How We’ve Grown

Came across this little photo of our old location on Potomac street today.  It is easy to see what we do not yet have to offer, be it classes, specialty items and beads, or knowledge.  Looking at this photo, thinking about where we once were overcomes these feelings with those of awe in where we are now.  To see the growth in the Potomac Bead Company, not just in our location or inventory, but also in knowledge, skills, and amazing customers is really great.  We are coming, in the next few months, upon the start of another year, with new expectations of more growth and development.  Which is so exciting!  Thank you to everyone who continually makes this possible, and spends time growing with us.

Very Classy Ribbon and Glass


Over the past few months we have been stocking up on new czech glass items, metal beads, and ribbon. We have also started adding new classes to our list.

This necklace was created this week in our “Ribbon Necklace” class. It has been put together with Czech glass nuggets, faceted rondelles, and silver coated copper beads and spacers.

New: Pandora Style GEMSTONE Beads


Just recently arrived in many of our stores are brilliant gemstone pandora style beads, with sterling silver cores in a variety of stones. Stones include blue laced agate, black onyx, colorful jade, aquamarine, and many more.

Visit our facebook page for more information:

To a Great 2010

At The Potomac Bead Company we have been blessed by a great last year. New customers continue to stream through the doors despite many of the challenges facing the country’s economy. We opened 3 new stores over the last year (Mechanicsburg PA, Phoenixville PA, & Medina OH), have seen growth in our US stores, and great opportunities for more expansion with our UK brand (www.thebead.co.uk). Perhaps most importantly, we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of new customers become more creative by using beads, stones, glass, findings, and jewelry to create whatever they need.

For 2010, we have a lot more excitement coming. New stores will be opening, a new website will be coming, and dozens of new products will be hitting the shelves of every store. This includes new gemstones, new Czech glass, new findings, new pendants, new glass, new acrylics, and much more. Be sure to stay tuned to both the website (www.potomacbeads.com), Facebook, Twitter, and our email list to find out what is happening.

Also, if you have ideas for things you would like to see in Potomac Bead Company retail locations, just drop us an email and we can determine whether there would be a market for those requests. These can be sent to requests@potomacbeads.com. Thanks to everyone for a great 2009 and here is to an even better 2010!

New class idea

I was browsing the internet looking for new ideas for classes and I kept seeing different versions of the wire cuff that looked fairly simple to create, but were still very beautiful and funky. I would like to offer another wire cuff bracelet class (maybe call it “Freestyle Wiring”) in our stores. It took me about 30 minutes to complete and I’ve gotten multiple compliments on it when I wear it, so I think it would be a great addition to our class listing.

I made this one with 16 and 22-gauge silver plated wire, citrine nuggets and rondelles, green and brown agate rounds and some size 8 seed beads. I call it “Orange Tree Inspiration”!

So since I was feeling overly accomplished and proud of my new piece of jewelry, I ventured to take on a wrapped-wire coin pearl pendant I saw in the latest Art Jewelry magazine. I don’t think it turned out too badly! This one took me about an hour (I was forced to redo the inside section twice -kind of tricky!). I would have had an easier time using Sterling wire (I used silver plated copper) but I never like to use sterling on a project until I work out the kinks in case I have to start over.

Beading Across the Continent

I always enjoy seeing products, but there is one bead in particular that I am particularly excited to see arrive in the store this summer. I hope that by giving you all a brief introduction to Rudraksha beads, you’ll anticipate their arrival as much as I do!

I love beautiful beads, but what I love even more are beads that are both beautiful and cultural. A couple of years ago I found an example of a Hindu rosary with Rudraksha beads at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. As a student of art and religion at the time, I began researching the history of the Rudraksha. The Rudraksha bead is a natural seed from the Rudraksha tree that grows in Nepal. Hindu monks have worn these beads for centuries and put faith in the bead’s mystical powers. While some claims in favor of the beads’ powers are hard to swallow, the medical community is still on the fence when it comes to their healing properties. For the non-Hindu (like myself) a fascination with Rudraksha is born out of a curiosity and respect for other cultures. Although it is just a bead, for me it was a catalyst towards learning more about the Hindu religion and developing a greater understanding of Eastern cultures. So, for a little bead, it can have quite an impact!

Someone interested in buying these beads should become familiar with the mukhi system of measuring in the bead’s properties. The Rudraksha is a very wrinkly seed, similar to a peach pit, with many sections, like slices of an orange, called mukhi. Generally, the greater the number of mukhi, the more valuable the bead. One can find various charts that outline the specific properties of each mukhi.