The Modern Evolution of Beading

Things that are always evolving include social media, work-out trends, food fads and now, beading. Beading simply used to mean the act of stringing beads together but has now become an umbrella term for jewelry making and can include mediums as diverse and cool as riveting, sawing, stamping and enameling. I recently sat down with one of the artists at Panache Gems and Beads in Short Pump and got a crash course in the craft and beauty of “beading” as well as first hand details of their debut at RVA Fashion Week with the City Skyline trunk show.

Panache Collage 1How did the store get its name? “Panache” is a French work that means, “with style.” The name was to chosen reflect the attitude and flair that comes from design work with jewelry.

How long has Panache been in Richmond? Panache has been in the Short Pump area for 3 ½ years and has seen tremendous growth, becoming known as a high-end, reputable bead store.

Panache Collage 2What types of services/classes do you offer and what are the costs associated with them? Panache has a range of services (all available on our website!), but some of our most popular services are custom designed pieces, repairs, and scrapping (cash for your old metal). We also teach a huge variety of classes that include metal forming, seed/bead work, texturing, stone setting, bridal, and basic beading. A very popular class is Kumihimo, a style of Japanese braiding. The costs vary according to services, but we do offer basic classes at $27 per class with materials included as well as more complex free classes with all materials to be purchased through Panache. At Panache, you can also purchase ready-made jewelry, but our stand out service is the ability to create your own design. We have high end beads, silver, findings, fire polished copper, turquoise, chains, crystals, and charms (just to name a few)!

How many artists are at Panache; what are their backgrounds? We are a small business, but we work as team. We currently have 5 artists and we all do it all – the website, inventory, teaching classes, traveling to shows and everything else that needs to get done. We look for artists with backgrounds in fine arts. Three of our artists earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and many often have specific concentrations in craft or jewelry that lends itself to the diverse projects we are able to complete.

Panache Collage 3What makes Panache stand out? We strive to present positive customer service. We work individually with each client and can base designs on their own ideas.  It is sometimes so much simpler (and cheaper) to create that one-of-a-kind piece you are looking for than just buying it. We help people discover that through the art of making jewelry.

What is Panache’s role in RVA Fashion Week?  Panache will be providing fun, affordable, ready-made fashion jewelry for the City Skyline Trunk Show this Sunday 4/28. The pieces chosen will be those that are good for both every day wear as well as a few stand-out pieces and those that vary in price.

As a huge supporter of Richmond and all things local, I hope you enjoyed this interview and will check out their work if you are in town for RVA Fashion Week on Sunday! Panache has also been kind enough to gift one lucky reader with a free class that includes materials to create a bracelet and necklace!

  • Prize package: A free class + materials to make a necklace and bracelet
  • Short and sweet to enter: Leave a comment on this post with the phrase, “BEAD ME” and tell me… wha is your favorite type of jewelry? Do you like making your own?
  • Ends: Friday, May 3rd at 9pm EST
  • How many wins?: One (Richmond only – classes are held locally)
  • Rules: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be chosen randomly (the old slips in a hat trick or and announced on the Monday following the close as an update to the original post.

Note: This is not a sponsored post but a way to share great local things that are happening in the Richmond community! In fact, Panache offered the giveaway to me, but I turned it around and am offering it to YOU!

Pssst. Also make sure to check out their Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and web pages.


6 thoughts on “The Modern Evolution of Beading

  1. BEAD ME

    My favorite type of jewelry is a necklace. I really love making jewelry. I think I enjoy pairing the different colors together, particularly when using turquoise or coral!

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