There are many hidden gems in the Treasure Valley. Orchard Street in particular holds an abundance of these gems in the forms of crystals, stones, blown glass, silver, bronze, pearls and more.
This week, while grabbing some Vietnamese cuisine on the North side of Orchard, I stumbled upon an unassuming shop; simple in looks from the outside but homing millions of multi-colored beads.
While beading may not spark interest in many, this outlet of individualization offers multiple options aside from necklaces and bracelets.
“You can make Christmas ornaments, cocktail rings, all sorts of things,” said Katie Dorn, Need to Bead employee. “There is the soldering class and sometimes during Halloween we will do a creepy critters class. It varies and depends on what people ask for.”
Upon entering the world of beading, I was given the option of taking a class, buying beads to create at home, or staying in the shop to create with the help of employees. Seeing as I have never beaded previously, I decided to bead in-house with Dorn as my crutch.
My first decision was where to start. The room was packed full of beads of all shapes and sizes, individual and stringed and ranging in medium from clay to glass and pewter.
“The best way to start is to think of an outfit to match a piece to,” Dorn said. “Or you could just walk around until something strikes you.”
I chose to walk around and look at every bead before I made any decisions. Three loops around the shop and half an hour later, I had found two silver flowers and a green spherical bead with intentions of making a necklace.
From there I walked around several more times matching other beads and charms to my initial centerpiece. With all of the options to choose from, it was easy to see how individualized this art truly is.
“The fact that you can make anything your own makes it unique,” Dorn said. “Nobody’s is ever going to be the same. You can make the same thing and it will always look a little different.”
Once my beads were laid out in the pattern I had chosen, the stringing and clasping processes became an art form in themselves. With multiple foreign tools and beads for crimping and attaching, I was glad to have Dorn to walk me through the steps.
In the end, I came out with a new piece of jewelry for just a fraction of the price it would have been if I had purchased it pre-made. Before leaving it was impossible not to peruse through the beads one last time, making a plan for the next time, but I will take Dorn’s advice and come with a plan in mind on my next visit.
“It is fun and addictive,” Dorn said. “It is a lot less expensive than going out to buy something for yourself and you have more input on what it looks like.”