Since 2005, my dear friend Ann, of 20+ years, and her twin sister Anita have been the proud owners and operators of Bonita Bead Boutique (BBB). This lovely shop has offered a place of inspiration, adventure, and creativity in Northwest Ohio (Toledo, Maumee & Perrysburg). When customers step into the boutique, they are welcome to explore and take in the artistry of beading. This quaint shop offers special orders and custom orders. They repair jewelry and watches, offer one-on-one private classes, and off-site workshops.
In their 15 years, they have shared the benefits of beading with the surrounding community. From cancer survivors creating unique pieces to celebrate life, and girl scouts beading to earn jeweler badges, to bridal parties creating one of a kind keepsakes, Ann and Anita have witnessed the magic of beading as it resonated in the eyes and hands of their customers. They have seen many customers tap into a well of craftiness they never knew they had. I must say - BBB is quite a unique place.
During this unforeseen time of coronavirus/COVID-19, they closed their doors to abide by the non-essential business closure order. But still, in the wake of this pandemic, they continued to support their community. They created beading kits for kids. They felt compelled to add to the children’s at-home learning experience. They hoped to give the children a chance to feel the excitement that comes along with creating something uniquely their own. Support was given to Ann and Anita as well, a few loyal customers placed special orders to send tokens of love and gratitude to loved ones. It was a loving gesture, but not enough to sustain them through this trying time.
As they accept and embrace a new way of evolving their business, and remaining steady with courage, I ask for your support of them. They need funds to sustain minimum operations; any amount of donation would be a blessing towards paying outstanding bills for supplies and materials. They recently reopened under the new protocol of doing business with social distancing, and YES it is very slow. They feel the heaviness and impact of the 3-month closure. Support is needed now!! Please find it in your heart to support a small business’s survival. They have made it for 15 years and I would love to see them make another 15 years or more! Ann and Anita would be so grateful and appreciative.
A little more in-depth:
Where did your passion for beading come from?
We had an Art teacher, Lisa Werner; she planned a class trip to Chicago and we wanted to go. But living inner-city Toledo most of the students didn't have the money to attend - so Mrs. Werner came up with this brilliant idea. "If we want Chicago, we have to create jewelry" so we did! Jewelry parts were from donations of local businesses donating recycled paper, plastic, and beads. It was a surreal time, and an amazing journey to see it all come together. We were able to host a jewelry show in the school's hallway, nearly sold all of our jewelry. So happy we were all able to attend the fashion trip to Chicago.
When did you decide that a boutique was the next step for your passion?
When Ann's corporate job relocated. We felt the time was right to open a bead shop and share our skills and love for the beauty of beads, jewelry, and the healing properties attached to this passion.
Where do your beads come from?
Our beads come from all over the world: Germany, Japan, South Korea, USA, Mexico, and lampwork glass beads from a local artist.
What message do you want supporters to leave with?
That it is a privilege and an honor sharing our passion. We love waking up every day doing what we love. This is our purpose in life, and we plan on continuing to touch many more lives through this beautiful art we do - one-bead-at-a-time.
We're grateful for you reading our story of bead & jewelry love.
Please browse the website for current offerings:
Bonita Bead Boutique
‘There’s something special, soothing, and therapeutic about jewelry-making it is the exploration of ART’
- Mary Hoffman
Organizer and beneficiary