The History of Artbeads

Artbeads has been in business since 1999, and since its humble beginnings has become one of the top online retailers of beads and jewelry supplies. Along the way, owners Devin and Cynthia have traveled all over the world in search of the best products available. Here in his own words, Devin tells the story of Artbeads.

“Who is We are a family-run business in the state of Washington that started in our home over 12 years ago. I have always been fascinated with the business of business, and even at a young age was developing opportunities that ranged from selling vegetables that I raised myself to constructing the city’s most popular haunted house for Halloween. Being raised by a family of artists, however, I also developed a fine appreciation of design and have always been attached to the artisan community. Cynthia, who is equally involved in the management of Artbeads, has always been passionate about the customer relationship since working in a high-end fashion store in her home country of New Caledonia. It was this very passion that inspired her to build the Artbeads Learning Center, a place where our community of beaders can gather, learn, and inspire others to do the same. So how did a New York-born me find a New Caledonia catch like Cynthia? In Tokyo, of course! Cynthia was there learning the language so that she could better serve her Japanese clientele, while I was there working in the financial industry. After six years in the big city, though, we wanted to find a place to settle down and raise a family, and Washington seemed the best place to eventually call home.

How did it all start? On a sunny weekend at a craft show in the bucolic town of Port Gamble, Washington, Cynthia’s attention began to turn toward handmade jewelry and I was fortunate enough to meet lampwork artist and educator Larry Brickman, who in a one-day lampworking session reignited my enthusiasm for working warm glass. One thing led to another, and within a short period of time Artbeads was born. Starting off small, we procured our initial inventory of beads at auction on eBay. Our first order was, well, from my mom, but shortly thereafter the volume of orders quickly grew and we began to expand beyond the garage and into the room that was supposed to be our daughter’s. We knew it was time to dedicate ourselves fully to building this business…” Excerpt from the About Us page on

As we look back at the year 2012, we must first remember where it all started 13 years ago. Stay tuned for more Artbeads flashbacks happening this week on the Blog.


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