Lives: Avon Lake
Where can people find your beads?
My beads are at 32961 Pin Oak Parkway. We’re only open four days a month. Our next four days are Sept. 21 to 24 and you can look for us at Beadshopfinder.com.
You are interested in beads and have a bead show in Avon Lake — are you an old hippie?
Yes I am. Beads are very “earthy.” People like making and creating — the artistic things you can make with them — so they’ve always been around. I started with turquoise and silver and the puka shells and my interest kept growing and growing.
How many types of beads do you have?
A couple hundred thousand.
What’s your oldest bead?
I have ammonite fossil beads that are over 70 million years old. They were a living creature.
Who collects beads?
Anyone from school kids learning the art of jewelry design to people who come here from Chicago, Saks Fifth Avenue, mom and pa stores, boutiques and individual jewelry designers who do it for a living. We supply them with the “parts.”
Is there a color that’s most popular?
No, no, no. There’s so many colors out there. Beads usually follow the fashion of the clothing industry, but a lot of times the clothing industry may follow the fashion of jewelry. It depends on the season or the designer. Sometimes, maybe orange is hot, so everybody wants that, but in general it’s the individual creating his own look.
What are some of your more unique beads?
The ammonites I mentioned before and the emerald and ruby beads.
When you’re not here counting the beads, do you have any hobbies?
Beads. That’s it. That’s my hobby. Later, I will probably open a camp for children, about a 25 to 50 acre plot of land. Then I’m dead, but I’ll have something to leave. But some kid will be walking around enjoying it. I love nature, I study herpetology — reptiles and amphibians, but we have no children, so when we go that’s why I would like to have something where inner-city kids can go and see a turtle, a frog, a fish.
And you wife’s name is?
Jeri Ann. She’d definitely say she is the anchor. She makes sure the bookkeeping and everything is done.
Who is your friend Charlie?
I was at a lumber festival about 20 years ago in northern Michigan. There was a piece of wood, and I asked this guy, “Can you make a bear with your chain saw” and he said “sure” — and it’s been with me ever since.
How much did it cost you to “adopt” Charlie?
Is he going to be at your park for the kids?
Oh, yeah. That will be pretty cool.
Beads attract friendly people. Nice people. It’s a peaceful business. It’s not like a bar where you have to deal with someone’s radical change in personality as the night goes on.
Chronicle photographer Chuck Humel shines the spotlight on the people of Lorain County each week. Know someone worthy of 15 Minutes? E-mail email@example.com.