In 1971 Tom and Julie Bielman left the college culture of Ann Arbor. Tom with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and Julie with her Bachelors in Art Education. Moving to the wilds of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, they owned and operated an Antique and Art gallery. With the arrival of their son Karl and daughter Kathryn, they were compelled to move to a more stable area to raise them. They ended their journey at the Grand Traverse Region. In the Mid 1980's the families interest for the history of bead trade grew. By 1990 they had filled a small room in their house with beads and other historical artifacts. In 1991 Nawbin opened. A shop to fuel their needs for craft and rock supplies. As well as a showplace for the great items they have made and found.
Nawbin : to look, to see, to become one with what you are gazing at. local Native American word
(A word that described how Tom felt about this obsession of the family's. As hard as they tried to down play it, they were hooked.)
Nawbin started in a 200sqft, turn of the century livery stable, and has grown in to a 2200sqft all encompassing storefront, classroom, bead Museum, and website. The best part about us is we never stop changing the beads or even the objects we carry. In the start we had native pottery, beads, and local jewelry. and now we have ethnic artifacts from all over the world, more beads then any one shop should, jewelry from far and wide to inhouse designs of silver set local stones, Michigan stones are also made by the shop into strands of beads. Plus every kind of bit and piece to make your own wearable art can be found with in our walls.
Nawbin is always trying to be a better place to visit, shop, and explore at your leisure. Or just come in and look around, that is what it means and is all about.
Beads from all over the world.
From forgotten tribes in far off lands. We deal personally with bead and artifact brokers. With hands on the merchandise to make sure we get the best items at the best price for you. On the other end of the spectrum of the shop. The local stones off the beach are shaped and drilled right in the shop. Lastly The vast collection of items you will find is "Truly Amazing!".
We are a Family friendly shop ran by a family of Artists. When you buy some random thing online, you’re paying an unknown face and your never sure when you open that package what is inside. When you shop local with us we know the stock and how to use all the tools we carry. Over 160 years of Arts and Crafts experience just in the five main staff.
Check out our Works page, and you’ll understand why we stay busy and receive rave reviews. We know every person is completely unique with unique needs and styles. We treat them as such, and they love us for it. We’re sure you’ll agree that we’re the right shop for your needs.
Our new "Hollow Earth" being delivered to our historic Traverse City location in the fall of 2017.