Welcome to The Whimsical Bead.
I’m Dani – Creator, Boss Lady & Chief Enabler of The Whimsical Bead.
Even as a small child, I loved to ‘create’. I have fond memories of sitting with my Mum watching her sew, paint and make fabulous ‘things’ using techniques such as paper tole, pergamano, basket art, bear making and so much more. Whilst I experimented with Mum (and got in her way!), I never found a medium I was passionate about (and any good at!) despite many years of trying.
During my high school years, I took metal work for a year as one of my classes. To say I enjoyed it was an understatement – the flame from the torch, the shine and texture of the metals and the possibilities that were in front of me – I was hooked. However, life, health and other commitments took priority and, sadly, metal work was not a part of that.
After a particularly stressful series of personal events spanning several years, I decided, in 2004, I needed a new focus, a new hobby. I started beading and creating jewellery after attending a short two hour class at the local craft store. The addiction had started. Soon my beads were all over the house and I had enough to start a small shop… literally. In 2006 The Whimsical Bead was born – a studio where I would sell beads, tools and supplies and later, teach.
Not too long after, I discovered a wonderful medium that I had not heard much about – Polymer Clay. It did not take long before this enticing medium captured my full attention and I was hooked. It was versatile, colourful and never the same thing twice – a perfect medium for me.
I started teaching beading at the Studio in approximately 2008 (the little craft store that I learned from was no longer running classes) and not too long afterwards, the students starting requesting polymer clay classes. It wasn’t long before I was traveling around Victoria educating students about the exciting medium that was polymer clay whilst also bringing The Whimsical Bead to numerous art and craft shows, exhibitions & events.
I was fortunate enough to do this for a number of years before my health started failing me. Ever since I was little, I’ve always struggled with health issues and these progressively started worsening as time went on and I had to take a step back from teaching in other venues.
Now, many years on, I am still battling a number of health issues and have had to take a step back from many aspects of The Whimsical Bead – we no longer sell online nor am I able to travel to teach and exhibit quite as much. However, I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed to tell my story and The Whimsical Bead Studio is thriving. Over the years, we have built a wonderful little community of students and for many (including myself), the Studio has become a ‘safe haven’, a place to ‘get away from it all’ or simply just an escape from the chaos of everyday life. It has been heart warming to see the creative growth of many students, the beginning of lifelong friendships being formed and to also have been a part of many breakthroughs, discoveries and achievements of students both creatively and personally.
Family and friends are an extremely important part of my life these days. My wonderful Mum, partner Nick, Brooke, Lesley (my Aunt), Nathan and Tahlia (nephew & niece) and my small group of amazing friends are always ready to help me out in the studio and I’m so thrilled I have an extended family through The Whimsical Bead.
Our philosophy here at The Whimsical Bead has not changed since we first opened all those years ago (although our direction and products certainly have!).
Our focus is, and always will be, on providing our customers with high quality products and good, old-fashioned customer service. We don’t stock products ‘just for the sake of having them’. We only stock quality products – products that we would use ourselves, so you can buy with confidence.
You are sure to find something that suits the medium you work in – polymer, metal, resin, beading, mixed media (plus more!) – we’ve got a range of products to suit. Along with our full range of Sculpey polymer clays, we also specialise in blanks, bezels and jewellery making findings and stock a large variety of other products such as texture mats, cutters, stringing material, inks and paints plus more.
We also have a large range of tools for polymer clay, beading, metal/bench work plus more.
A lot of the products we stock compliment the workshops we run, so if students enjoy the techniques they have learned in a class, they are immediately able to purchase the supplies/tools to enable them to continue at home.
We pride ourselves on our relaxed yet, professional workshop space where you can feel comfortable no matter what your personality or skill level.
Workshops are run in a variety of mediums and are competitively priced with small class sizes. Our tutors are friendly, approachable and experts in their medium/s.
Due to my own personal circumstances, I (and also all of our Tutors) understand that each student has individual expectations and needs and we are more than happy to work with you and any issues you may have when attending our workshops – from food intolerances to anxiety disorders – please feel free to contact us with any queries you may have and we will be happy to work through them.
I love to pass on my knowledge and I feel very lucky that people want to learn from me – I know all my tutors here at the studio feel the same way. There is nothing like empowering someone with knowledge and watching that knowledge grow as their enthusiasm does. Many of my students are amazed by what they have been able to achieve in class and leave with such a huge smile on their face and an eagerness to keep creating. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve helped create that happiness and enthusiasm and it’s something we don’t take for granted here at the Studio.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting many wonderful people since opening The Whimsical Bead and as a result I’ve made some life-long friendships, wonderful business/creative relationships and have been able to finally live the creative life I guess I was always destined to live (although if you had told me this is what I’d be doing all those years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you!).
I hope to see you at the Studio very soon and look forward to welcoming you into our ‘Whimsical’ Community.