Ayla’s Trunk Show Fun

In mid-August I spend the weekend at Ayla’s Originals, a lovely bead bazaar.


I frequently peruse this treasure chest of beads, and my wallet was shivering slightly at the thought of being surrounded by sparklies two full days.

It was fun to have two big tables to set up.

I dedicated one to jewelry.

The other held my critters and angels.

Ayla’s does a lot of jewelry repair. On Saturday, the lovely Phyllis was working on re-knotting a strand of pearls. A father and a little girl picked out charms for a bracelet and necklace, and several people came in to replace clasps on their jewelry, pick up repaired pieces, or drop off items that needed time to be fixed.

All of this was done with cheerfulness and a variety of findings to choose from.

At the Bead & Button Show I had purchased some large hole pearls and did my best not to scratch them while wrapping them in wire. I am a bit attached to the end result, but hope they will find a home at the Girls Nite Out show on September 13.

I also made other pieces for the event incorporating beads purchased at Ayla’s various trunk shows and bazaars.

I browsed the gift wares, including You Are Beautiful magnets, coin purses, notebooks and other small gift items.

Of course the majority of the store is dedicated to ready-made jewelry as well as a wide array of colorful beads and pearls to convert into your own pieces.

The array of David Christensen Beads was very tempting, since they fit 16 gauge wire so well.

Two Charming Chix has a great sense of humor.

Ayla’s also has the tools for jewelry making, and offers a variety of workshops, even as live streams, so you can hone your skills. I browsed and made a pile of items.

Since it is birthday month, I didn’t feel too bad about adding these tools and beads to my collection.

Sunday brought in a flurry of early visitors, and I was thrilled to see pendants adopted by new owners.

Then my stakes fluttered off to a new garden.

The angels were admired and enjoyed basking in the sparkle.

Soon it was time to tear down and go home.

I am definitely inspired to incorporate more of Ayla’s treasures into my pieces, and will display those in mid-September!

Visit 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston for some sparkly inspirational fun.

Trunk Show at Ayla’s this weekend

Whew, I thought 2 weeks between shows is a long time, but there is still a lot to be done by Saturday.

When I went to the Bead & Button show in June I stopped by Ayla’s booth first, and was promptly stickered by Joe.

At that time, we made plans for a trunk show, and August 12 & 13 felt so far away. I optimistically purchased some large hole pearls for the occasion. Fast forward one eventful month and I am wrangling wire like crazy, with idea after idea piling into my brain.

My aim is to make sure I am using beads sourced via Ayla, so I went through my inventory list, and I’ve attended quite a few of Ayla’s bead shows over the years, along with visits to the store itself with friends.

I compared the inventory dates to my visual archives (photos snapped after each shopping spree) and set those beads aside in my jewelers bench.

Soon I had ideas and matched papers to my designs.

The last batch came from Kina’s Trunk Show, and I started with those first.

I was pleasantly surprised that the vintage beads I bought from Ayla actually fit the 16 gauge wire, and had fun stringing those.

I waxed the pieces, with the cage versions being a bit more challenging than the others. The etched jade also fit the thicker wire, and I am glad my friend and I shared this strand last summer.

Ayla’s store has many beads that can be strung directly onto the steel wire for a swinging bead effect. David Christensen creates a gorgeous array of glass beads that I have had in my collection for a while. This pendant will get some matching earrings too, though whether that happens by Saturday is still a question mark.

Ayla’s Originals offers freshwater pearls, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, antique trade beads and gemstones from all over the world. If you see something you love in the store this weekend, I am happy to design a piece if you aren’t interested in creating your own.

In 2016, Ayla’s Originals received an official proclamation from Evanston’s Mayor for the 20th anniversary in Evanston. The store’s history is longer though.

Two decades ago, Ayla was a Director of Human Resources in corporate America. She frequented a bead store to take her mind off her waning passion in the work she was doing.

After a few workshops, Ayla began designing her own jewelry. The bead store owner was retiring, putting Ayla in a position to take over the store’s lease after resigning from her job.

The Ayla’s Own jewelry line was soon featured in the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum Gift Shops and well publicized. In 1998 Ayla’s Originals moved to Sherman Avenue in Evanston.

The store offers classes, private lessons, and private party options. The store offers a wide array of You Are Beautiful merchandise as well.

You can get a bingo card for special discounts on future purchases. Ayla and her husband, photographer Joe Pizzo, reside in Evanston.

Ayla’s Originals Store is located at 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston. Hours are: T,W, F: 10 am to 6 pm; Th: 10 am to 7 pm; Sat. 10 am to 5 pm; Sun 12 to 5 pm. Closed Mondays.

I will also be bringing my stakes, which are getting additional siblings this week.

There is so much more to make!