By Mary Gajda | Photo By Doug julian
Lifelong Saginaw resident Sarah Jean and her mom, Vicki Hubbard, have owned Purple Sage Bead Shop, most recently located in the SVRC Marketplace, for 14 years. Hubbard continues to create glass art and jewelry for the store but is semi-retired. Great Lakes Bay Magazine spoke with Jean about her passion and drive for the business.
Tell us about the bead store and your newest location.
We offer a huge selection of beads and supplies. People are able to sit in our shop and learn to make things or I am happy to custom-make things for them. We do a lot of jewelry repair and redesign family jewelry. We also offer our handmade gift items, like our glass art, fused glass and mosaics. We even make memorial glass pieces with the ashes of loved ones. We have lots of one-of-a-kind jewelry for sale. Customers can book jewelry parties of any kind as well.
We love our new location inside the SVRC Marketplace. We are proud to be a part of positive changes being made in Saginaw. Downtown is a wonderful safe place again. We also love our marketplace family, so many passionate small businesses in one place.
What keeps you passionate? What is your favorite part of owning Purple Sage?
My mom raised me to be creative and crafty. I started beading in high school and wanted to try to pursue it as a career, and it’s my customers that keep me passionate. The excitement and empowerment people feel when they create things is such a joy to experience and be a part of. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t create art. But my most favorite part is empowering and working with kids.
What do you want people to know most about the shop?
We are so thankful to have been able to be a part of the lives of so many in Saginaw through the years. I’ve watched so many little girls grow up at my shop. I’ve also seen many dear friends I’ve met through the shop pass away.
But we can’t do it without our customers. There is a huge benefit to buying locally. There is nothing like seeing and touching the beads you buy. You know exactly what you are getting and we offer all the help you could need. Online sales have hurt our business through the years. We encourage everyone to shop local.
What do you think people should know about you?
I’m just a mom who loves people and beads.
Any plans for the future?
I plan on being your bead lady till my fingers or eyes can’t do it anymore. I figure till I’m 80 or so.