17 June 2022

Canberra craft-lovers favourite place to bead is shutting down after almost 20 years

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Bead Street

Bead Street will close at the end of the month. Photo: Bead Street Facebook.

As one door closes, another one opens.

After almost 20 years of operating her own business, Kate English has decided to drop the beads and pick up the gardening tools as she pursues a long-overdue career change.

Kate has owned and operated the iconic Canberra beading business ‘Bead Street’ in Phillip for the past 18 years, completing costume and jewellery repairs, re-stringing, re-beading, replacing clasps and making things wearable again.

But she has decided it was “time for a change”.

“I’m going to miss our lovely, regular customers. So many of them have become close friends,” Kate says.

“We’ve always held a lot of workshops where there’s been a lot of satisfaction in teaching and seeing people learn and being excited about things that they create, so that’s always been a really lovely part of the business.”

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Kate says many customers who regularly came to the shop used it as a place to help them with their mental health.

“People have used it as recovery through loss and grief and trauma, which has always been a big part of our business,” she says.

“I’ve always said catching up and creating with people is just so good for the soul.

“We’ve also worked with a lot of special needs groups, community groups and clubs, so I will miss all of that.”

Although Bead Street is shutting down, Kate says she will continue to work.

“We are going to be continuing the repairs because doing them is a big part of our business,” she said.

Kate says while she will now have more free time on her hands, she is again turning one of her hobbies into a job and will be undertaking garden maintenance.

“Running your own business six days a week doesn’t leave you a lot of flexibility or a lot of free time, so I am really looking forward to having more time with my family and friends,” she says.

“I’ve always been a very passionate gardener and have got an extensive garden myself and have sold a lot of succulents too, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“Working outside rather than inside is also a bonus and nice change.”

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“I’ve learnt that Canberra has a really crafty, creative-minded community, which is great to see,” Kate says.

“There’s a lot of friends that I’ve made that I’ll be able to keep from this journey as well.”

Bead Street is located at 1/61-63 Dundas Circuit in Phillip. It will close for the last time on Thursday, 30 June.

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