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About Us

Nordic Gypsy Beads & Jewelry opened in August of 1994. We are a bead and jewelry store in Rochester, Minnesota. We are located downtown, within walking distance of the Mayo Clinic, and nestled in between a couple of antique stores on Historic Third Street.

Meet the People of Nordic Gypsy

Beth Kraft bought the store with her husband Curt in the Spring of 1996. Beth has been involved in art her whole life. Some of her art interests are design, watercolor, and collage. Her favorite thing about Nordic Gypsy is the people - the customers, teachers, bead salespeople, and employees that have passed through the store over the years. Beth teaches at several of the national bead shows.

Curt Kraft, our fearless vice-president provides much-needed support in the form of sweet treats, pizza, light-bulb changing assistance, and helpful advice. He tears himself away from the Nordic Gypsy to work at retirement. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, reading and traveling.

Debbie is the store early bird Monday through Friday. Ordering and receiving inventory she keeps us supplied with new and interesting beads. Size 15/o seed beads are some of Debbie's favorite things as you can observe in several of her jewelry designs she sells at the store. Outside the store, she enjoys her grandchildren, camping, and exploring the western states.

Tracy V.  joined the store in 2006 working Tuesday through Saturday. Scheduling classes and staff she keeps our calendar full.  She has been experimenting with polymer clay and sells her beads and jewelry in the store. Tracy won honorable mention in the first Bead Star competition with her Queen of Hearts necklace.

Samantha F., "Sam", joined the staff in 2004 when she turned 16 years old. She works Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday and Saturday. She is attending college for business managment and marketing. Sam is interested in art and also helps coach the Rochester Shining Stars Cheer Team. Turquoise, whether the stone or the color, is one of Sam's favorites and can be seen in handcrafted pieces available in the store. 

Paula H.  has worked at the store since 2002. Cheerful and fun, she starts our week on Mondays with a big smile. She enjoys quilting, taking her dog Greta (a registered therapy dog) to the pediatric floor of the hospital, tennis, and volunteering. Paula's favorite color is red. Her jewelry has a 'sundance' influence but is all her own style and is also available in the store.

Former staff members are listed below with the year they started. Several employees have returned every year to help us do inventory (groan). We keep in touch with many of the staff through visits, phone calls, and emails. It is fun to hear about their life adventures and new experiences that influence their jewelry designs. 

Vicki V. 2004 
                                      
Brandon P.
2003                     
Brenda L.
2003

Lisa N. 2001                        
Jan M.
2001                            
Teri T.
2001
Rebecca O. 2001                 

Rebecca P. 2000                     
Courtney C.
2000

Emily S. 1999                      
Chris C.
1999
                          
Laurie C.
1998
Joan P. 1998                       
Kathy W.
1998                       
Willow S.
1998
Carolyn M. 1998                   

Jason K.
1997                        
LeeAnne T.
1997
Kate B. 1997                       
Joyce G.
1997                        
Kris H. 1997

Eric F.
1996                         
Kennerae S.
1996                
Judy F.
1996
Judy     1996

Judy D.
1994

Tips For Our Customers

Please, please, please ask us questions, bring us your bead or class requests, and show us your finished pieces - or pictures of your children or pets!

Also, our classroom is available for you to use if we are not holding a class. You can sit in the back, use our tools, peruse our books and magazines, and ask us for help.

We have a kid’s table for the little ones; and, for spouses who aren’t interested in beads (egads!), there is a bakery/café close by. Also, if there is something that you think we can improve upon, let us know that too!

New Beaders

We understand when you are overwhelmed by all of the choices! Sometimes, we feel that way too! Let us know that you are a new beader.

Tell us, "I’ve never done this before but I’d like to make a necklace (or whatever it is you want to make)." We’ll show you a simple way to make a necklace and we’ll tell you how to select beads at our store, using a tray, plastic bags, and a marker.

If what you want to make is challenging, we will either show you some books or magazines or talk to you about classes. If you would like further help selecting colors or designing the necklace, let us know. We love to "play" at work! We hope that you enjoy playing with color and design too! Don’t worry about your "artistic ability."

We often hear, unfortunately, from beginners, "I’m not artistic; I have no color sense." Here are two secrets we have learned. First, everyone is creative and that means you too! Secondly, beading is about playing, not perfectionism. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just make sure you’re having a good time. A note about classes - most can accommodate beginners. If you feel unsure of the difficulty level of a class, ask us for advice.
 
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