Hand-rolled Clay Beads by Chicago Artisan
Sandy Rueve’s design aesthetic moves naturally from her love of gardening to her clay bead designs. Both activities require nurturing and creativity, two qualities that Sandy has in abundance.
The She Beads story begins back in 1993 with a name you might recognize—Michael Jordan. Yes, the Michael Jordan. Sandy Rueve was working part-time as an X-ray technician for the Chicago Bulls, and one night Michael Jordan walked in while the ever-creative Rueve was stringing beads. He asked her to make him a bracelet and Sandy took that as a cue to learn how to hand roll her own clay beads. As Sandy says, “It was, after all, Michael Jordan.”
When others saw what she could do, she became overwhelmed with requests for more, more, more beads! She started out making the beads in her basement, but now has a 4,000 square foot production facility in Wilmette, IL and 30 employees, including two very important people—her son, Andrew, and daughter, Alex. In addition to her regular line of beads, Sandy is thrilled to participate with many charities, creating unique beads to help the cause. Current charities that She Beads has partnered with include: Pink Ribbon Girls, Chicago Ovarian Cancer Alliance, CureSearch, American Heart Association—Go Red for Women, and Oneness.
We have a nice selection of She Beads at The Little Traveler so you can see in person how stunning these beads are. Many people think they are painted, but they are actually made entirely from a polymer-based clay, designs and all. I could tell you exactly how they are made, but it’s much more fun to watch: