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.
Aylaâ€™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, Aylaâ€™s Originals received an official proclamation from Evanstonâ€™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 storeâ€™s lease after resigning from her job.
The Aylaâ€™s Own jewelry line was soon featured in the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum Gift Shops and well publicized. In 1998 Aylaâ€™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.
Aylaâ€™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!