Does anyone really need to say that 2020 is the darkest timeline? I’m doing my best to hold on to the things for which I’m thankful—having a job, having the studio and a house big enough to give the unicorn and me enough space to give each other plenty of alone time and having a lifetime of craft supplies in the studio.

One of the small (not small?!) changes that has bummed me out is the closing of The store and the site have been a constant in my life for the last 10 years. They have been around longer than that, but I only found them once I started making jewelry.

They announced in late January of this year that change was afoot and that the goal for 2020 was to “embrace change and grow in new directions.” On March 18 came another email saying they were downsizing their selection. And then, on May 11, came the email saying they were closing. I’m trying to not think too much about how things might have been different for Fusion Beads had there been no virus. (Note: I’m well aware that this long lament pales in comparison to all of the woes others are experiencing right now. This is just my goodbye to a business that has meant a lot to me.)

Ever since I began making jewelry, Fusion Beads has been my favorite source for beads and beading supplies. (When the store was open, it was important to differentiate between Fusion Beads and For ease, I’m going to use Fusion Beads from here on out.)

I took so many classes there. Several of the employees knew me by name. The store was bright and colorful and welcoming, and I loved it. Even though I bought a lot of beads from FB online while the store was open, there was still something so nice about looking at beads in person and finding items I didn’t know that I needed or wanted.

Once the store closed, I supported the website to the best of my ability—and the insane amount of beads on my shelves are proof .

I’ve placed my final order from the site, and it’s not a great feeling. I know there are still other places to buy beads—even in Washington. I can’t shake the feeling that with the market not a reality for me this summer and and Fusion Beads closing, it’s some kind of message or sign for my business. I know that’s pure silliness, but it’s all part of the weirdness that is this year.

These photos are such a small representation of the classes I took. There were resin classes, an etching class, a twisty-wire-wrappy necklace, one with the Ricks beading loom and so many more. Fusion Beads. You were loved. You will be missed!

I did not make these in a class, but I turned to for these patterns.

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