Legendary Beads opened its doors to Austin in September 2002. Our goal was to provide beaders with a uniquely Austin experience by providing a relaxed atmosphere, good music and a friendly staff.
We got off to a great start; immediately we were embraced by Austin’s warm and devoted community of beaders. At first, our store consisted of little more than seed beads in terracotta pots, one table of ceramic animal-shaped beads, a smattering of czech glass and semi-precious stones, and a few plastic boxes of findings.
Through fierce determination, a love of learning, and the unyielding faith of our customers, Legendary Beads grew and flourished. So much so that in November of 2003 we had to nearly double our square footage by pushing back our rear wall.
Throughout the years, our merchandise and customer base have expanded more than we ever could have dreamed. We share our customers’ love of beads and search far and wide for the newest, hottest and most hard-to-find beads, stones, tools and findings. In addition, our staff is committed to arranging our merchandise in organized, color-coded and easily shoppable displays to facilitate your experience.
We strive to keep ourselves current on beading trends and techniques and are happy to help new customers learn the basics. While we don’t actually produce pieces for our customers or provide jewelry repair services, we encourage customers to discover their inner beader by providing guidance; we follow the old “teach a man to fish…” adage. For extended instruction, we offer a variety of classes taught by experienced and commited teachers.
Eventually we were faced with dwindling floor space and limited parking (not to mention death-defying left turns into the complex). Combine these frustrations with the desire to offer the widest selection of awesome beads, and it was obvious a move was inevitable. So in July of 2006, move we did. Our new building is a thriving new shopping center, and we are proud to be part of the community there. While we hope to maintain the intimacy, informality and overall laid-back South Austin vibe we are known for, we also aim to provide the much- needed changes our valued customers have requested. We offer more room to shop, a brighter atmosphere and plenty of available parking. And, of course, a wider selection of beads and findings that promises to expand as we continue to settle in.
We could never have come this far without our loyal, kind, hilarious and loving customers. Thank you so much for sticking by us through the years. Many of you have become dear friends. We look forward to welcoming you into our new shop, sitting around the bead table chatting with you and being of service for many years to come. THANK YOU!!!
The family atmosphere our customers enjoy isn’t contrived. Most of our staff have known each other for years, and we continue our bonds by hanging out on a regular basis and even taking group vacations each January. So far together we have visited Tulum and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and hope to take many more trips together in the future. Please read on to learn more about your friendly local bead dealers!
Jaomi: Jaomi is a Leo and his favorite color is stripes. His favorite stone is Lapis. From day one of Legendary Beads’ inception, Jaomi has strived to learn all he can about the bead business, including the personal needs and wants of our customers. While he is mostly working behind the scenes, Jaomi’s influence is felt throughout the shop. As a true-blue South Austinite, Jaomi loves music, art and taking it easy. Jaomi has an insatiable wanderlust that leads him to all corners of the globe to sample other cultures, food, wine and hospitality. He also loves fountains, classic cars, references to iguanas, songs about iguanas and iguanas themselves.
Olivia: Olivia is a Leo and she, as a rule, does not have a “favorite” color. Amber and Labrodorite are some of her most beloved stones. Without Olivia, Legendary Beads would not exist. She is the heart and soul of our store and our resident bead expert. She is in charge of nearly everything to do with our seed bead collection and is Jaomi’s companion on buying trips. She is also an authentic Austinite, born and bred. Olivia truly delights in the history, beauty and texture that beads have to offer. She has travelled extensively, she loves to garden, and once Van Morrisson told her that she has a lovely voice. We think so, too.
Jessica: Jessica is a Cancer and her favorite color is the “bright juicy red of the inside of a strawberry”. Ruby and Chrysoprase top the list of her favorite stones. Jessica is a Corpus Christi native who moved to Austin in 1997. Her experience in small business merchandising has attributed to the look and feel of the shop from the beginning. She is often in the middle of some reorganization project in hopes of keeping inventory looking fresh and exciting. Jessica loves kittens, Indian food and Patsy Cline. She also enjoys reading and writing but hates arithmetic. In her spare time, Jessica naps.
Jake: Jake is an Aries and his favorite color is Black. His favorite stone is Boulder Opal. Jake brings an unmistakeable Cajun flavor to the shop. He grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, moving to Austin at age 8. He and Jaomi have been friends since childhood and Jake came to work with us in 2005. Jake is an attentive learner, quickly memorizing names of stones and mastering beading techniques. He is a key element to keeping our store stocked and organized. Jake loves crawfish, motorcross and the Saints. As the story goes, it says a lot about a person who can stay loyal to the New Orleans Saints after all these years.
Picture coming soon!
Cassie: Cassie is the newest addition to the Legendary Beads family. Cassie is a Leo. Her favorite color and stone changes too often to name a favorite. Cassie recently moved to Austin from Ohio. Cassie is our jewelry teacher, our resident gemologist, and is bubbling with enthusiasm 24/7. She knows her beads and stones.