all class supplies for a paid class - on the day of the class.

"We always have offered classes, but we keep growing," Garber said. "Right now, leather bracelets with chain and beads are real popular. So we're learning and researching and doing that."

Garber's husband even teaches a lamp work class, which is glass bead making in a torch.

Garber also brings in visiting artists to teach guest classes. This weekend, Holly Gage of Bowmansville, Pennsylvania will be teaching negative space caning - a technique that creates filigree and chambers for enamel or polymer inlay.

Gage, who has been making jewelry since she was 13, met Garber at a class she was teaching in Tennessee. Garber was one of her students.

"She was a little, sweet woman and we had a connection in class," Garber said about her decision to visit Garber's store to teach.

Gage said she has a degree in art and in teaching so she travels around teaching jewelry making skills. Gage called herself, "an international teacher."

"I try to pick places that are interesting," she said. "And she's (Garber) got a nice reputation for bringing artists in. It's great for the diversity of her store to bring all kinds of different people in to teach her customers. I think that she's really thinking about what her customers want and need. But just to pull them from all over the place - brings in a lot of diversity, a lot of different skills and talents and to be able to offer that locally is really wonderful."

For more information on Brighton Beads and More, visit them online at http://www.brightonbeadsandmore.com.

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