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About 30 years ago, founder Norman Lawitz looked at the growing popularity of beaded jewelry, and saw an opportunity to make some extra cash on the side. He and his then-teenage sons, Bernie, Mitch, David, and Jim, started making jewelry and selling it at the local swap meet. Their designs were very popular and they sold out week after week. Everything changed one day, though, when a customer looked at their necklaces, had an idea for a different necklace design, and wondered, could she buy some loose beads? A light bulb went off in their heads! Why not just buy the beads in quantity, sell them loose, and have the customers make their necklaces themselves? As Bernie Lawitz says, "That started a monster!" At the time, there was no such thing as a "bead store" - we were one of the first. By 1986, Beads Galore was born. Two years later, we published our first catalog, and our mail order business exploded. Soon, we were exporters, shipping our products all over the world. We put up our first website in 2003 and got to meet even more bead lovers. In case youâ€™re wondering, we're bead lovers, too! For example, Bernie is known for his extensive knowledge about West African trade beads of the 1800s. He brings his love of these beads to Beads Galore and we sell a wide variety of lovely old trade beads from Africa. Take a look at our staff - most of us are wearing jewelry we made ourselves, because we love the beads!