Bead Shack … the BIGGEST bead shop between Sydney and Melbourne!
Established: 2004 in Australia
ABN: 17 268 588 584
Address: Shop 18 Rear, & Underneath Millers Arcade, 123-125 Fern Street, Gerringong NSW 2534 Australia
Our store is in the little seaside town of Gerringong, 90 minutes drive south of Sydney (30 minutes south of Wollongong). A fabulous tourist spot with gorgeous beaches, views, cafes & coffee shops as well as Natural Necessity Surf Shop (biggest surf shop in the Southern Hemisphere) and lots of specialty shops too.
Hours: We are open 10am to 4pm everyday. Yep! That's 7 days a week!
Directions: Find the bakery/cake shop in the main street, and go right through the arcade next to it. Out the back you will see a sign that points you down a little pathway, which leads straight to our door, into a wonderland of colourful beads and inspiration!
We sell: We offer the most unique, unusual and vintage beads that you will find available in Australia. This includes beads from South America, Africa, India, Egypt and many more. We also specialise in putting together great instructions and kits so shoppers can grab a quick project - its easy. Expect to find the unusual in a little corner or the amazing hidden away in a jar! We have lots and lots of beads that are very very old stock - you won't find them anywhere else in Australia that we know of. And, at Bead Shack we guarantee our findings - we won't sell you anything that we wouldn't buy for ourselves.
Our History: When we opened, it was a bit of happenstance. The local scout hall had no money to pay the bills for the coming year, and I was in charge of the cheque book (young people won't know what a chequebook is - it's how we used to give money to other people on a piece of paper from the bank LOL). So I said to my 3 girls (they were all living at home then), "what about if we put our beads in the front room (the big hall part was booked for campers) and people might come and see the beads. Anyway, that will give us a chance to get them out of the house and sort it all out nicely before we bring it back home" (we were just selling on eBay when we first began). Well, the first day we had a few people in, and I remember saying to the girls – "maybe we could stick a sign in the window and when the people go to the IGA for their groceries, they might look up and see us" as we were across the road from the bottle shop and IGA grocery store.
Well that was the beginning of our new life! We had between 200 and 300 people a day for every day of the holidays after that. I’ve never seen anything like it. I sat at a card table and counted out beads all day while my girls and any other help we could find, ran classes for all the kids to learn beading. Sometimes we had 25 kids at the table at a time! Some nights about 8pm we had to stand at the door and keep pushing it closed because people were still trying to come in! After 2 weeks of this, I asked an accountant if I would be able to support a business based on the sales we had. She said yes, so we opened up a little shop in an arcade in the main street. In the next 10 months, we went from nothing to 3 shops. The little arcade shop, a big industrial unit down the back of town and a small shop in Ulladulla. We soon condensed all 3 shops back into one after our heads started exploding LOL!
We were in our huge industrial unit for almost 10 years. In June 2015 we moved to our brand new shop underneath and behind the Miller's Arcade in Gerringong. It's lovely to have less dust than the warehouse, and we have now downsized everything to be more manageable, and allow Kerry to travel more after so many years of working 7 days a week! These days (2023) Kerry is practicing for retirement and traveling to Bali a lot to keep warm :-)
Bead Shack is passionate about supporting small business. We shop with small businesses at every opportunity, and we are so appreciative of people supporting our small family business also!
We look forward to having you come to our store and discover our Aladdin's Cave full of treasures!
Personal: We started when I was about 44 years old, and I have 3 daughters Erin, Cassie & Johanna. All the girls have worked at the shop at different stages, even sometimes all together. At this time, 2023, Erin is back after having her family of 3 kids, and Cassie has stayed for the last 16 years. In that time my daughters have given me 9 grandchildren, with possibly 2 more to come! 7 girls, 2 boys. Joey moved away, but is always available for advice. What a joy to have grown not just the family in our wonderful seaside town, but also to have been blessed with a growing family!
Thank you! in advance, for sharing our website, which has been many years of labour, although a labour of love. We love everything about Bead Shack, and hope you do to! More things are being added to the website constantly now that I've finally in 2023 found a photographer that 'gets it'.