“Where Beads and Inspiration Meet”: the story of Beadazzled’s founder

When I first joined the Beadazzled team in 2014, I had the honor of interviewing the woman who started it all. Penelope Diamanti (Penny to most) is a brilliant designer and businesswoman, and we are proud to feature her story this March 31st, the final day of Women’s History Month.  -Natalie

A quarter century ago, Dupont Circle was already one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Washington.  The 21st century and its rising real estate prices have taken their toll on local businesses.  A 123-year-old ladies’ club recently got converted into apartments; the independent drug store is now a CVS; the eclectic gay community has moved east to Logan Circle.

But one independent, community-oriented shop has remained.  

Now just across Connecticut Avenue from its original location, Beadazzled has been selling distinctive jewelry, international home accessories, and (of course) beads for 25 years.  Since its founding in 1989 it has opened up another location in Falls Church, Virginia; and regularly sends buyers to select beads, textiles and other crafts from artisans all over the world.  Its customer base includes collectors, decorators, long-time beaders as well as beginners, multi-media artists and makers, and the ever-present D.C. tourist crowd.  

How does a bead-based business thrive for 25 years in a highly competitive area?  When I sat down to speak with the store’s founder, I realized that the answer lies with her.  To learn Penny Diamanti’s bead business strategies, simply read on — and be sure to sign up for her “Bead Biz” classes at our Virginia store this May!  Just call 703-848-2323 to register.

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Seed Bead Heroes

We all know that March is Women’s History Month — but it’s also officially “Seed Bead Month” at our Dupont Circle location!  These two celebrations are more connected than you might think.

Do you remember our “Guatemala Diaries” series?  It chronicled our buyers’ adventures in that country as they selected beautiful hand-made crafts to bring back to you.  The treasures they found included an abundance of intricate, breathtaking jewelry made from woven seed beads.

These necklaces are all for sale on our website; simply click an image to view its listing.

These incredible pieces were all made by women!

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