GLEN ELLYN – One day a few years ago, Sharon Dotson decided to wear one of her latest necklace creations to go grocery shopping.
While Dotson was walking through Jewel, she got the sense she was being followed. It turns out she was – by a woman who wanted to know where she had gotten her necklace.
The encounter ended with the woman purchasing the necklace right there in the store.
From repurposed vintage pieces to flashier jewelry sets, Dotson’s “A Bella Bead Boutique” in downtown Glen Ellyn has something for everyone.
The new jewelry store brings a variety of unique accessories and do-it-yourself classes to its location at 485 N. Main St., Unit D, within the Banyan Tree Mall.
The boutique opened Oct. 12, after Dotson decided to launch her own location after the recent closings of two other suburban sites where she had sold her jewelry and taught classes.
“I needed to find a place, and I just really liked the Glen Ellyn atmosphere,” she said.
Dotson began designing jewelry in the 1990s when she failed to find something from a store to wear to a wedding.
So she took matters into her own hands, buying beads and crystals and creating a specific look.
Dotson received compliments from others at the wedding who wanted her to make pieces for them as well. As time passed, requests came from customers interested in learning how to make the jewelry themselves, leading Dotson to expand her offerings to include classes.
“It just kind of evolved from there,” she said.
Dotson creates various jewelry pieces, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and brooches. She also designs vintage wedding bouquets and picture frames, and is looking into finding a handbag vendor so she can offer purses in her boutique as well.
Classes at A Bella Bead Boutique will vary each month. At the end of each class, participants will have a piece they created to take home.
Groups may also arrange to host jewelry-making parties at the boutique.
“She does everything,” said Carol White, executive director of the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn. “She has a great base of customers she’s also bringing to downtown Glen Ellyn.”