By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Beading can be addictive. Just ask Heather Turner, who purchased and revamped a bead store in downtown Norman, now known as the Beaded Pumpkin, 219 W. Main St.
The redesigned store now has a more open floor plan to make it accessible to people in wheelchairs and parents with strollers, Turner said. The selection of beads and findings also have changed and expanded.
“Before, it was more of a bead store and boutique,” Turner said. “Now it’s more of a full-service bead store.”
People can come in, sit down and bead at one of the available tables and use the store’s bead board and tools. Turner also teaches beading classes on demand, and the shop has become a popular spot for birthday parties. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 until 6 p.m. Sunday, but Turner said she’ll schedule parties and classes to meet customers’ needs.
From colorful African glass beads to beads made from old 45 vinyl records, the Beaded Pumpkin has a wide selection to spur creativity.
“I started beading in my early teens and thought it would be amazing to have my own bead store some day,” Turner said. “I absolutely love beading.”
Now that dream has come true.
“I never stopped beading, and I’ve down jewelry repair for jewelry stores, so my skills never stopped growing,” Turner said. “We have a unique selection of beads.”
The beads are clearly labeled, so customers know what they’re getting.
“If you can’t find it, we’ll order it,” she said. “A lot of people like that.”
One of the most remarkable things about the shop is the selection of findings — head pins, eye pins, jump rings, ear wires, and clasps — the building blocks of jewelry.
Turner also carries a large collection of seed beading.
“We sell Myuki delicas and rounds, etc., which are hard to find,” she said. “We also have the quick-stitch peyote cards.”
She also takes in jewelry for repair at the Beaded Pumpkin.
Turner’s experience as an executive assistant and office manager gave her the skill set to run a business, but the heart of the Beaded Pumpkin is people, Turner said.
“The people who work here are family,” she said. “My mother works here with me full time.”
Turner’s brother and father help with remodeling and repairs, and her 89-year-old grandmother, Georgia Wysinger, regularly comes in and spends the day beading and chatting with customers.
“She’s become very well known,” Turner said.
Customers of all ages come into the Beaded Pumpkin, and birthday parties are popular.
“The kids love it,” she said.
Turner said she keeps her prices reasonable, and customers can choose to buy beads by the strand or individually.
“I want everybody to be able to afford to bead if they want to,” she said.
There’s also hope for people who want unique jewelry but don’t have time to bead.
“You can come in and design your jewelry, and I string it,” she said. “That includes pearl knotting.”
Turner also can take heirloom jewelry and update it. She guarantees the quality of repairs and makes free adjustments.
The store accepts all major credit cards.
The Beaded Pumpkin is a sponsor of Norman’s Second Friday Art Walks. Turner carries local artwork on consignment, and the back end of the store houses a 2,000-square-foot Antique Mall.
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