May 21, 2015


The New Apple Watch by She Beads

There is something beautiful and precious of doing things the simple way, and this is brought back to life with the new Apple Watch created by She Beads. While tech companies the world over have attempted to make hi-tech watches look stylish while simultaneously performing a function, there is something about them that just doesn't scream fashionable, until now.

She Beads has made the seemingly impossible, possible. With tons of 'useful features' included, this less expensive alternative to the aesthetically displeasing watches can do [basically] everything the same, if not better.

For instance, weather forecasting is now quick, easy, and doesn't require a Wifi password. Simply put the watch on, step outside, and you'll know what outfit will suit the current weather conditions. Additionally, there is no constant worrying about battery life, because this beauty has the life of three years, guaranteed. This means no charging, no cords, simply no strings attached.

The features don't stop with weather and battery life, however. Fitness is now infinitely improved as well! It's true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and what better way to remember this health-conscious mantra than to see the very fruit itself on your own wrist everyday. The Apple Watch is also your new workout buddy, just accessorize it with the latest fashion of patterned leggings and sweat deterring jacket for the cutest outfit in spin class.

Family disputes and sibling battles starting over data usage every month? Well no more! The money saved and stress relieved from this device is truly heaven sent. No data requirements mean less money out of your wallet, and a happier, healthier home life. You're welcome for that too.

While this is a humorous take on the latest technological advancement, this watch includes the same care and devotion as any other product handmade in the Wilmette studio. The double strand of small beads connect with a stainless steel watch face, and the ability to fit any size wrist is another She Beads plus that can't be beat.

Finally, if you're still looking for the perfect gift for the kids' teachers, look no further. What better way to apologize for little Johnny pulling Sally's hair than to appreciate the teachers that deal with your little angels for eight hours a day? The watch is perfect for any grade school teacher, principle or math tutor who wants to brag about an individual and unique Apple Watch.


FARE Spring Luncheon

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) is an organization that works to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with food allergies. Every year, the organization raises money through an awareness walk, and last year the walk raised about $3 million. They also push to provide life-saving allergy devices in schools to make relief easier and less expensive for students with allergies.

She Beads has been working with FARE for over six years, and we have even produced several custom clay designs for the organization. The designs show the top nine allergens that affect kids everyday. She Beads loves to help out with such a positive organization geared towards helping those with allergies, as well as their families.

At the luncheon, the Keynote speaker Carla Hall elaborated on her philosophy to always "cook with love" that is present in all her cooking, as well as her past participation in popular cooking shows like Top Chef. Carla strongly believes that food and cooking are reflections of a person's mood, "If you're not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a reservation." Carla is currently a co-host on a daytime lifestyle show called The Chew. Her colleagues on the show are a range of people including famous restaurant owners, health and wellness experts, and an entertainment specialist. Her accomplishments do not stop there as she is a successful author of cooking books that focus on worldwide cuisine and comfort foods.

She Beads and Carla Hall have definite similarities. For instance, Carla is interested in having personality shine through in her cooking and philosophies she shares, and so is She Beads. We are a company dedicated to making the best product we can for our customers, and letting individuality shine through is just one of the benefits that come from handmade products. Our love of what we do defintiely shines through in the quality of our product, a thought that aligns perfectly with Carla's philosophy to "cook with love".

'That Bites' was a documentary featured at the luncheon, and was created by 13-year-old Jack Yonover of Wilmette. He talked of how at first, he underestimated the impact an allergy would have on his life, but also how he became stronger in spite of having a severe allergy. See this link for an article from the Chicago Tribune which expands on his fight to bring awareness of allergies to light.

Not too informed about food allergies? Here are some need-to-know facts!

  • One in thirteen children have a food allergy which translates to almost two in every classroom
  • Almost 40% of children with food allergies have already experienced a life threatening reaction
  • Every three minutes, a child is sent to the emergency room as a result of a severe reaction
  • U.S. families pay roughly $25 billion every year to care for a child with a severe allergy

How to get involved with FARE:

  • The FARE Walk for Food Allergy will be held on October 4th in Chicago's Lincoln Park! Make a team with family, friends, or even coworkers and sign up!
  • Join the FARE Advocacy Network to make your voice heard about allergies and how to either cope with having one or supporting someone who does (
  • FARE offers amazing personalized campaigns and fundraisers for several events


Mother's Day Guide

She Beads' Best Gifts for Mom

If we could only buy our Mothers a gift to thank them for all that they do, still do, have done, and will do for us. WE LOVE MOMS! Half the time we forget all the wonderful/gross things that they have done for us... dirty diapers anyone? And how about all those life lessons that we've tried to get right... even today. So, consider this list a small guide to thanking Mom for all those lunches she packed. 


