Once upon a dreary Illinois January, Ayla found herself at a crossroads in her life. She was bored with winter's confinement, burnt out of her job and going through a divorce. After work on a Friday, she wandered into a store where she selected two art kits to pass time over the weekend: a jewelry making kit and a pottery making kit. She never opened the pottery making kit. Ayla and the beads made an instant love connection.
In 1996, it was time for a major change and the opportunity presented itself. The store where she had been purchasing most of her beads closed. Hmmm, she thought...and Ayla's Originals was born. Within a month, Ayla opened up a treasure trove filled with an incredible array of beads.
The store has grown to carry not only beads made from gemstones, glass, metal and pearls, but also findings, crystal rocks and all manner of accessories, including her own line of jewelry: Ayla's Own. Creating jewelry revealed an artistry Ayla never knew she possessed and creating has become her passion. Ayla's Own Jewelry collections have been featured in Chicago's world class Field Museum in conjunction with the special exhibit "Pearls", and numerous boutiques across the country. She has also designed jewelry worn onstage at the prestigious Northlight Theatre.
During the pandemic, Ayla's Originals made a big shift and launched BeadTV, a live selling platform on Facebook. Also during this time, her husband Joe quit his photography business and has now become an invaluable member of the team. Joe has learned all about making jewelry and he is now the "go-to-fix-it" guy. Tune in sometime and you'll soon discover his little known talent: Dad jokes! So don't worry if you can't come to the store, Ayla and Joe will come to you with different parts of the store a few times a week. There is always something new to see and great deals abound.