Gregory Myers is a man who has truly mastered the concept of taking a passion and interest and turning it into a business. However, The Bead Angel– Gregory’s business– is more than just a place to shop. It is a serene setting where customers find a calming oasis away from the craziness of life and find beautiful items that cater to the body, mind, and soul. Gregory opened up about the origins of The Bead Angel and his special connection with Evansville:
How did The Bead Angel get started?
“My late wife Susan was an art teacher and a commercial artist. She and I discovered a mutual fascination for gemstones. She began adding to her skill set by making wire-wrapped stone pieces. This transformed into creating other simple jewelry pieces. We started selling a few of those items at craft fairs and flea markets, and just sort of moved on to a broader focus of selling beads and stones themselves. That became, for me, a point at which I quit what I was doing prior and began doing shows full-time where I was selling beads and Susan’s jewelry.
Susan passed away in 2001, and in the following months I was introduced to Cynthia – a mutual friend who had an interest in metaphysics. We decided to formalize what I was doing with the beads and jewelry and start looking for a store.
We opened a store that was half focused on beads, and the other half focused on body/mind/spirit. That was in 2003 and we’ve expanded from there. We just slowly found our place in the market and that’s still what we’re doing. We’re a full-service bead store, and at the same time we’re primarily a body/mind/spirit store. We sell all different kinds of stones, incense, aromatherapy items, and decor. We also do classes and workshops, and we have alternative wellness practitioners that we work with. It has been an organic growth out of our interests.”
Did you always want to own your own business?
“This just evolved, seriously. Looking back, I think we’re lucky to be here. I really think this business evolved out of sort of random choices. A lot of what people do in their lives tends to follow a path like that.”
How would you explain your store to someone who is new to a metaphysical shop?
“It just depends on the person’s interests. People tend to come in the store with a specific set of curiosities, and we respond to their questions. The one thing that surprises new customers most is our wide selection of stones, crystals, and mineral specimens. We sell and display a larger selection of those items than anyone else in the Tri-State area. We have a larger selection than any of the similar stores in Louisville, Nashville, or St. Louis.”
What is your connection to the Evansville community?
“Evansville has the feel of a more southern town even though we’re in Indiana north of the Ohio River. This makes Evansville a little friendlier than some other areas. I lived most of my life in Fort Wayne, Indiana up in the northeast corner of the state. Cynthia was born in Chicago, but she came down here to teach so she’s spent most of her adult life here in the Evansville area. We find ourselves here and just appreciate the energy of the area.”
Why is “shop local” important to you?
“I’ve always appreciated the idea of buying locally and supporting local merchants. We do that at The Bead Angel by supporting the local artist community. Part of what we offer in the store is jewelry and other items that are made by local artists. When you work with someone like an emerging artist who is just discovering themselves, what you’re doing is empowering them. We’re helping those artists to discover ways of expressing their creativity. It’s a very organic thing to do because these people are all a part of the community, and everything we do sort of grows out of the local community.”
What do you love about the customers that come to The Bead Angel?
“There’s an overwhelming response from all of our customers. When a new shopper walks in the door and spends a few minutes, almost universally, one of the comments that person will make is that the atmosphere in the store is so peaceful. They feel at ease walking around the shop. For me, that’s a commentary on how stressed people are, how busy their lives are, and how noisy their environment is. When they come in, we have gentle music playing that’s oriented toward meditation or massage or other energetic pursuits. Sometimes a customer will come in and say, ‘I don’t know how you listen to that music. That would put me to sleep if I listened to it.’ And again, that’s an indicator of how stressed they are. We’ve created an atmosphere where people immediately begin to relax when they enter the store.
Also, we have a lot of repeat customers. For example, just yesterday, a young lady who is a student at the University of Evansville (we’re located in the general university neighborhood) walked in and she said something along the lines of, ‘I just had to come in and spend ten minutes here so I can relax. I just need to destress and I know that I can always do that in here. I can walk around and just get my head straight again.’ So we’ve created a very supportive and relaxing environment where people feel safe in a sense. We support our customers by making a nurturing environment for them, and they support us by gratefully responding and buying things from us.”
The sense of peace that The Bead Angel brings to its customers and to the Evansville community is just one of many characteristics that makes this shop so special. When you shop with local businesses, often times, you are directly benefiting people, like Gregory, who have your best interests at heart. Support The Bead Angel and other local shops and businesses on Towny – your FREE resource for choosing local. You’ll get rewarded for doing so! Check it out!