About Us

alice The History of Midwest Beads 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 and married in 1990 when Gary was working as an assistant manager for Farm & Fleet of Sturtevant and 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 and Alice would always joke back and 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 and their web business (not to mention the leaky roof, spiders and drafty winters that come along with an older building), Gary and Alice decided to move their business in 2005 to Capitol Plaza, just half mile down the road. Our most recent move, to Sendik's Towne Center occurred in March of 2014.

We praise God for His goodness to us in letting us be stewards of this great business in addition to giving us five wonderful children along the way.

Midwest Beads: A Bead Store With More!
The owners, Alice and Gary Lauber have been in the bead business for more than 20 years. Their introduction into beads began with a simple purchase of a gemstone necklace at a holiday craft show. What began as a hobby has turned into a full time business. Midwest Beads offers something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned beader you'll love the amazing selection of beads & beading supplies. This full-service bead shop offers classes, jewelry repair, work tables, kits & free advice.

Beads to Transport Your Imagination!
Our 2,000+ square foot store in Brookfield, WI, will let you browse at leisure among beads from the far corners of the world. We feature beads made of glass, crystal, bone, metal, ceramic, clay, shell & wood in many different sizes & styles. Every nook is filled with something delightful. We have an extensive selection of Delicas, Charlotte Cuts, Seed Beads, Hex Cuts, Bugles, Faceted and Rounds. Here is a paradise of color & semi precious stones that inspire us to cancel our afternoon tennis matches & spend the rest of the afternoon fashioning one-of-a kind jewelry. Whether you seek a tube of seed beads, a string of pearls or a single gemstone the chances are good that you'll find it at MIDWEST BEADS.

We Will Be Happy To Help You
We have a friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff who are all avid beaders. After you have selected your beads, we can help you find any other necessities. String, wire, chain, colorful silk cord and leather thong can be paired with toggles, hooks, earring backings, spacing beads and clasps of every description. Not sure what you'll need? Midwest Beads Staff is always on hand to offer advice, recommendations and moral support to both beginning & experienced beaders. So don't worry, bead happy!

Classes That Explore The Many Facets Of Beading
We offer classes for all skill levels and all types of beading. Learn to make basic earring loops, string on flexible wire with crimps & a clasp, learn to knot pearls like the professionals, learn to wrap gauge wire into gallery quality jewelry or learn one of the many popular seed bead stitches such as square stitch, right-angle weave, brick stitch, herringbone or peyote. We also have classes in ring making, chain maille, wire crochet, soutache & the Japanese art of Kumihimo. Classes are not month or week long ordeals, most classes are only 2-3 hours in length! If you are hesitant to begin, we also have Free Beginner Beading classes, Free Lunchtime Workshops, Anytime Classes & Free Over-The-Counter Demos. Don't have time for a class? We also have many customers who drop in (no reservations needed), pick out their beads & sit at our many worktables to string a bracelet for a friend or make a pair of earrings for a special occasion.

Come in & explore the possibilities!
Most people don't consider themselves to be crafty or imaginative or creative...I know once upon a time I didn't either. But once you step inside the doors of Midwest Beads and are greeted with the sparkle of crystals & the walls lined with vast varieties of gems, seed beads & pearls of brilliant colors & fabulous shapes inspiration is sure to follow. Come to browse...stay to bead!
We look forward to meeting & beading with you soon!

Happy Beading!

Our Homes... Past & Present

  • stonewood

    Stonewood Village 1997 - 2005

  • 2005-2014

    Capitol Plaza 2005 - 2014

  • 2014-2018

    Sendik's Towne Centre 2014 - 2018

  • 2018-present

    Sendik's Towne Centre 2018 - Present