Belladonna Beads has been a North Portland fixture since 2007. People come from all over Portland (and from even further away) to go to this well-stocked bead shop, which has become somewhat of a rarity in today’s world of online shopping. Here’s why you should stop by Belladonna Beads sometime soon.
Kelly, the owner of Belladonna Beads, started a bead store in Detroit in 1994. After over a decade of running that store, she and her partner moved to Portland. After a small break from the retail world, they opened Belladonna Beads in 2007.
They opened the store in a house on the outskirts of St. Johns and were constantly on the lookout for the right storefront to rent. It took five years to find a spot that suited their needs, and they love where they’re at in University Park. Kelly loves how the area is so tight-knit. She says that it feels like a little village.
More About Kelly
Why a bead store? Kelly started collecting rocks and shells when she was little. She then realized that her little treasures could be made into things (she spent a lot of time crafting with her mom), and she’s been hooked on beads ever since.
When she has a little time in between running her business, Kelly makes jewelry (usually this means sacrificing some sleep). She needs to make things to show people what you can do with the items she sells, but she also just loves to do it.
Belladonna Beads obviously focuses on beads, but the store also carries all kinds of handmade jewelry made by Kelly and others. She has a very international selection, so if you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry, you’re pretty sure to find it at Belladonna Beads.
The store has a huge range of bone, horn, and wood beads, as well as beads made from other natural materials. She also has a large range of gemstones. In fact, if Kelly doesn’t have it, it’s probably something that’s pretty hard to find. The one thing she doesn’t really carry are plastic beads, so don’t expect to find those.
Kelly notes that they try to cater to wide range of tastes and pocketbooks. Of course, she does everything she can to maintain quality at the same time. She has everything from $2 bags of beads for kids to $200 strands of opals.
You can also buy a piece of human history. Beads have been around since the beginning of civilization. The oldest beads are around 20,000 years old. While Kelly doesn’t have any beads that old, she does have some 2,000-year-old beads from Africa. And they’re affordable—starting at $5 a bead.
Why You Should Stop By
If you’ve never been, going into a bead store is a new experience. It’s full of unique treasures from all over the world. Kelly has heard so many people say that they’re not into beads and then eat their words—both men and women.
The store has a regular Friday night happy hour, where people bring projects and hang out with other beaders and creative people. And it’s not just beading—people bring crocheting and knitting, too. They just enjoy each other’s company.
We’re glad you’re in our neighborhood, Kelly! Thanks for making it a more interesting place to be.