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“Family and spending time together is much more important than money.”
-Stacy Murphy

A Working Transition

Through the eyes of the beadholder

The Bead Store

Market Beads, a small business in Liverpool is Stacy Murphy’s dream turned reality. She opened the hobby store over five years ago to the chagrin of many naysayers.

“Nobody believed that I could ever make it, that I could ever make a dime,” said Murphy, owner of Market Beads. “So you knew I had to prove them wrong, which I did thank goodness.”

Stacy, a self-proclaimed over achiever, has made a living off of selling beads by establishing a rapport with many of her customers that keeps them coming back.

“They know your name and they make you feel welcome, and they help you. I always need a lot of help with my beading,” said longtime customer Barbara Burr, who has shopped at Market Beads since the store opened in May 2006.

Bead Economics

Even in a down economy, Stacy is still able to make a profit.

“The economy of the bead market is great. It’s very misunderstood,“ Murphy said. “Crafts and hobbies have been around forever. There’s just money to be made in it.”

Murphy and her employees have helped thousands of customers like Kathy Czajkowski, get more in touch with their creative side by helping them make jewelry,.

“I’ve taken a lot of classes here, worked with different teachers and different things like chainmail and metal,” said Czajkowski. “I’ve learned a lot.”

Murphy admits working at Market Bead does not feel like a job.

“I feel like I come, all I do is talk to people,” said Murphy. “I drink coffee and I make stuff. Really, it’s a great job.”

Murphy says success means more to her than dollar figures because she has something money can’t buy — good friends. The store has become like a second family to many of Murphy’s customers and employees, which is more than she ever expected or imagined.

“The men have bars and the women have the bead store because sometimes we’re like therapists,” said Mercede Shippee, one of Murphy’s employees. “Honestly, people just talk to us about everything that’s going on in their life. It’s not even about beading. A lot of time women come in to talk.”

“We know people’s marital problems, their kid problems, their drug problems, we know their death problems—we just know them intimately,” said Murphy. “We have many people that come here and they don’t buy ten cents from me, but they come for the camaraderie, they come for the friendship, they come just to be able to talk to people that understand them.”

Closing Time

Even with all of Murphy’s success, both socially and financially, she decided to close her small business and focus on her family.

“It’s become more of a chore,” said Murphy. “When you have a normal job, you can just leave it and forget it. This I never leave and never forget.”

Many of Murphy’s customers believe there is no other retail shop in the area that can fill the gap left behind with the closure of Market Beads.

“It’s really sad that Market Beads is closing because there are no local bead stores that we’re going to be able to shop at anymore,” said Czajkowski.

Customer Tina Pierce agrees.

“It kind of just feels like we’re losing something that’s kind of been a part of us for such a long time,” said Pierce

Leaving One Family For The Next

Murphy looks forward to spending more time with her family and finally having weekends off.

“Both of our kids will be in college in the next couple years,” said Fran, Stacy’s husband. “It’s a really good opportunity for her to spend time with those kids.”

Murphy’s 14-year old son Ty said Market Beads used to take up a lot of his mother’s time.

“She used to help me with my homework a lot, but when she had her store I couldn’t get much help, so I had to use the Internet to get help,” said Ty.

“Ty was getting to the point where I knew I had to be home. He didn’t want me around which was a big indicator that I needed to be around,” said Murphy. “Now, I’m home everyday when he gets off the bus. I don’t want to say he’s thrilled about it but he’s happy.”

Murphy says her kids are her number one priority.

“I need to cook for them, I need to drive to their appointments, I need to be there at their tennis games.”

Since closing her store, Murphy has begun teaching her 16-year old daughter Dana how to drive.

No Regrets

At the end of the day, Murphy’s family thinks she made the right decision and she agrees.

“Family and spending time together is much more important than money.”