Welcome to The Whimsical Bead.
I’m Dani – Artist, Owner & Director of Creativity.
The Whimsical Bead was born out of passion and necessity in 2006. A studio where I would sell creative tools and supplies and later, teach and build a creative community.
After a particularly stressful series of personal events spanning several years, my mental and physical health weren’t in a good way and I decided I needed a new focus. After an introductory class, my addiction to beads and creating jewellery had begun. I couldn’t find the supplies I wanted in the limited stores locally, so I began to source them myself. Soon my beads were all over the house and I had enough to start a small shop….literally! It wasn’t long after, that I discovered the wonderful world of polymer clay. It did not take long before this enticing medium captured my full attention and I was hooked.
Here at The Whimsical Bead, we are in our 16th year of business and our philosophy has not changed since we first opened all those years ago (although our direction and products certainly have!). Our focus is to provide our customers, both online and in person, with unique, high quality products, exceptional customer service and an experience they won’t forget – for all the right reasons – whilst supporting and encouraging their creativity!
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.
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 have the convenience of immediately purchasing the supplies/tools to enable them to continue at home.
I started The Whimsical Bead during a particularly difficult time in my life. I have suffered from chronic mental and physical health issues for over 25 years – most of my life. This business has provided me with purpose, friendship and creative therapy – things that I desperately needed. I’m not ashamed to say that The Whimsical Bead has quite literally saved my life more than once and in more ways than one.
I never used to talk about my struggles. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with and I was ashamed of what I was dealing with. However, several years into The Whimsical Bead and meeting new people, I became aware there were people who, like me, also struggled with chronic conditions. I also realised that by talking about my own struggles, I was able to help others feel more at ease with theirs, even if it was just offering an empathetic ear. It took awhile but I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed to share my experiences. If I can help just one person by sharing my journey, then it’s been worthwhile.
Because of this, one of the things I have always been passionate about is providing a safe, inclusive space for people to come together and expand their creativity, skills and often their social network.
Due to my own personal circumstances, I 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 the studio – from food intolerances to anxiety disorders – we will be happy to work through your challenges and concerns.
The same is true if you face any obstacles with ordering through the online store. I have a number of people who shop with us because they have issues with the usual methods of ordering and need some extra assistance and an understanding ear. I am more than happy to support and cater to these needs.
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. Some of our students come to the Studio to learn skills to apply to their own business but many attend for art or social therapy (and even for dog pats and cuddles from our resident Golden Retriever, Kenzi Mae). I have seen numerous friendships made through the studio and heard (and started!) many conversations about important and traditionally ‘hard to talk about’ topics during our workshops and event, all of which is so rewarding.
We’ve had literally hundreds of students attend the Studio and it’s heartwarming to see so many smiles throughout each and every event and workshop we run. Many of our students become ‘regulars’ and are like family, which is wonderful to see.
I’m so pleased that you’ve found The Whimsical Bead. We look forward to helping you explore your creativity and welcoming you into our Whimsical community – whether that be in person or digitally.