Indulge Your Inner Maker at A World of Beads

Even if you’re craft-clueless, you’ll be able to create a meaningful memento at this Blue Ash bead shop.
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Photograph by Sarah McCosham

Being a parent is a constant exercise in humility. From toddler tantrums to tweenage ’tudes, there’s nothing like a small human saying “you’re wrong” to take you down to size.

It’s not all bad, though. My second grader is a math whiz and always happy to help his big brother with his sixth grade homework (which is a relief, because have you seen what’s covered in sixth grade?!?), while my 10-year-old is affectionately called “Mini Mom” and comes up with the most creative crafts and activities—and even “school lessons”—for her 5-year-old sister.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

It’s delightful to witness, though I try my best to not take advantage of my team of helpers. So when, on a recent solo errand run, I was stopped at a random light and happened to look over and see a place called A World of Beads, I knew immediately it would be the perfect place to take my favorite Mini Mom, Mary.

Mary is wonderful at arts and crafts and comes up with the most creative ideas—making bow ties for our 90-pound golden retriever, for example. At 10, she’s also very into making jewelry—friendship bracelets for her BFFs and some really amazing keychains for her siblings’ backpacks. In other words, I knew she’d be in her element at A World of Beads. The only question was, would I hold her back with my lack of craft skills?

That worry was quickly laid to rest when, on a recent afternoon after I sprung her out of school a bit early, we wandered into the shop and were warmly welcomed by store owner Erin Powell. A lifelong “beader” with a passion for color and creativity, Powell had fond memories of visiting the OG World of Beads in Tri-County in the early ’90s. So when, a few years ago, the opportunity to buy this local business presented itself, Erin was in. The store has had a few homes over the years, and is currently located in the heart of downtown Blue Ash.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

With Erin’s guidance, we grabbed trays and began looking through a veritable ROYGBIV of beads. Glass beads, gemstone beads, big beads, little beads, heart-shaped beads, sparkly beads…if you can dream it, it’s probably at A World of Beads. There’s no charge to make a bracelet or necklace; you’ll simply pay for your materials. Beads are priced by type and organized by color, and “filler” beads and even bulk bags of beads are available, too. Before you make your selections, you’ll have your wrist measured and choose stretchy floss cording or a clasp-style chain, and yes—Erin helps with that process, too!

Mary and I had a lovely time on our afternoon at A World of Beads. We both made bracelets and I have to say, I think Mary’s been bitten by the beading bug. With any luck, Mary will, like Erin, continue to hone this newfound hobby, and who knows? She might someday be presented with the opportunity to work at this delightful local business herself.

A World of Beads, 9500 Kenwood Rd, Blue Ash

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