So, let's begin. Where can you always find mom?

In the garden:

Shop all the new Mother's Day flower-power designs

At the Blackhawks game:

In her new meditation room:


Running errands:


At the next fundraiser:


With her girlfriends:

Hmmm... She's quite one-of-a-kind: 

           Shop all One-of-a-Kind items

Our African Trade Bead Backstory

There we were in the parking lot out behind our studio on a freezing cold day in December checking out what the guy who knocked on our door was selling out of his van. Shady? Safe? Legit?

Completely safe and legit. We were more than happy to see Ebrima Sillah of Bead Paradise II in Oberlin, Ohio, who swung by with TONS of beautiful, handmade African trade beads. In the cold, we peered into the many tubs of beads in the van and picked a few to bring inside.

And that’s when the fun began! We were in hog heaven as Ebrima pulled out strand after strand of the most gorgeous beads. And, we learned so much from him about African trade beads—including those made in Venice, Italy with millefiori techniques—just like what we do at She Beads with our clay canes!

The antique glass trade beads were mainly produced in the 1600s-1800s in Europe. They were used by European merchants to trade with African peoples for palm oil, spices, precious stones, gold and ivory. However, there are even older African trade beads (called “ancient”) that were made as long as 2,000 years ago out of natural materials (such as amber, wood and coral) by tribal people throughout West and East Africa.

Newer varieties of African trade beads are made from recycled glass in Ghana and batik bone in Kenya, both of which is what we bought. We were glad to hear that Bead Paradise has long-standing relationships with many bead traders who typically run a small family business (like us) and are creating job opportunities in their communities.

Out of everything Ebrima showed us, Sandy picked out the beads in colors she used to create the Pistachio arm candy bracelets and necklaces. I picked out beads in two color sets—one for the Crème Brûlée collection and one for the Raspberry Tart collection. Inspired by the gorgeous colorful beadwork of African culture, each color story holds the history and traditions of West Africa. In each one, we were inspired to create some new, unique designs, like the Sheath necklace with 

Shop our new collections in Pistachio, Crème Brûlée and Raspberry Tart!

Thanks for the Memories, MJ

Every year around Valentine’s Day, I think back to about how She Beads got started and marvel at our journey over the last 22 years. So, just thought I’d share…

It was 1993 and I was on the medical team for the Chicago Bulls as an X-ray technician. One day, I was chilling in the locker room making beaded bracelets for a fundraiser at my kids’ grade school. Just a hobby for me, using beads out of a catalog and stored in my basement.

So, Michael Jordan walks by and says “Hey, Sandy, make me some beads.” I tried to resist, but really, who can resist Michael Jordan. ;-) So, quick-like-a-bunny, I got serious about learning how to make my own beads out of clay. And, I taught myself how to make designs in the ancient art of millefiori, which actually came pretty easily given my experience in reading patterns in X-rays.

On February 17, 1993—Michael Jordan’s birthday—I gave him a clay bead bracelet that I’d designed just for him. It was black and red (the Bulls’ colors) with a touch of ivory. He loved it! (I called the design “MJ”…and we still make beads in that pattern to this day…) Then teammates Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman said “Me, too!” And the rest is history.

He Beads was born.

I stayed with the Bulls and ran He Beads out of my basement for a few years. By then, I’d expanded to add She Beads for women. And, I was ready to go full-time when we opened our first retail storefront in June 2000 in Wilmette, Ill.

We’ve since added two more product lines—Charity Beads, where we donate a portion of the price to our charity partners, and Intention Beads, which are talismans made at auspicious astrological times.

Now, 22 years later, I’m handing the reins to my daughter, Alexandra, to bring a new vision of She Beads to a new generation. She has been by my side from the start. And I’m looking forward to being by hers while I focus on combining my passions of astrology and bead-making with Intention Beads.

Happy Birthday, Michael! And thanks for the memories!

Today is the day we are launching our BULLS ITEMS. We will be uploading them today

Welcome, Saturn! (Again)

This morning at 10:45 am, the planet Saturn returned to exactly where it was when I was born—my second “Saturn Return.”

