Shop keep­ing Bead Gallery’s legacy alive

The Leader (Tasman) - - FRONT PAGE - KATY JONES

The legacy of Nel­son’s Bead Gallery owner, Lau­rie John­son, lives on, as his ‘‘one of a kind’’ col­lec­tion goes on sale again in the city.

The bead and jew­ellery store on Hardy St closed in April, al­most a year after John­son died sud­denly at his Nel­son home at the age of 49.

Rachel Greig, who co-owns the jew­ellery shop Rose & Luna, de­cided to ac­quire the stock from John­son’s wife Michelle just be­fore the clo­sure.

‘‘I felt that the Bead Gallery was such an iconic piece of Nel­son his­tory that it just couldn’t dis­ap­pear,’’ said Greig of the store, that served as a hub for bead fix­ers and for­agers for 25 years.

‘‘It com­ple­mented what I was do­ing al­ready. I im­port jew­ellery and jew­ellery mak­ing beads,’’ said Greig, who’s had to move her shop from Mor­ri­son Square to larger premises on Tahu­nanui Drive, in or­der to ac­com­mo­date the col­lec­tion.

Lau­rie trav­elled the world with his wife Michelle, sourc­ing the beads and pre-made jew­ellery from coun­tries in­clud­ing Afghanistan, The Czech repub­lic and China.

What re­mains of John­son’s range ’’would fill a 10 foot con­tainer,’’ with ‘‘about half of it on the shop floor, and half still in

Some of the stock from the Bead Gallery store which has been ac­quired by Rose & Luna.

stor­age,’’ Greig said.

Odette Turner, who man­aged the Bead Gallery, worked with Lau­rie for 16 years.

She said hav­ing the col­lec­tion on dis­play at Rose & Luna was both ex­cit­ing and mov­ing.

‘‘When I went to the shop I saw his favourite bead in the shop win­dow, and it was quite emo­tional... a lit­tle sym­bol that he’s still around.

‘‘Rachel’s got the en­ergy that, I know Lau­rie would be re­ally proud that she’s tak­ing over [the col­lec­tion],’’ Turner said.

‘‘It’s pretty cool that it can get back out into the com­mu­nity rather than just dwin­dle away some­where.. the beads can keep going around the world’’

Rose & Luna are also plan­ning on us­ing the col­lec­tion for jew­ellery mak­ing work­shops and par­ties.

Rachel Greig, owner of Rose and Luna jew­ellery store, and shop as­sis­tant Jodie Ha­jgu, in front of the Bead Gallery range.

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