published Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Small Biz: Dayton, Tenn., bead store offers creative inspirations

iCandy Bead Company co-owner Kelly Cohen adjusts the Cha-Cha necklaces display table, while her husband Mike showcases a variety of beads, displayed in a muffin tin.  Their new bead store offers a selection of beads, key chains, pendants and parties in their downtown Dayton, TN store.
iCandy Bead Company co-owner Kelly Cohen adjusts the Cha-Cha necklaces display table, while her husband Mike showcases a variety of beads, displayed in a muffin tin. Their new bead store offers a selection of beads, key chains, pendants and parties in their downtown Dayton, TN store.

• Name: iCandy Bead Company.

• Location: 305 Main St. in Dayton, Tenn.; 423-775-4700.

• Contact: icandybeads@yahoo.com or www.icandybeads.com.

• Products/services: Hand-crafted glass pendants with photo art, photo key chains, multiple-charm key chains, European glass beads, and "Girls' Night Out" or "Little Girl" make-it-and-take-it design parties.

• Owner: Kelly Cohen, 44, and her husband Mike, 48.

• Inspiration behind the name: Kelly Cohen said, "Beads are my eye candy," and that she's drawn to the bright colors offered in lamp work beads. "I love color," she said, which led to her opening the bead store with her husband.

• Startup investment: Finding the right pieces and quality for their store utilized most of their investment of about $10,000. The location, marketing area and square footage could add to that amount, Mike Cohen said.

• Price range of services: Nickel beads up to $54 for the Cha-Cha lamp work bracelets.

• Biggest hurdle: "We gave up a lot of luxuries" to pursue this dream, Kelly said, especially since Mike had undergone knee surgery prior to their opening in July.

• Challenges: Mike's rehab and repeated doctor appointments created an additional challenge in finishing their handmade displays and interior painting.

• Lesson learned: "We're seeing a dream happening [and] a whole new world," Mike said, about their retail store's interaction with customers, in comparison to selling items online.

• Five-year goal: "Franchise," Kelly said, about their future goals. "We'd love iCandy stores across the country."

Compiled by Kimberly McMillian in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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