Vol 6 No. 19 - February 1, 2006

Nica Rose Where beads are king

From left, John Malan and Susan Eacken operate Nica Rose in Holmes Beach.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

There’s something about beaded jewelry that fits perfectly with the casual Island lifestyle that most of us have adopted. The same necklace that’s 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 must.

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 Eacken’s retirement from academia and Malan’s 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 area.

To say that Nica Rose’s 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 Tut’s tomb.

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 you’re living or visiting Anna Maria you may want to trade your diamonds, rubies and platinum for some of Nica Rose’s one of a kind beaded jewelry. They make great affordable gifts, and if it’s good enough for King Tut, you can be sure your friends will love it.


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