Bead Boutique reaches the end of its string and bids bye-bye
THE owners of Creative Concepts and Designs LLC are refocusing their business and will close their Puka Bead Boutique & Studio in Manoa Square as early as Aug. 20.
"We knew this summer was going to be a turning point," Pam Peterson said.
She has an MBA "and it's not like I don't understand business analysis. We had a very sophisticated tracking system," she said. The three-year-old store was at break-even, "and we could turn it around and make it solid, but the question has always been about the location."
The shop is at 2909 Lowrey Ave., a block farther up in Manoa Valley than Manoa Marketplace. She believes the wedding cake shop that will soon move in will do well, given its proximity to a neighboring printing business.
Pam is a jewelry designer when she is not working as a consumer business analyst at Hawaiian Telcom.
She took an early-out package from the phone company's predecessor to focus on the then-newly opened store.
Pam saw the opening for her current job -- just as the store's lease was winding down -- as "one of life's little synchronicities."
Among Hawaii's community of fine crafters, her husband Kim is a well-known maker of lampworked glass beads and various types of art glass.
Their daughter Kari also makes a line of jewelry under the brand A la MODE.
The Petersons did not renew the shop's three-year lease and must be out by the end of the month, so they are liquidating the shop's inventory with a 50-percent-off sale on all but finished jewelry items.
They will still be around, selling their wares at events such as the Aug. 18 to 20 Made in Hawaii Festival at Neal Blaisdell Center and the Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 Best Bead Show at Ward Warehouse.
"We made more money on the craft fairs than we did on the shop," Peterson said.
She will continue her benefit work for pediatric cancer patients and also wants to do beading retreats, trunk shows and seminars on topics such as navigating the annual Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase.
"It boggles the mind. It is the third-largest bead and gem show in the world," Peterson said. The two largest are in Asia.
"You can get some great deals and you can get ripped off, royally," and she would like to share the pleasures and pitfalls with hopeful attendees.
More than just a single trade expo, "Tucson" as she called it, is a citywide event and a huge visitor attraction for the city, according to the Tucson Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Beginning in late January and extending almost to mid-February, there are 35 different, overlapping expos staged by different organizations and businesses.
Events culminate with the original Tucson Gem & Mineral Show staged by the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society, at the city's convention center.
The directory for all the shows is "almost an inch thick," Peterson said.
Peterson is leaving the door open for e-commerce down the line, or possibly opening another store, taking into account the lessons learned during the past three years.
One thing she has learned is that people like her "funky" jewelry designs, which often come about by contemplating beads that didn't sell.
"The other thing that's been fabulous for me personally is that people who've taken up beading are also becoming successful crafters and designers," she said.
She and Karen Weinold, her "right arm" and primary instructor, have focused on teaching techniques rather than rigid patterns, which could be a stumbling block for some customers who would say they were not artistic. Once they sold jewelry they had made, the previously insecure jewelry-makers would tell Peterson, "You know what? I'm an artist!"
"Isn't that so cool?" Peterson said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com