Since November, I’ve been working one night at a week at my local bead store, Let’s Bead in East Rochester. There was a time I said I would NEVER work in retail again but it seemed a good way to make more friends in my new city and let’s be honest…it’s a bead store!
I want to start off by saying that Let’s Bead is huge. Seriously. It’s 3200 square feet. I’ve visited a lot of bead stores over the years and this is one the largest I’ve ever been in. The downside of the store being so big: I never know where everything is. Plus-side of it being so big: I’m always finding something new!
When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by a friendly staff member…possibly me, if you come to the store on Wednesday night. This is also where you will give me ALL your money and/or make your credit card explode when you have finished shopping.
One of my favorite parts of the job is helping beaders out with their questions. I’ve been making jewelry since 2004 and it’s nice to get to use all the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired. I’ve also learned a thing or two from them. We also have lots of regulars and I enjoy chatting with them and seeing the new work they’ve created with beads purchased from the shop.
So what kinds of things do I do besides help customers? Restock inventory, straighten things out, answer the phone, tag & bag new inventory, quick repairs, create samples…
Seed bead tidbit: All those seed beads you see on the wall, they come in bags. We actually weigh them, pour them into tubes and tag them all ourselves. I didn’t know they came this way until I starting working at the store.
Another perk of working at a bead store: Seeing all the new inventory that comes in before it goes on the shelves. This includes all the goodies that come back from Tuscon, Bead & Button and Bead Fest. This also means I regularly blow my paycheck. Bye-bye money.
I’ve found some new chain I love just by cutting chain for customers. Sometimes you don’t even realize what is in there until someone buys it.
We also have two fabulous classrooms in the store and offer a wide variety of workshops. BTW, Art Elements contributor Jenny Davies-Reazor has taught here and she’s coming back in the fall! I haven’t taught a class yet, but it’s on my to-do list if I can ever manage my time properly.
I love my part-time job at the bead store! My fellow employees are my friends, the customers are great and I’m regularly surrounded by all the supplies and beads I could ever need! If you have a local bead store, show them some love. If you’re ever in the Rochester area, come say hello!