First, a bit of disclosure: Tami Sheppard, owner of BeadSong, is one of my bestest friends.  Her & her husband Duke were in our wedding, I have worked for her (actually, I was paid in beads) and I just stayed in their cottage at their house during a recent visit to Salida…with that said: if you are ever in Salida, her store is a must see (I would send you to her website, but she doesn’t have one…yes, we are working on that!)

BeadSong got it’s name due to the AMAZING opera voice of Tami.  She spontaneously sang a beautiful Italian opera at our wedding that brought the house down.  She began beading many, many, MANY 🙂 years ago & after settling into Salida, and noticing a niche that needed to be filled in this ever growing art community.

Tami just celebrated her 14th year in business in downtown Salida with a customer base of tourists shopping after they come off the mountain at Monarch in the winter or off the Arkansas river in the summer.  She has an AMAZING selection, loyal local customers & fanatical tourists who come back year after year to see “the bead lady”.  She tells stories of getting mail addressed to her as “The Bead Lady, Salida, Co.” & it gets to her.  Got-to-love a small town!

My favorite part about Tami is that she really enjoys beading.  Yes, she gets burned out like all of us…so what does she do? She travels to the Czech Republic and tours a glass bead factory!  She brought back some beautiful beads (which I of course purchased 2 bracelets) and stories of how they make, string & sell their beads.

Tami’s secret? Take a break from what you love or you will burn out quick.  Tami works 3 of the 6 days she is open (my assumption is that she is paying in REAL money, rather than beads) and loves to travel.  She and Duke get away to Mexico at least twice a year to fish, sleep, relax and ride their motorcycles.  Balance.