By Anne Thom—
The beads for sale in Chris Tanata’s Bead Rush store sparkle almost as brightly as her personality and her smile as she discusses an upcoming trunk sale that she describes as “a chance to pick up some very good deals.”
Tanata owns and operates Bead Rush, formerly located in Rush City and now housed on the Tanata property on the southeast side of Stacy. Bead Rush sells beads, wire and accessories to create jewelry as well as finished bead items for sale.
Bead Rush features an assortment of original and one-of-a-kind pieces. Tanata sells both her own unique designs plus beaded jewelry items made by a number of regular customers. “I’m so blessed, I have great customers, I consider myself very lucky with the people I have coming into my store,” she said.
Tanata grew up on a farm where art to her was being able to drive the tractor properly. She didn’t do any art while growing up but later in life took up painting and macramé. “I’m learning,” she said modestly.
Bead Rush was born as Tanata’s children were grown and she wanted to open a business that would have possibilities for herself and for the community. One daughter had taken up beads and jewelry making as a hobby. Tanata thought there was a niche and potential.
Wire is Tanata’s favorite medium. “It’s inspiring. You have something that’s completely straight and just by bending, straightening and wrapping you come up with a beautiful product,” she said.
Tanata said she did take two classes in order to polish her wire wrapping technique and has also benefitted from colleagues who have shared their knowledge and skills. “Tools make your life easier, and how to match colors and what stones go together, you just learn after a while,” she said.
Bead Rush offers free classes. Tanata provides instruction and the cost of materials is up to the participant. She asks her class participants what they want to do and customizes the class to the individual to suit level of patience and skill, and taste in color and style. Customers are welcome to schedule classes and lessons with her “as time permits”. Weekends typically fill the store with both adults and kids designing and creating.
As well as having an online presence at beadrushrushcity.com, Bead Rush does some advertising but largely customers come by word of mouth.
“I know people buy on the internet but what you buy can be disappointing, you can’t make an earring with a stone that isn’t drilled correctly,” Tanata said. She restricts buying her stock from only a few vendors in order to maintain high quality products for sale. “Since I own my business, I am able to pass on savings to my customers,’ she said. Come in and see something you like and Tanata will likely do her best to offer a very good price.
This summer Tanata hopes to have a booth at Stacy Daze. “I love living in the Stacy rural area, it’s so centralized,” Tanata said. She feels that community support and recognition of shopping local businesses has been growing in the last few years.
In the meantime, if you want to try your hand at the art of bead jewelry or just want to treat yourself to a pretty and unique accessory, drop into Bead Rush at 30095 Hemingway Ave. just outside of downtown Stacy, or call Tanata directly at 651-462-5338.