The Connecticut shoreline is a wonderful place during all seasons. It attracts visitors from everywhere and many of them are ‘repeats’. There is nothing quite like this New England town, Guilford, with it’s renowned green, typical of the old in-town pastures that have become an oasis in bustling communities. The Bead Hive represents all of these great features! Founded almost ten years ago by women with a vision and too many beads of their own, it has become one of the town’s main attractions.
While the Bead Hive is a destination for beaders who come from all over the state, it is also a return stop for tourists on their way to and from viewing the fall foliage, or a skiing trip, or the local casinos, or just vacationing on Long Island sound. For the ‘regulars’ it’s almost a club house – a place to meet beading friends, to schmooze with the friendly staff and to dream about the next bead project. Almost all of the staff, along with Rena Mulrain and Barbara Lynch (the two owners of the shop), are retired from the field of education and that makes everyone eager to teach and support learning new techniques. So there’s always help available for everyone.
Barbara and Rena bring together their individual specialties in products and projects. Rena has a classic style that is reflected in her use of semi-precious stones, unique glass beads, silver and gold. So the store has a full compliment of these and she’s always hunting for new and special clasps, chain, and findings. Barbara can’t collect enough seed beads to satisfy her and customers know that they’ll find colors and shapes to fill their creative projects, and then she still wants more! She’s the seed bead artist who spends her time away from the shop thinking up new designs to pass on to her cadre of devoted advanced beaders who gather together to bead, chat and laugh together one night a week.
Rena and Barbara have a friendly competition continually going on that is often referred to as the Bead Hive’s performance offering. Beaders in progress stop to listen and laugh at their sisterly arguing and marvel at the way these two bring together their talents, styles, and differences in a way that makes all those around them smile and want to come back for more. And they both love children and welcome them in the shop. They have lots of projects to specially attract children and eagerly work to create avid beaders as young as possible. They also have subtle ways to amuse children while moms shop. In residence is a very special therapy dog, Madison, a Shitz Tu, who is well trained and non allergenic and loves to get attention from everyone. He’s irresistible to the children and they often come back just to see him.
All in all The Bead Hive is more than a place to buy beads or take classes. It’s a collection of warm and creative people who have a burning desire to share their love of beads with everyone who walks through the door. They are in the business of converting the casual crafter into artists who share their love and desire. It’s catching and addictive and has a life and an ambiance that is unparalleled. It’s easy to find – right off I95 at exit 57 in Guilford Connecticut. You can be sure of a great shopping experience and a warm welcome.
The Bead Hive
1250 Boston Post Rd
Guilford, CT 06437