Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Party at Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery

You may have heard me mention the Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery a few times before. This is the place where I really got going making jewelry. Riverwalk opened it's doors in early 2006, in Amesbury, Massachusetts. We had just moved to Amesbury the previous year. Discovering the new shop and meeting owner, Nancy Plante was one of the biggest turning points in my life and jewelry-making career.

I remember my husband and I were driving through the center of Amesbury on a cold Winter day. As we drove past the old train station building, I glanced up. I spotted a banner hanging about the door. It read, 'Riverwalk Beads'. I kept starring...and I tried to look back behind us as the car drove past. "Did that just say BEADS?!?!" I said. Good thing I wasn't driving because I think I would have crashed into something! I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. I had just been thinking to myself that I really wished there was a local bead store or bead society or some beading community that I could somehow be apart of. (It would be another few years before I discovered the online community.) And, here there was a bead shop opening up in the same town I was currently living in. This was amazing!

As we were out and about that day, I could stop thinking about what I had seen. "It didn't look like it was open yet when we drove by." I thought. As soon as we got home, I scrambled to my computer and googled 'Riverwalk Beads' to see if I could find out any information. I found a starter website and a grand-opening date!!! OH, I was going to be there with bells on. That was for sure. I was so psyched and excited up about this new bead shop opening, I felt like a crazed, crazy person.

The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery - Bead side.

The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery - Artist Gallery side.

The grand-opening day finally came and I was there. I was in awe, as I walked into the interior of this shop. It's one big, beautiful space! It used to be an old, abandoned train depot. Owner, Nancy Plante worked her magic, put loads of love into the building and returned it to it's former glory. It's a huge, wide open space with high ceilings and gorgeous wood floors. The walls are painted red with local art, handmade wall hangings and bead strands all over them. It's half bead shop, half artisan gallery. There is art, beads, jewelry and inspiring handcrafted items everywhere you look.

Being a lover of beads, jewelry and handcrafts, you can image how over-stimulated I was! To say I was overwhelmed, seems like an understatement. It was a good overwhelmed, though. Overwhelmed with joy! The shop was something extra special and I was determined to be apart of this incredible place.

Over the course of the next few months, I showed up at the store a LOT. I got to know Nancy very well. She knew I loved the shop and wanted to be involved, but she couldn't afford to hire another person at the time. Finally, she offered to let me teach some beading workshops even though I'd never taught before. I taught my first beading classes at the shop in the Summer of 2006. Soon after I had a few teaching experiences under my belt, Nancy hired me to work at the shop part-time. I worked at Riverwalk for 4 years and I taught a good number of jewelry-making classes and private lessons during my time there. (I left the shop in 2010, after I had my daughter, Nora.) I built many great relationships with other artists and I met so many wonderful people there.

Me and Lorelei, July 2009

In fact, speaking of meeting wonderful people, The Riverwalk Bead Shop is the place I met Lorelei Eurto in person for the first time in July of 2009. You can read about our first meeting on this post. Then, Lorelei and her husband, Joe returned again for another visit the following year, in July 2010. You can read about our second meeting here. This is when the collaboration on our book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry all began!

Everything has come full circle. I'm going back to the place where is all started. I'm going back to my jewelry-making roots. It feels like I'm returning 'home' to celebrate one of the most significant events of my entire life, the release of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry! It means so much to me to share this moment with my biggest supporters and dearest friends. I can not think of anything more fitting than celebrating the book's launch at the Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery with all my friends, family and anyone else who would like to party! ;) I can not imagine having it any other way.

Save the date! 
When: Saturday, May 26th 2012
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Where: The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery
32 Elm Street
Amesbury, Ma. 01913
 Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery on Facebook!

On May 26th, the Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery will be hosting the very first event for our book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry, written by me and my co-author Lorelei Eurto. Come meet me, get your book signed, enjoy some refreshments and see some of the Jewelry from the book in person! Select pieces will be on display and for sale. If you are local or (or not!) and you are in the area, please come and celebrate with me! It will be a blast!


  1. Congratulations Erin! The book looks gorgeous and appealing on the Jewelry Making Daily website. I hope that this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful career! So proud of you!

  2. Sounds like a really fantastic event, congratulations! If I lived closer, I would totally be there!! I really enjoyed reading the story about how you discovered The Riverwalk Bead Shop. I had one of those moments several summers ago while vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains in the small town of Inlet. A small bead shop opened up and offered classes. I was ecstatic as bead shops are few and far between in the ADK Mnts. Each summer, I looked forward to taking a class there during my vacation. The owner has since moved back to her home in Arizona, so the store has closed but it was great while it lasted!

  3. You have me so excited for you that I want to hop on a plane and be there to meet you in person! I think that it is so lovely this tribute to Nancy and the place that started it all! You are a marvelous talent in your own right and it was just the right set of circumstances that put that seed in you to sprout into something so marvelous and wonderful! Kudos to you on this super event! Know that I will be there with you in spirit! Enjoy the day, Miss Erin! Erin (the other ;-)

  4. What a wonderful story! I wish you and Lorelei the best as you Celebrate the book launch. I cant wait to get my copy!!

  5. You know how bad I wish I could be there. Good thing I get to see you shortly after that! Good luck with it and take lots of photos!

  6. That is a great story Erin! I just received my promo copy of the book last night and it is beautiful. You should be so proud and I am sure it is just the start of many more wonderful things to come for you in the jewelry making world! Have fun!


  7. I plan on being there at least for an hour or so! I'd love to meet both of you since I've followed your blogs (sans comment) for over a year now!

    Quick question, will copies of the book be available or should I buy one now so I can bring it with me? (and you know, to devour the contents earlier rather than later!)

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Oh, I'm so glad to hear you are coming, but I'm sorry to say Lorelei won't be there. Unfortunately, she has other plans. It will just be me, but I will have some of Lorelei's gorgeous jewelry designs from the book on display! I will have books for sale as well. I hope it will be worth it for you to come. Are you local? Where are you coming from? Looking forward to meeting you!

    2. I am local! After reading this post I actually looked up homes in Amesbury since my fiance is an artist and I'm a scientist but I definitely would love to craft more!

      I'm currently living in Billerica, Ma and I've wanted to go to this bead shop forever, so I'm so glad that you'll be there!

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  9. Congratulations on the book, it's wonderful! I really enjoyed meeting you today and seeing all of the beautiful creations in person.


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