“Beadology”-themed face masks that help support women’s and LGBTQ health, crafting stations with fun names, and a no-contact hand sanitizer station are among the new features at Beadology iowa, one of the state’s last remaining bead shops.
As part of its ongoing effort to adjust to the coronavirus crisis, Beadology is also ensuring all of its arts, crafts, jewelry-making and beading classes are socially-distanced with work stations six feet or more apart, says co-owner Karen Kubby. Many classes limited to four or six slots. Masks are required of all staff and customers.
Beadology’s hand sanitizer station is, of course, “beadazzled,” and the shop offered a recent class on “beadazzling” your own face shield.
The Bugle Bungalow, Lampwork Lake, Magatama Mountain, Pony Bead Corral, the C.R.A.W.’s Nest, and Peyotecoat Junction are some of the new fun, crafty names for Beadology’s work stations.
Beadology also offers its own unique face masks, created by Kubby’s sister Cindy Johnson, who lives in Las Vegas but is on the Beadology Iowa board along with her two sisters, Karen and Laurel. The masks cost $6, with $4 of each sale donated to the Emma Goldman Clinic.
That’s just one way Beadology is supporting local organizations. Guest instructor Zannetta Hoehle, of Tumbled Wire Designs, donated her time and talent to create necklaces that Beadology is now selling, to donate 20 percent of sales to the local food bank coordinated by CommUnity.
While the store was closed during the state-mandated shutdown of non-essential businesses, Beadology used Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with its customers.
“When you are stuck at home and you’re feeling kind of isolated, making something is a very emotionally and physically constructive endeavor,” says co-owner Karen Kubby. “And so we felt a real obligation that even though the store wasn’t open, we remain available for people to get the materials they could use making jewelry or making whatever they make with our materials.”
She hopes the effort has helped people with their “coping mechanisms” during the pandemic.
Beadology continues to host a Facebook Live beading tutorial at 1 p.m. every Tuesday. Fridays at 2:30 p.m., Beadology offers an Instagram video tour of part of the store, highlighting new kits or newly finished jewelry for sale.
During the Pride month of June, Beadology posted an American Pride flag. In honor of Black Lives Matter this year, the store positioned the flag in a distressed upside-down position. Kubby, a former city council member in Iowa City, has also reached out to BLM organizers and some current city council members with advice on having more productive meetings.
She also wrote a guest column for the Press-Citizen about what it’s like for a small Iowa City business to adapt to the coronavirus crisis.
Kubby said she was touched while Beadology was closed to receive money from people who wanted no goods or services in return, but to support the store. The outreach from their customers during the last couple of months has been wonderful, she said.
“We’ve always described ourselves as a community bead store, and the support we’ve received from the community while we were in crisis has been incredible,” Kubby said. “It’s helped us really feel like ‘Yes, indeed, we really are a community asset.’ “
Beadology Iowa is located at 220 E. Washington St. and was founded 33 years ago. In addition to a huge stock of beads, gems, stones and more, Beadology offers a continuous selection of jewelry design and beading classes.
its current hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, staying open until 8 p.m. Thursdays. You can learn more about Beadology Iowa at its website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, or at its profile in The Real MainStream Advertiser directory.
Contact Beadology Iowa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 319-338-1566. Personal shopping experiences and curbside pick-up are always available.
(Christine Hawes contributed to this report.)
This is one of an occasional series on how advertisers in The Real MainStream are responding to the coronavirus crisis to help protect the public’s health.