Erika Engle

Bead It! shop to beat
feet in Kailua
Day parade

Brendan and Jill Barry will celebrate the almost 1-year anniversary of the Bead It! store in Kailua with a float in Kailua's annual Fourth of July parade on Friday.

"It's a total neighborhood thing," Jill said of the parade, which she called one of the many things they love about the town. "We're excited that we're going to be participating."

Bead It! will distribute beads and coupons to encourage parade-watchers to stop into the store.

The Kailua location, open since August, is about three-fourths the size of the flagship shop on Koko Head Avenue that opened in 1993.

"My husband's always wanted to expand the company, but we knew we wanted to go into another neighborhood, not a mall or anything like that," Jill said.

Kailua's renovations and improvements made Windward expansion even more attractive.

The location shopping led them to the space at 767-B Kailua Road, behind Heritage Antiques. The parking entrance is on Hamakua Drive.

"Parking is way easier in Kailua than it is in Kaimuki," Jill said.

The new store expanded staffing from 12 to 18. More than mere sales clerks, staffers also teach beginning to advanced beading classes. Guest instructors from the mainland make the current class schedule one of the best the company has had, she said.

Classes help build the customer base but the store also benefits from the area's many artisans and crafters. Beyond stringing necklaces, students make wine glass charms, ceiling fan pulls, window decorations and lamp shades.

Bead It! carries some locally made lamp works glass beads but also beefs up its inventory and makes new friends at three annual bead industry trade shows in the islands. The Mythos Show is next month at the Ilikai, The Best Bead Show is in October and The Whole Bead Show is in January. The shows are open to the public and Bead It! students are encouraged to attend. "It's a great opportunity to see beads you wouldn't necessarily find in the local bead shops," said Jill.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, 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


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