Coming Unstrung

Austin loses another longtime local gem as quirky craft shop closes

Austin loses another longtime local gem as quirky craft shop closes

Bead It exterior
Bead It on South Lamar is closing with a final weekend sale. Photo courtesy of Bead It
Bead it Ashley Schor
Ashley Schor is closing her business after nearly two decades, citing rising rents, property taxes, and repairs. Photo courtesy of Bead It
Bead It exterior
Bead it Ashley Schor

For the past 18 years, a quirky little bungalow on South Lamar Boulevard has been home base for Austin's craftiest subculture. Bead It, a locally owned store selling crafting supplies and offering studio space, has transformed into a destination for makers, jewelers, and creatives across Central Texas. And now, like so many local businesses, it is closing its doors. 

Citing rising rent, increased property taxes, and costly building repairs, owner and founder Ashley Schor announced that the shop will officially close its doors at 2508 S. Lamar Blvd. on Sunday, September 27. 

Bead It opened in 2002 selling a small collection of trinkets and, of course, beads. Over the years, the South Austin shop expanded its inventory to include antique jewelry, crafting and maker's supplies, crystals, and vintage goods. The shop also offered classes, transforming the store into a destination for the community to collaborate and create. 

"Over the years, Bead It has adapted many times to meet the needs of our community. That is how we've survived for so long," Schor tells CultureMap. "Now, it's time to adapt again. Adaptation is what makes artists so powerful."

Part of that adaptation is the makeshift celebration planned for Bead It's final days. Running September 26-27, from 10 am-5 pm, customers old and new can say goodbye to Bead It during the Final Farewell and Big Bag Garage Sale. For $5, customers can fill up a big (and they even capitalized BIG) bag of beads, crafting supplies, trinkets, and jewelry.

The shop's furniture, fixtures, display cases, and other pieces will also be for sale. 

"I’m excited about this new creative chapter for myself and I'm proud of what we built together with the community," Schor says. "I'm also really grateful that we were able to operate on South Lamar for as long as we have. I know this is a big loss for a lot of makers, but we are looking forward to seeing people at other spaces in the future like East Side Pop-Up, Austin Flea, and eventually a booth at Uncommon Objects." 

In addition to those Austin markets, Bead It will continue to sell on Instagram @beaditaustin. Schor says a shoppable website is also in the works.