Country Beads
By YP Contributor

The Evolution of Beads

"We want to open people's eyes to all the possibilities with beads," says Country Beads owner, Sue Gill. "We want you to be inspired, to realize that you can make something yourself and enjoy the process of choosing and creating. We want you to feel empowered that you've made something for yourself or as a gift that has meaning and value."

Sue opened Country Beads in Vancouver in 1994 and has had loyal customers who have shopped with her since the very beginning. "We see university students coming in and they used to come shopping with their mom when they were seven or eight years old!" laughs Sue. "I have a personal connection with many of our customers."

The craft industry, particularly when it comes to beads, has changed over the years, Sue has noticed. "There's been a movement away from the hippie stereotype to more sophisticated jewellery. There's so much wonderful creativity in the city and the Pacific Northwest in general." Customers of Country Beads make earrings, bracelets, necklaces and even home décor items. "We sell a lot of semi-precious stones and high-end options," notes Sue.

Beads, semi-precious stones, chains, strings and cords, charms, beading classes
Beads, semi-precious stones, chains, strings and cords, charms, beading classes

Beads Aren’t Just For Kids

Sue's background is in graphic design, but she quickly realized that wasn't the career she really wanted. "I've always been a crafts person," she recalls. "Not necessarily a beader, but I've always made things myself and dabbled in different crafts over the years."

Country Beads grew out of Sue's dissatisfaction with the bead and craft stores she found around town. "I wanted a place where people could go to be inspired. It's very important to me to have a table in our space that people can sit at, use our tools, meet friends, hang out and make something beautiful." The focus of the store, says Sue, is that beads are not just for children anymore. "I believe that there's not as much available to us as we get older," she notes, "and we're a lot more critical of ourselves. We don't always allow ourselves the freedom to create just for the sake of creating."

We see university students coming in and they used to come shopping with their mom when they were seven or eight years old! - Sue Gill, owner
Beads, semi-precious stones, chains, strings and cords, charms, beading classes

Beginner Beaders Welcome!

Not sure how to work with beads? Country Beads offers classes and workshops in the various bead-making techniques on weekend mornings. "We teach you the basics and you always leave with something you've made," says Sue. "We can teach you how to make something, source just the right bead for you, and empower you to feel creative!"

Sue describes her approach to customer service as ‘old school’. “We offer a very personalized service. People are welcome to come in and browse, but we're also here if you want to talk to someone, discuss ideas, get tips or advice," she explains.

"Country Beads has a very loyal following—many people have been with us since the beginning—and I'm very grateful to them. I can't thank them enough for believing in us and supporting us."

Beads, semi-precious stones, chains, strings and cords, charms, beading classes
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