For the history of Midwest Beads, we must first begin with the history of Gary & Alice Lauber. Alice grew up in Sturtevant, WI, and Gary grew up in Wales. They met & married in 1990 when Gary was working as an assistant manager for Farm & Fleet of Sturtevant & Alice was a church secretary. A couple years after they were married, Gary was transferred to Iowa. All of this would be very irrelevant, except for the fact that it was in Iowa that Alice began beading and selling her finished jewelry. You could say that Midwest Beads began on her kitchen table.
During many craft shows, customers not only wanted to buy Alice’s finished jewelry, they also wanted to buy the beads that went into her jewelry. Back then, bead stores were relatively a new thing. Gary & Alice would always joke back & forth that if Gary ever got transferred back to Wisconsin, they would open a bead shop.
To make a long story short, Gary was transferred back to Wisconsin in 1996. During a drive, Gary noticed a “For Lease” sign in front of Stonewood Village. Midwest Beads was born! We opened our doors for business in March of 1997 in a small 800 square foot store.
In 2000, the clothing boutique next store to us moved, so we knocked down the wall between the two stores and expanded to 2000 square feet. It was during this expansion that Gary decided to retire from Farm & Fleet after 18 years and work full time for Midwest Beads with Alice.
Because of the continued growth of Midwest Beads & their web business (not to mention the leaky roof, spiders and drafty winters that come along with an older building), Gary & Alice decided to move their business in 2005 to its current location in Capitol Plaza.
We praise God for His goodness to us in letting us be stewards of this great business in addition to giving us 5 wonderful children along the way.
"Love your store! I only discovered it 3 short weeks ago but I appreciate the friendly service and the wide selection. I can truly appreciate the family-owned nature of your business as I come from that environment myself I wish you much continued success! Oh... and Alice, I can only hope to create such beautiful pieces as you have. You're a very talented woman! Thanks for making a stranger off the street feel so welcome." -Judy