Somerville Ave. is looking a little brighter these days thanks to BeadKreative, a cheerful new store selling, you guessed it, beads. While the shop has beads of all types, it’s more than just a retail space. BeadKreative also sells jewelry and other local, handmade crafts, holds classes and birthday parties and seeks to be a gathering space for the community.
“We want to be a center for those that love beads,” said BeadKreative founder Milla Marcano.
Marcano has been besotted by beads since she was a child in Venezuela, making jewelry that she then gifted to friends and family or sold on consignment. But beading was just a hobby when she moved to the U.S. five years ago and then to the Somerville area to attend grad school at Tufts University three years ago.
A friend in Venezuela who owns a bead store encouraged Marcano to turn her hobby into much more. An engineer by training, Marcano took some entrepreneur classes in grad school to foster her dream of having her own business one day.
“I always wanted to open something and this was just the opportunity,” Marcano said of launching BeadKreative at 369 Somerville Ave. in July. And while opening the shop wasn’t without its trials, Marcano said the experience taught her a lot. “I learned that when I have problems, I get creative.”
That creativity shines in BeadKreative’s bright space, which is stocked with beads from around the world. From wood and glass to crystal and agate, there’s something that will appeal to anyone looking to get crafty. BeadKreative doesn’t just offer a wide selection of beads, it also sells them at very competitive prices.
In addition to selling beads and all the supplies you need to craft a beautiful piece of jewelry, BeadKreative has a consignment section where locals can sell their beaded creations or other crafts inspired by beads.
“It’s hard to find where to sell your stuff,” Marcano said of her experience consigning her own jewelry. “There’s no place near here [Union Square] where you can find local gifts. People can buy local and get something made in Somerville.”
While BeadKreative has kept Marcano busy, she’s still found time to keep creating her own jewelry, like the Union Twist, a bracelet she sold at the recent Fluff Fest and named after her shop’s neighborhood.
“They liked our jewelry and that was exciting,” Marcano said. In fact, festival attendees liked the bracelets (pictured above) so much that Marcano ran out of them and had to make more at the event.
Another aspect of BeadKreative that Marcano hopes to grow is classes, which are suitable for people who have experience beading or those who are just starting out. In addition to the beading classes, Marcano hopes other local crafters might want to use the space to teach skills like knitting or sewing. BeadKreative will also offer open hours where beaders can come work on their projects.
“The idea is to connect together,” Marcano said. “It’s for teaching and learning and sharing ideas.”
BeadKreative also has space for birthday parties and Marcano has a special section of the store that caters specifically to kids. They can come in and make two bracelets for $10–this month’s are Halloween-themed–or fill up a small bucket with beads that can be used to make a piece of jewelry for only $5.
Local families have been making good use of these features–two children were making bracelets while I was in the store–and Marcano hopes more people from the neighborhood will stop by.
“I love Union Square,” Marcano said. “I was so happy to find this place here.”