Store hoping for a string of successes

A counselor for teenagers for the past five years, Cathy Moen wanted a change.

After enjoying a class on beading, Moen was hooked and quickly turned the newfound hobby into a business venture.

Last summer Moen opened Fanciful Beads at the South Kitsap Mall, and she’s enjoying the career move.

“I needed a change. That’s not too impulsive,” Moen joked.

The store provides all the materials necessary to construct items such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and watches.

Customers can have the choice of taking the materials home or customizing

their beads at the workstation in the middle of the store.

“I’ve had customers stay as short as two minutes or as long as two hours,” Moen said.

Beading can be intricate, which is why Moen offers classes.

It occurs in a small setting (five people maximum) and lasts about two hours, Moen said.

“The hardest thing at first is laying out a pattern,” she said. “It also takes a little time to learn the technique.”

While there is the physical beauty of bead jewelry, Moen said the process of making beads is mentally satisfying.

“It’s a great stress relief,” she said. “It’s very relaxing. People leave feeling relaxed and happy, and they’re proud of what they have accomplished.”

Part of the attraction to Fanciful Beads is the broad selection of beads.

Patrons can choose beads made of top quality such crystal, glass, stone and bone. The store doesn’t offer much in plastic.

Contrary to common belief, the customer base is not just women.

“My husband is hooked,” Moen said. “There’s another gentleman who has gotten into it.”

Holidays always bring in bigger clientele. Moen said business was at its strongest prior to Christmas and expects an influx of business before Valentine’s Day.

“A lot of teenagers come in before Homecoming or Tolo (dances),” Moen said.

The hobby is not limited to younger people, though.

“I’ve had older people come in and say, ‘I could never do that because I can’t see,’ ” Moen said.

To curb that mindset, Moen keeps magnifying glasses at the work station for those who would otherwise have problems making jewelry.

Fanciful Beads will have its grand opening March 9, which will include a guest who will perform glass blowing.

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