Whenever a planet returns to the place it started at your birth, it’s an important time that marks the start of a new cycle. For example, our birthdays are really marking an annual return of the Sun to its place in the sky at our birth—a Solar Return.

So, anyway, this was my second Saturn Return. Second because, unlike the Sun, it takes about 29 years for Saturn to travel through each sign of the zodiac. And, I have to say, I am embracing the lessons that taskmaster Saturn has to offer as I embark on my last third of life. So, a Saturn Return is big. If we’re lucky, we get three in a lifetime.

For starters, it was a little thing—but still an appropriate expression of this time of my life. My hairdresser and I decided just last weekend to let gray be part of my otherwise typically blond color. And, I’m perfectly OK with it—especially since the sign Leo (hair, boldness) is on my ascendant (outward identity) and I absolutely know how to rock it!

More interesting is that I just started a class last night at my spiritual center called “Foundations” that is exactly about what this Saturn Return is about for me.

When I was born, Saturn was in the sign of Sagittarius in my 4th house. Saturn is the planet that teaches us lessons. Sagittarius is the sign that supports freedom and exploration, and is ruled by the planet Jupiter, which governs belief systems and philosophy. The 4th house is at the bottom of a chart, so represents your foundation, home and family.

At my first Saturn Return, I was a fairly new mother and had some tough lessons to learn from Saturn about creating a stable home. I didn’t know anything about astrology then, but I can see now that what I went through was Saturn teaching me some lessons because I hadn’t been paying attention.

But, I got through it, and here I am at my second Saturn go-round. This time, I’m a successful businesswoman and professional astrologer who understands how to use the energy the planets give us. So, at my second Saturn return, I’m exploring my spiritual foundation and actively participating with Saturn to establish a well-grounded root system that represents who I am today.

I am letting go of the past and its associated karma. I am studying the classic “Living the Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes. I am reveling in the personal isolation of living all alone in my own house for the first time in decades because hibernating is how I ground myself.

Today’s Saturn Return is a big marker in my life. A time to reflect on where I’ve been. And, more importantly, a time to recognize that I’m on the right path—aware of the lessons and gifts that Saturn brings and actively applying them to my life.

Good Morning, Sunshine!

The sunrise and I have never been the best of friends. But all of that changed on the first day I had my very first Personal Intention Bracelet with this affirmation:

 “Every sunrise is my gift, to me and from me. I live with love, excitement and freedom. I am successful.”

The sun woke me up that first morning, coming through just the smallest of cracks in a drawn shade and through the door that normally is closed. AND, it was the first day of sunshine we’d had in Chicago for going on three weeks. I can’t tell you how many people that day commented on it—customers at the shop, the mailman, friends. Sunshine was everywhere—even on an NPR segment with a weatherman and in song titles I heard all day on Spotify!

OK, I get it already! I am manifesting my intention! Right now! Right away!

It took me awhile to get there, though. I wanted my first Personal Intention Bracelet to be created at a time that was incredibly meaningful to me—even though my Mom had been nudging me to do one since she first started making them in 2010. Finally, the time was right when I decided it was time to take more ownership in my life, both spiritually and with my career.

So, I talked it over with my Mom, Sandy Rueve, and she found the perfect astrological time to support my intentions and goals. In fact, as we were discussing the chart, it sparked even more ideas and inspirations!

Just like any client she has worked with, Sandy started making the beads for my Personal Intention Bracelet at the exact time we’d picked. And, that’s when I locked myself into a quiet room to meditate on my intention, wrote it down on the first page of a brand-new planning notebook and just kept repeating my affirmation over and over and over. Sure, I’d made promises to myself before, but this was different. This promise I made to myself was in a solemn and meditative state.

My first Personal Intention Bracelet has been an eye-opening experience (no pun intended). I’m sure all those “sun” things would have happened anyway, whether I’d done my bracelet or not. But, the Sun blindsided me that day, and now I know that I have opened a door and let the Sun in.

My bracelet reminds me that the sunrise is a gift to me each day to feel the way I feel and a gift to do what I do. And, now, I’m allowing myself to have it at the beginning of each day. I’m getting up earlier to greet the Sun, and I look forward to each day. Because now I am manifesting my intention and recognize that each day the sun rises is a gift to me—and what I do with that day is my gift to me.

Inquire about a Personal Intention Bracelet

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