by Jim Boyle
Gloria Hlebichuk is known as the bead lady.
She’s the owner of a relatively new bead shop appropriately named Beads etc. at 544 Third St., Suite 110 in Elk River (across from Adairs in Stitches).
This is the place to bead.
The Elk River woman, who raised two children while channeling her creative energies into various artistic endeavors, has combined all her resources into a fun new shop.
She has been beading for 20 years and specializes in several areas, including fancy stitched woven designs, wire wrapping and basic metal works, as well as her own design work. In addition to selling her own creations and repairing jewelry, she schedules classes, diva parties, Girl Scout gatherings and whatever else comes her way.
She has sewn since she was 6 years old and taught things such as knitting, macrame and crocheting as an adult.
The etc part of her business name gives her the leeway to let her and her customers’ creative juices to flow in other directions. Someday she hopes to add yarns and fibers for crocheting and knitting. “That’s down the road,” she says.
For now she’s focused on growing her business.
“I need to make this store a success,” Hlebichuk said. “At my age this is my last hurrah of making a living for myself.”
She has lived in Elk River since 1980. She found herself in the former bead shop in downtown Elk River about one month after it opened. She hung around and helped, and was eventually asked if she wanted to work there.
She and the owner made a go of it for five years, but business was hampered by downtown revitalization work. Creative juices still flowed, though.
“It’s all about color,” Hlebichuk says of the bead jewelry she and others design in her shop. “Sitting down and forming a pattern into something gorgeous.”
Elk River’s the perfect backdrop, she says, because it’s more of a country town than city.
She gets her passion and skill from her mother, Lucille, and her whole side of the family.
“Once people see what you can do in here, they’re hooked,” she said of her shop. “They’re gung ho in no time.”
Beads etc. is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month.
She carries all the tools needed for beading, including cutters, pliers, needles and hammers, as well as her expertise and passion for the craft.
For more info, visit www.bead-lady.com or call Hlebichuk at 763-633-2007.