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Brighton bead store offers a place to unwind

Rochester Business Journal
August 8, 2014

When Andrea Taylor decided to open Bead Breakout LLC on Monroe Avenue in Brighton, she wanted it to be more than just a place where people came to shop. She wanted it to have a warm, comfortable atmosphere, to be a place where customers could come to enjoy their hobby.

Taylor, now 51, launched her business in November 2008, even though her beading career had begun long before that. She started beading at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care clinic, where she worked for 23 years as assistant to founder Wende Logan-Young M.D.

On one day of the year, Logan-Young organized a beading day as a way for the clinic’s employees to relax and unwind. The event inspired Taylor to start selling beads there, which eventually led to Bead Breakout. Now she offers others the opportunity to enjoy the relaxing hobby.

“I really wanted to make a beautiful atmosphere and a comfortable place for people to come in,” Taylor says.

To create that atmosphere, Taylor had the store’s space renovated to match her vision. Renovations included a fireplace, hardwood floors and rugs to add charm to the space. Taylor says the improvements, along with the store’s staff of seven people, have been able to create the warm, creative and customer-oriented environment she was aiming for.

At first glance it is clear that the store sells every color, material and style of bead imaginable, but finished jewelry and beading tools are also for sale, and the store offers classes and hosts parties.

When customers come to the store, they can leave with everything they need to create their own jewelry, Taylor says. While beads are the most abundant product at the store, Bead Breakout also sells other items for beading like jump rings, bails, findings and toggles.

“Anything you could possibly want to create your own beaded jewelry, we would have,” Taylor says.

Currently leather products and supplies are some of the more popular products, but Taylor says popularity fluctuates with current trends.

She says the interest in leather products has been helped by one of Bead Breakout’s best-liked offerings, make-and-take sessions. These involve simple projects that do not require any beading experience. They are offered twice a month and take less than an hour to complete.

“It draws in a customer that may not normally tend to be attracted to this type of craft.” Taylor says. “So it’s just something simple anyone can do.”

Besides the make-and-take sessions, Bead Breakout offers 30 classes a month. These lessons, most of which cost $35, range from basic beading to wire working and seed beading. Taylor says the store tries to add different classes each month, keeping up with the latest trends.

Bead Breakout typically sees 500 to 600 customers every month. Heavy traffic starts in the spring and continues through the summer. The holidays also are busy times for the store. While Bead Breakout does see a wide variety of customers, Taylor says the typical shopper is a woman in the 40-to-65 age group.

“It’s not just coming in and beading,” she says. “It’s a place people like to come and talk and get together and also create. It’s just a very therapeutic place to come, and a hobby people find very rewarding.”

Taylor Barker is a Rochester Business Journal intern.

Small Business is a biweekly feature focusing on entrepreneurs. Send suggestions for future Small Business stories to Associate Editor Smriti Jacob at sjacob@rbj.net.

8/8/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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