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Retail Roundup: New shop offers beading supplies and know-how | Newsday

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Michelle Sepanski opened Bead Utopia in Huntington in November. Image source: Reece T. Williams

A bead shop has entered Huntington.

Some of you may be surprised to find that there are specialty stores that sell beads, and people only need tools to make bead jewelry.

Michelle Sepanski at 444 W. Jericho Tpke in Huntington on November 11. Bead Utopia was opened in Room H.

Why open a bead shop?

Huntington resident Sepanski said: "I am excited about the infinite possibilities of creating new things. I like the friendship of the beaded community."

Bead Utopia is a 900-square-foot shop located in West Hills Plaza, selling beads, drawstring materials, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, needles, accessories and other beaded jewelry, home decorations And other items of products. There are also paid courses and free courses on the table behind the shop.

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When I stopped at the store on Tuesday morning, a free beading event was underway.

Six women sitting at the back of the store-socially distancing from one person at each table-beaded and shared design ideas.

"I like to challenge... the whole creative process. I like to make different color combinations," said one of the women. She is an old bead of Mary Foisy, a resident of Washington, D.C., who has been making jewelry for a long time. Finished the production of some jewelry.

On Tuesday, she was making chenille needles, smoked opal necklaces with "daggers" or small sharp glass accents.

Like many shops that sell hobbies such as knitting, cycling and puzzles, Bead Utopia performed well during the COVID-19 pandemic, because boring, socially distancing consumers have been looking for ways to pass the time, Sepanski said.

Sepanski said: "I'm really surprised," Sepanski said. Although the beaded crowd is usually older women, she is seeing young women.

Sepanski, 54, left his safety equipment manufacturer's marketing director in Hauppauge about five years ago, and then started his own marketing consulting a few months later.

After she discovered the love for beading, she took a back seat.

Huntington residents have given master classes in Bead Shops in Long Island and New Jersey.

She has also taught regularly at the Bead Happy store, which closed in Bethpage in August, and NY Crystal Garden Designs NY in Sayville, and has taught at bead shows in Tucson, Arizona and Milwaukee.

In June 2017 and 2018, she conducted a week-long retreat called Grapevine Beads in California. She also participated in master classes and visited bead factories in the Czech Republic and China in March 2018 and March 2019.

Saipanski said: "I started beading, and then I performed some handicraft displays, where I sold finished jewelry."

In the summer of 2019, Sepanski opened an online bead store Michelle Moderne on Etsy, where she sells Kumihimo kits and beading supplies. Kumihimo is a Japanese art form used to weave braid.

She said that she did well in Etsy's business but found it difficult to manage inventory.

She said: "This is part of the reason why I decided to expand into the [physical] retail environment."

When her friend Cathy Dempsey retired as the owner of BEAd Happy, Dempsey asked her if she wanted to buy the store, but Sepanski refused because she felt that the 2,700 square foot space was right. It's too big for her.

Sepanski said that apart from Bead Utopia, there are only two retail bead shops left on Long Island, while Nassau County does not.

She said: “Because of people shopping online and shopping in large stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby, the beaded world has been losing these stores.” She said.

This is another reason why she wants to open a store.

She said: "I really don't want to disappoint the community."

Tory N. Parrish is responsible for Newsday's retail and small businesses. She worked in the Pittsburgh Forum reporting and observer dispatch in Utica, New York.

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