February 1st, 2008

No, Not Beans. . . . . .And Not In California!

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For the past few months, I’ve been alluding to some behind-the-scenes-happenings at WEBS. I’ve been able to share with you some of the renovations that have been taking place. I know it’s hard to appreciate the impact in a few two-dimensional pictures, but the changes are incredible. At the end of the day, I can’t blame any of you for not being overly excited about new shipping areas and stockrooms and fancy order pickers and fresh paint and such. There have been some of you that have been enthused for the evolution of my office space into a more comfortable environment (read as: WARM).

Today, I hope I can generate a bit of excitement among you, get the blood flowing as they say. Steve and I are simply bursting like proud parents (no – we are not “literally” going to be proud parents to anyone that isn’t already on the proverbial roster). I finally get to share with all of you another of our secret projects. This one came upon us unexpectedly but has turned into what we think is something awesome – a wonderful opportunity.

This morning, Steve and I purchased this:

Beader’s Paradise is the local bead store in Northampton and it is now ours. I get goosebumps just typing those words! It’s a small store that was founded by two lovely woman, Judy and Cindy seven years ago. Many of you may remember it being located on Pleasant Street, just a couple of blocks up from WEBS. They moved to Main Street and they are currently in a bit of a hidden spot on “the Button St. side of Masonic St.”.

Steve and I are very, very excited. We know there is a lot of synergy between our business and beads. We also think there there is a lot of potential within the industry itself. We have a lot of work ahead of us!

How can you not be excited when you look at these:

We’ll be re-opening the store within the next week or so and staying in the current location through the end of March. We’ll then be relocating to Service Center Road in a space attached to Smith Glass. This means customers can easily walk between the two stores. Now we know for Beader’s long-time customers another move is simply making you groan. But look at it this way – we’ll be in a bigger, brighter, easier to access space with plenty of FREE parking. Plus lots of new and exciting products and classes and samples and. . . . just lots of great things. We will also be changing the name – we just think the WEBS name has too much recognition to not use it. We will be selling on-line as well, but that probably won’t happen until this summer. Hours will be the same as the ones we have at the yarn store (M-Sat 10:00-5:30, Thurs ’til 8pm and closed Sundays).

If you are a beader, local or otherwise and have thoughts on things we should carry, please share your thoughts with me in the comments or privately at kathy.elkins@yarn.com.

Now I”m sure you are wondering about the bean reference in the title.

My mom will be 82 this year and her hearing is less than stellar. She refuses to do anything about it, so we just deal with it as best we can. I called her from California to catch up and realized I had not told her we were going to buy this business. She was quite tickled, which made me happy because as I’ve said in previous posts, she is not easily excited. A couple of days later, still in California and my sister emails me. She states she hopes there is a job opening at our new California store. I call her back and ask her what the heck she is talking about. Seems my mom told her we were “buying a bean store in California”. To say my sister was bewildered would be an understatement. She had been trying to figure out why we would buy a bean store, what kinds of beans we would have, where the beans would be coming from, etc. Between the conversation with my sister and the visual of the conversation she and my mom must have had, I was laughing so hard I was crying. My sister and I will forever reference the store as “beans”.

But beads are way more interesting than beans – imho :)

Kathy

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  • Kristi

    Wow, congrats to you and Steve! I have never been in the store, but the move will give me more than enough excuses.

  • Amber

    Fantastic! How lovely to have another form of inspiration so nearby. I dearly love beaded knits :)

  • livnletlrn

    My husband makes glass beads and buttons that go beautifully with handknits, a sampling of which can be seen at http://www.glastonburyglassworks.com . We’d love to talk with you about beady possibilities. :-)

  • Gina

    Congrats!!!! How exciting. Now I have another excuse to make the trek out to North Hampton.

  • pinotnoir

    Certainly wonderful news for Northampton-ites, but very sad for us bean-shoppers here in California.

  • Castiron

    Congrats! (Though I like the idea of calling it Bean Beads….)

  • Kathy

    Oh, Pinotnoir – I am sorry. I am not discounting beans and given my “black” thumb, this is all for the best. I’m okay with a small outdoor garden. . .sort of. Much beyond that and it gets ugly. This is all for the best – for the established farmers, the bean varieties and for the general public :)

    We made need to create a “beaded bean” symbol.. . .

  • monica

    Congrats on the bean store! Just think of how healthy your products are–you are just expanding on your fiber selection by adding beans. :)

  • sandy

    Congratulations~~How exciting to be able to add beads to our knitting projects~~have done some of this in the past but somehow got away from it ~ can’t wait to begin again~
    Sandy

  • melissaknits

    I need me some beads.

  • tina

    Great………… just great. Because you know I am easily enabled and all………..

    Seriously, warmest congrats!!!!

    VERY exciting.

  • Sarah

    I’m so excited!

    Earlier this morning I was telling a friend what a hard time I’ve had not spilling the beans about this over the past week (long-time Beaders’ Paradise employee here)! I guess beans and beads are just inextricably intertwined…

  • Cirilia

    Umm…as a lover of hippie food and coffee I have to say, I wouldn’t be unhappy at all with a Webs, America’s Bean Store.

    Service Center Road is slowly becoming Craft Heaven…

  • MimiCatKnits

    CONGRATS!!!! I’m happy to know that the beads will be available on line too! You guys are the best!
    Ahhh, Beaded California beans…what more can a girl ask for?

  • Kathy

    I guess beads and beans will definitely have a place in this new venture :)

    Hey Sarah! Sorry I missed you last week, but I’ve been struggling to keep the secret myself!!

    Thanks to everyone for all of the good wishes. We are very excited about all of the fun we’re going to have.

  • Miss Sandra

    A few name options (in fun of course!)

    “WEBS There, Beaded That”
    “Oh What Tangled WEBS We Bead”
    “Beaded WEBS”
    “WEBS and the Bead”
    “Beadtown”

    How very exciting! Congrats.

  • Kathy

    Miss Sandra

    You must win a prize for creativity. “Oh What a Tangled WEBS we BEAD” is priceless.

    Email me at kathy.elkins@yarn.com with your address and a little somethin’ will be coming your way.

    You even made Steve giggle :)

  • tink knits

    Blogger tink knits said…

    Congrats on the beading store! Beading was my hobby of choice before I discovered the portability of knitting (and I suppose I should try to incorporate that stash of beads into the knitting instead of letting them languish).

    As for the beaNs–my sister & my joke on the hearing this is “…toothpaste” “Soup plates?” My Dad’s hearing is bad WITH the hearing aids!!

  • Janice

    I’m just beginning to appreciate the coolness factor with beads and knitting. Looking forward to seeing what you offer with the new venture!

  • tputnam

    I am delighted that we have a bead store here again! I’ve been ordering online, which is a pain when I just need a this or a that (ie: a Vermont Cranberry or a Jacob’s Cattle ;= couldn’t resist.) I have updated one of the search engines for ‘Bead Stores in Massachusetts’. Also, when the store was about to close, there was a notebook for cutomers to write their emails in for notification of new location or reopening. Bet it’s there somewhere! If you do beads like you do yarn we are in for a serious treat! Congratulations and best of luck!