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Rebranded Store Gets Into The Jewelry Bead Biz

The former National Supply Co. has relocated to Creve Coeur in the form of ibella Beads

The husband and wife team of Carl and Laura Strasser want you to know that this is not your parents' National Supply Company.

National Supply, which used to sell raw materials for making jewelry and was based in an office building at 9666 Olive Boulevard in Olivette, has a new name and a new home in Creve Coeur.

ibella Beads, in the Creve Coeur Plaza, on New Ballas Road at Olive, opened in late November after Thanksgiving. 

The store offers finished pieces and materials customers can use to build their own works, be it for a child's teacher or even a wedding present. Staff can also build pieces.

The Strassers, who bought the company in the spring of 2011, calls it all part of "de-mystifying" jewelry.

"People are starting to recognize their hidden talents. I think we’re getting away from the disposable society where we spend a lot of money on a lot of things and really focusing on our talents and our ability to make things ourselves," he said.

Visitors can participate in classes and stop by for bead nights, where people can bounce creative ideas off eachother. Kids can hold birthday parties and get their picture taken in a "Princess Chair."

“There’s no one way to do anything. Everybody’s creation can be different and unique, and we like that,” Laura Strasser said.

ibella Beads is the latest in a line of businesses to come to Creve Coeur offering customers the chance to make their own artform, following Painting With A Twist and The Painting Spot.

Carl said they looked around for a location and were attracted to Creve Coeur's access to highways and restaurants, and that the couple felt a collective "hug" by neighboring businesses.

“This affords us a beautiful location, that was centrally located and really the neighbors and the businesses around us really welcomed us,” he said. 

So how did the name National Supply Co. turn into ibella Beads?

The Strassers, who also have business experience in the beauty supply industry, said a group of people were brainstorming names and ibella, which the couple used in a previous family business came up.

"We just played around with it. It kept sticking," Laura said, after going through a littany of names which played on the bead theme. "Ibella seemed elegant and it was simple and its memorable and people will say, 'Oh I think I've heard of that' and it seems somewhat common, it seems like something you would hear." 

The store has 14 employees, with hopes of expanding not only in the St. Louis region, but elsewhere in the midwest.

An Alton, IL location will open in January.

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