SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
From left, John Malan and Susan Eacken operate Nica
Rose in Holmes Beach.
By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer
Theres something about beaded jewelry that fits
perfectly with the casual Island lifestyle that most of
us have adopted. The same necklace thats suitable
for a beach front cocktail party or wedding will be just
as appropriate for a day at the beach. Beads are low maintenance,
colorful and relatively inexpensive. If beads are your
thing, then a visit to Nica Rose in Holmes Beach is a
Susan Eacken and John Malan opened Nica Rose two years
ago, moving to the Island where they celebrated their
beach wedding, and where Eacken spent much of her childhood.
With Eackens retirement from academia and Malans
twenty years of experience working with beads and semi-precious
stones, opening a bead shop seemed to be a natural transition.
During the past two years, they have successfully turned
a modest shop selling beads and supplies to make your
own jewelry into a fine one-of-a-kind jewelry store.
Their production is up 40 percent from their first year
in business enabling them to open a second store in Sarasota.
This month Nica Rose will expand to the Southgate Mall
on Route 41 in Sarasota introducing their products to
To say that Nica Roses jewelry is unique would be
an enormous under statement.
Every item is hand made and there are no two exactly alike,
or as Susan Eacken says it is "not off the rack jewelry."
The pieces are made with semi-precious stones, turquoise,
glass, carved bone, sterling silver, Swarovski Crystal,
fresh water pearls among others.
Eacken points out that the Egyptians used semi-precious
stones extensively including lapis, turquoise and carnelian,
considered very rare at the time. In fact, many of these
stones were part of the jewelry found in King Tuts
Nica Rose is especially proud of their Thai silver an
almost pure product containing between 97 and 99 percent
silver. Their newest item is an adjustable necklace made
with 100-year-old antique glass and Italian beads strung
on rounded Irish linen designed by John Malan. In addition
to necklaces, bracelets, earrings and corded jewelry,
Nica Rose also carries some novelty items, soaps, hand-painted
figures and purses from Guatemala.
Also, during February they will be celebrating their two-year
anniversary by giving away Swarovski Crystal cube earrings
to the first 50 guests at their celebration party, watch
for the date.
If youre living or visiting Anna Maria you may want
to trade your diamonds, rubies and platinum for some of
Nica Roses one of a kind beaded jewelry. They make
great affordable gifts, and if its good enough for
King Tut, you can be sure your friends will love it.