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!