3 Reasons That Beading Is My Passion Hobby

11:02 AM

Why do you love beading?

I started making jewelry sometime in late middle school or early high school. I found a bead store in downtown Billings, MT that fed my new found hobby. It is called the Bead Depot and is still there. If ever in Billings, you should stop in and check it out. When I moved to Tempe, Arizona at the age of 18, I quickly located Beads Galore. I may have even applied to work there, but never did. Within the following two years, I became friends with a girl who's mom was a well-known lampwork artist. We met by chance, but at this point, I think it may be more closely described as destiny. Amber had taken a job with Soft Flex Company, the owners were friends with her mom. Eventually, she invited me to join her. Little did I know that I was embarking on a 17 year (and counting) career with Soft Flex Company.

Over the years I have not lost my passion for beading, which I find somewhat incredible. Nearly 25 years of beading, and I still love it. Why is that?

1. There is so much to learn and I love to try new things! Jewelry making options are endless and there is always something new to learn. There are a zillion different bead stitches, braids, weaves, etc. It simply never gets boring because I can always try something new. Plus, people are always inventing new wires, tools and beads. Sometimes old tools are introduced into the industry and used in new and interesting ways. You will see my love of trying new things in the wide variety of designs that I create. One day, I might use a kumihimo disc. The next day, I might weave a beaded bracelet using .014 Soft Flex beading wire.

2. I love the beading community and my Soft Flex family. Over the years, I have made a long list of wonderful and talented friends who live around the world. Many of these people are inspiring and motivate me to work hard and create recklessly. Now with facebook, I can keep up with all of them even though I see them less and less in person.

3. Beads have been around for at least 40,000 years and I feel connected to history when I bead. Robert Lieu noted in The History of Beads, "Beads were probably the first durable ornaments humans possessed, and the intimate relationship they had to their owners is reflected in the fact that they are among the most common items unearthed from ancient graves." Isn't that amazing to think about? I am continuing a tradition that dates back not just thousands of years but tens of thousands of years. I love that I am adding my little perspective to that long history.

I feel so fortunate that I found beading (or that beading found me). No matter how you look at it, beading has provided so much for me through the years and I know that it will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. I look forward to teaching my two young daughters how to bead and watching them explore beading in ways that I cannot even imagine at this moment.

So, why do you love beading?

Blog contributor Sara Oehler (the original SoftFlexGirl) is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Soft Flex Company. Find her on facebook or her blog. She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at

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