Because our products are fairly small, we are able to leave the walls exposed with very little display or furniture. This allows the natural beauty of the architecture to be exposed and open for all to see. The exposed steel beams and rustic 1920’s look of this space and the old town Alexandria location make you forget that you are in the 21st century. With all of the modern displays, colors, and technology available, it is nice to look at our retail spaces and not feel overwhelmed by the use of the space. In my opinion, the industrial spaces actually add to the creativity and the Potomac Bead Company experience.
When I walk into the downtown spaces, I marvel at the amount of work that went into making these magnificent buildings despite the lack of modern technology. There is such a vast amount of history behind these amazing architectural wonders. It is truly inspiring to think that the materials used in jewelry making are some of the same keeping our turn of the century buildings from crumbling. These materials act as wonderful mediums to inspire and create jewelry as well as other works of art.
Overall, I have learned through this whole amazing experience of opening stores in wonderful old industrial cities, to take advantage of the architecture and detail of the buildings. So many buildings are over looked or discarded in people’s minds because they are not modern marvels or of certain materials.
This point connects me back to jewelry and beads. It is often possible to over look the materials we already have and want to trade them in for something new. Be inspired by the history of the materials. They often just need a little help, like our buildings, to make them shine. Often, the simplest pieces are the most appealing and beautiful once they are reconfigured and re-worked. I am inspired to unpack the old beads and materials that I have accumulated over the years and bring them back to their glory.
A final thought to finish this out: In an essence, we are housing the art of beads as well as finished jewelry inside what is already a work of art. If you visit one of our stores, allow the architecture and the environment inspire you to create.