Why Does Alaska Bead Company Exist?
For many reasons!
From a general point of view, ABC exists because of our innate love of color. Color energizes our body and mind. Color elicits an emotional response. ABC’s goal is to provide you with colors of beads that bring you joy, happiness, and excitement; and inspire your beading.
- ABC exists to teach you how to bead and help you express yourself through your creation of beaded art and jewelry.
- ABC exists to supply you with an array of beads and beading supplies that are what you need when you need them.
- ABC exists to keep beading exciting by constantly bringing in new and unique treasures.
- ABC exists to put a smile on your face and allow you to if only for a short period, forget about the stresses in your life.
The History of Alaska Bead Company
Alaska Bead Company got its start in 1993 when owners, Mark and Jonisue Minor moved from the California Bay Area to Eagle River, Alaska for a more serene lifestyle. Once in Alaska, they stumbled upon a small Anchorage findings and bead store going out of business that they quickly purchased.
Through 2008, ABC thrived. They steadily grew their retail space, inventory and staffing; offered dozens of beading and wireworking classes, including bringing up Celebrity Guest Teachers from the Lower 48; and fully computerized their operations. 1993 to 2008 was very much the heyday of Beading! Then the Great Recession hit, followed soon after by the Alaska Recession. These events presented ABC with grueling challenges.
In 2008, ABC launched it’s first website that included a webstore enabling customers to order online. The website definitely improved their visibility and brought in some extra sales. However, the software they were using for the webstore went through its “end of life” in 2016 and they had to shut down that part of their website.
Business for ABC significantly picked up in 2019, only to be shut down completely in March of 2020 due to the pandemic. However, when ABC was allowed to reopen their store in June of 2020, things started to change for the better. With customers having so much more time at home for things like “hobbies”, ABC was blessed with tremendous support. Since the reopening, ABC has been thriving again, allowing them to bring in much more inventory, including lots of exciting new beads and findings, and, they fully updated their website in early 2023. They plan is to fully update their Point of Sale software later in 2023, and then start on the design and implementation of a brand new state of the art webstore with a shopping cart in 2024. Stay tuned for more exciting updates to follow!