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Small Business Q&A: Bead Dreams

This established East Cobb niche retailer is a one-stop shop for creators of jewelry, fashion and home decor items.

Rich colors of shiny Czech glass beads, pewter beads sourced from a Marietta supplier and semiprecious stones in organic and cut shapes dangle in strands, filling the small Bead Dreams main show room with potential.

The beaders nirvana in East Marietta Plaza on Roswell Road is easy to pass by because the dozen or so store fronts in the plaza sit well below the grade of the five lane road and compete for attention with neighboring retail at motorists’ eye level.

Sole proprietor Michael Whone is an entrepreneur rather than a crafter. He started selling beads at trade shows and believes that good inventory and service are keys to brick and mortar retail success.

“I love owning a business because I’m able to make a difference in the community by providing people with supplies for their hobbies and by creating jobs,” Whone shares.

Whone’s business occupies three spaces; a premium show room, outlet center stocked with deep discounted merchandise and a classroom for a total of 3,000 square feet.

Beginners and advanced classes are available and are taught by part-time employee Heather Grenning. Bead Dreams also has one full-time employee.

Whone said that the business website provides a small portion of his sales now and he sees ecommerce playing a bigger future role for him.

As owner Whone contributes more than his capital. He is CEO, buyer and janitor. Whone subs out accounting responsibilities; he cites monthly sales tax payments to Georgia Department of Revenue worth hiring a professional to oversee.    

Q. What's the best thing about your job?

A. I can be the architect of opportunity for myself and other people.

Q. What is the best thing about East Cobb?

A. The weather and sand volleyball. The guy next door, at 120 Tavern, lets us play volleyball there.

Q. Why did you choose to open your business in East Cobb?

A. It’s close to home. I live one mile down the road.

Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?

A. This was the first opportunity I had to own my own business. Running your own business opens doors to tremendous possibilities. Once you know how to run a company you can get involved in many kinds of products and services.

Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?

A. We teach classes and do a limited amount of repairs.

Q. When did you start your business?

A. December 2002.

Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?

A. Don’t think about it, just do it. The words of the dying: I should have; I could have; why didn’t I?

If you have your health, be fearless in your pursuit of happiness.

Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?

A. Come visit us. We’re one mile east of the Big Chicken.

Michael Whone, owner

Bead Dreams, LLC.

http://www.beaddreamsllc.com/index.aspx

1478 Roswell Road

770-578-4644

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