Shop Talk at Pink Flamingo Beads

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Donna Pyka, 51

Owner, Pink Flamingo Beads

71 W. Olentangy St., Powell


So what does your store offer?

We have a fun, energetic environment for people to come in and learn how to make jewelry with beads.

What types of classes do you teach?

We offer everything from the most basic class of how to make a bracelet, to some pretty advanced classes on wire work.

What are they like?

Each class is an independent unit. They tend to be two to three hours long. Most of our classes run between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on weekdays. Generally, people leave with a finished product. The whole point of the beginner's class is that instant gratification-that you come in and you don't know anything, and you leave with a gorgeous, finished bracelet.

How much do they cost?

They run from $30 to $75, with most classes being in the $30 to $45 range. And it's all-inclusive.

You host parties as well, yes?

We do parties for groups of up to eight. We do birthday parties for young and young at heart. And we also do girls night out and team-building parties.

And you have a boatload of beads for sale. Can you describe your selection?

Literally, (we have) a house full of beads! We have everything from the teeniest, tiniest seed beads to glass produced in the Czech Republic. Swarovski crystal, stone and pearls. And a variety of metal findings-the parts and pieces.

You also sell one-of-a-kind jewelry, too. What's it like?

We have artisan jewelry created by about eight artisans in the local area. Each piece is handcrafted; it's not a mass-produced item. And I have beautiful, talented designers.

Do you do custom work?

Yes! We can redesign jewelry. We do repairs. And we can basically create a piece of jewelry to go with a special outfit or a special dress.

What sparked your interest in doing this?

I actually started beading as therapy when I went back to get my degree in occupational therapy.

And you didn't even wear earrings until you started making them. What are your feelings about jewelry now?

If I don't have at least a pair of earrings on, I don't feel dressed!

What's your favorite piece?

It's a piece based around some handmade Polymer clay beads I made. It's a big, chunky, multi-strand necklace with earth tones. It's probably the only piece of jewelry I wouldn't part with.