By Estelle Erasmus
If you are someone who is not interested in dime store knockoffs of fashion, clothing and accessory trends, then Alissa Epstein, the CEO and founder of Beadstein wants to connect with you.
Beadstein makes beaded mask straps, bracelets, necklaces, bag straps, and phone straps for the discerning consumer (mask straps start at $30 and go up to $100), but also partners with high end jewelry stores and clothing boutiques. The company also does customized branding for sports teams and corporations.
Alissa, a former teacher, is the visionary leader of her professional team and creates all the designs. “I love fashion and accessories, and it has to feel cute and elevated.”
Beadstein has a team of ten employees that do the work, and Alissa also enlists her three children to help. “If my daughter wants a lip gloss, then she has to earn it by helping with the beading.”
This fashionista went from Mom to Mompreneur in March.
Back then, at the beginning of the Pandemic, Alissa had three kids at home (ages 5, 8, 11). Her husband tested positive for Covid-19, and then the rest of the family had the virus with varying degrees of symptoms—yes to losing smell and taste, no to needing oxygen. Everyone is fully recovered now, but back then, depressed, shut in and needed to get her mind off the fraught situation, she started beading to pass the time, and create structure in the day.
“I channeled my anxiety into creativity.” It was therapy for me. I did a little bit every day and pushed myself. It helped me get through the worst of it.”
Before the pandemic, Alissa admits she was never home. “I was driving my kids back and forth to their three different schools and after school activities, in constant motion. Because I was always so busy—taking care of my kids’ needs, shopping, traveling, lunching, I couldn’t stop and breathe. I could never just sit still and think about who I was and my capabilities.”
She admits that it was hard to find her center during those days.
“But now I’m getting back in touch with the person I was before I had kids. I really feel that through Beadstein, I am rediscovering myself and my purpose.”
Alissa is always tapping into the zeitgeist to see what the next big trend is (new on the site, beaded laces for sneakers, DYI kits for kids, and her latest brain child, Gemstein by Beadstein (which uses real gems and crystals to create bracelets and necklaces).
The quality of the product is key, which is why Alissa focuses on the best materials, current trends, and most fashionable look for the buyer.
“I have a family name and history that I’m