Vol 6 No. 33 - May 10, 2006

Baubles, bangles and Chloe's beads

Left to right, Pam Wall, Fran Jensen and Chloe Lee, of Chloe's Bead Shop, have moved to a new location.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

If you think therapy can only be dispensed while lying prone and paying $300 an hour, then you haven't met Chloe Lee and her partners. Lee, Pam Wall and Fran Jensen own Chloe's Bead Shop on Manatee Avenue East. They recently moved to this larger and more accessible location from their popular Village Of The Arts shop and have made some innovative changes.

The walls of the large and inviting shop are lined with all types of beads, beading accessories, books on beads and beaded jewelry available for sale. Chloe's also offers beading classes several times a week. Thursday night is open beading where you can bring your own beads or purchase some from the shop and basically hang out, be comfortable and share techniques with other beaders.

Since opening the new shop, they also offer yarns by Sally Castor of Floss's Yarns, who soon plans on offering knitting classes as well.

Lee and Wall both came from corporate business backgrounds and met through their children. Lee was already designing and making jewelry and was ready to expand and market her work. It didn't take Wall long to get hooked on beads, and before they knew it, they were in their first shop. Along came Fran Jensen. While recovering from an illness, she found working on beads was therapeutic and something she could easily do. Jensen became a fixture at the shop and turned out to be the inspiration to expand and relocate.

Chole's Beads carries semi precious stones, Czech and vintage glass beads, seed beads, pearls, organic beads such as wood, shell and mother of pearl and trade beads some of them Africian that are used as wedding beads. Lee calls beading "fashion forward jewelry." Don't think of beaded jewelry as something your five-year-old brings home from kindergarten.

They will help you through the bead maze and teach you how to give interest, texture and depth to your jewelry designs. Lee says her customers are amazed at what they can accomplish and describes Chloe's Beads as a "kinder gentler bead shop."

Private beading parties can be arranged at the shop for a girl's night out or other event. Chloe's also offers a volume discount program and gift certificates. You can get started for as little as $15 for the materials and $30 for a class with some supplies.

If you're looking for a way to unwind and refocus, forget Freud and go for the Zen at Chloe's Bead Shop. You'll save money and leave with some really cool jewelry.

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