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February 19, 2014

Beadworks bids farewell to Franklin

The longtime village retailer will close next month

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

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Beadworks bids farewell to Franklin
Beadworks owner Nomi Joyrich, left, and manager Kathy Mamat prepare to close the Franklin store in early March.

FRANKLIN — Beadworks, a downtown Franklin retail staple, will close its doors for good early next month.

Owner Nomi Joyrich made the announcement recently, citing declining sales as the reason the shop would close. She sent an email out to several of Beadworks’ most loyal customers, who were shocked and saddened by the news.

“A lot of our customers are like family. They come in here for what they think is going to be five minutes, and they end up spending hours and hours here,” she said.

Joyrich took over Beadworks from her mother and longtime Franklin resident Ida Joyrich. Ida Joyrich and Ghinda Marrich opened the store 31 years ago in downtown Franklin because they wanted a charming location for their unique business venture.

“They were friends, and they both had a passion for beading not long after they both became empty-nesters,” Nomi Joyrich said. “Bead stores were pretty unheard of, and this is the oldest bead store in Michigan.”

Over the years, Beadworks drew a following of customers looking for unique and beautiful beads to adorn jewelry, clothing, purses and more. The shop was also known for its custom jewelry design work and jewelry-making classes.

The venture was a bit of a change for Joyrich, who moved back home to Michigan from Seattle to take over Beadworks. She worked as an elementary school social worker in Seattle, but it’s a change she said she’s glad she made.

“It’s not a regular store. It’s a really special place. For me, as an artist, it’s been incredible just to be creative all day and just design jewelry all day. It’s just an amazing thing,” she said.

Beadworks manager Kathy Mamat, of West Bloomfield, has worked at the store for 24 years. Asked what she’ll miss most about the job, Mamat could barely get the words out without tearing up.

“What do they say? ‘If you love what you do, you’ve never worked a day in your life.’ That’s how I’ve felt every single day,” she said. “I moved here from Washington, D.C., and I was working at home, making children’s clothing and designing children’s rooms. I came (to Beadworks) for embellishments for the clothing line I was making, and I thought, ‘Gee. I’m sick of working from my home.’ So I came in and talked to Ida and said, ‘I’d like to work here from 10-3 every day,’ and she said, ‘Fine.’”

Though Ida Joyrich hasn’t run the shop in several years, she’s stayed on hand as bookkeeper. She’s heartbroken to see the store go, her daughter said, but she has three decades of memories to take with her.

“Customers come in, and we know their whole life story,” said Nomi Joyrich. “They tell us, ‘We came here and we made jewelry and we remember making bracelets when we were little girls.’ And then they come here to have jewelry made for their weddings, and then we make them something to wear to their baby shower, and their kids are coming in to have something made for their bat mitzvah. We’ve really been a part of their whole life cycle.”

Nomi Joyrich will continue to create custom jewelry designs, instruct private classes and parties, and take orders for jewelry repairs at her home. She’ll retain the store’s phone number and website so customers can easily find her.

Beadworks is also liquidating its remaining inventory until the store finally closes March 8. For more information, visit www.franklinbeadworks.com or call (248) 855-5230.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.