Mrs Bead’s jewellery making parties in Lancashire

Beads galore

Beads galore - Credit: Archant

For many people, a pipedream is just that. But Earby’s Rachael Brennan made hers a reality by becoming Mrs Bead. Words by Rebekka O’Grady

Bead party....

Bead party.... - Credit: Archant

‘It was just a hobby for a while, and every now and again I said it would be good to try and set up a business. I never thought it would actually happen!’ says Rachael Brennan, who in 2013 while on maternity leave set up her own business, Mrs Bead. ‘I realised it would have cost me more in nursery fees than I could actually earn returning to work as a teaching assistant at a local primary school. So I had an idea to combine my jewellery-making hobby and my experience of working with children to generate a bit of extra cash.’

However Rachael, 36, didn’t quite expect Mrs Bead to change her life so dramatically. Soon after launching a website and Facebook page, her diary was looking very busy with bookings for parties and workshops.

‘I did a free party and shared the pictures and then one party just lead to another,’ said the mother-of-two who lives in Earby with her husband, Robin. ‘Since the business began in October 2013 I have done around 250 parties and workshops, beading with people aged from three to 83.’

The jewellery-making parties and workshops proved such a hit that Rachael finds herself travelling throughout Lancashire and occasionally into Yorkshire. ‘People find out about me through word-of-mouth, ’ she continued, before explaining that it’s not only children who enjoy Mrs Bead parties.

‘Clitheroe library got in touch and asked me to do something there, so I run regular workshops making beaded bookmarks. I am also starting to do events with the WI and a group of Salterforth ladies I now call the Beadettes regularly update me with their creations.’

Rachael, who still works two days a week at Salterforth Primary School, says she loves being Mrs Bead and the effect the parties have on those who attend.

‘The kids are really proud at the end of the session with what they have made. I don’t want it to be tat, it’s something they can keep and cherish.’

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She goes on to say that some have even taken up the hobby in their own time, with one young girl spending the money she received for her 13th birthday on beads from eBay to make charms for a charity that raises awareness about juvenile diabetes.

‘It’s just such a joyful job,’ said Rachael, who in the future would like to create her own range of kits for people to bead at home. ‘I want to continually develop the Mrs Bead brand and maybe even franchise it. ’

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