Shop keeping Bead Gallery’s legacy alive
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.