Small Business Saturday Profile: Rhinestone Chameleon

Catherine Richmond at work in her bead studio making jewelry. Courtesy photo
Owner Catherine Richmond of Rhinestone Chameleon is having a special two-day bead sale. Saturday Nov. 29 and Sat. 6, vintage beads, rhinestones, chain, earrings, and stones will all be for sale.
Beads available at Rhinestone Chameleon. Courtesy photo
  • Village Arts on DP Road is hosting the first sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29.
  • Fuller Lodge Art Center is hosting the second sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Winterfest Saturday, Dec. 6.

Richmond’s handmade jewelry is part of the annual Affordable Arts Show at Fuller Lodge.

Richmond is a White Rock resident and artist with a BA in Studio Art from the University of Vermont. She has been creating art her whole life. In the early 1990’s she opened her handmade clothing boutique in southern Arizona and has been selling handmade items ever since. Starting with hand-dyed, hand made silk clothing, accessories, and beaded string necklaces and earrings, she moved on to stained glass starbursts and fused glass pins, earrings and small dishes.

Her current love is vintage beads.

“It was sheer accident that I discovered these incredible vintage beads and rhinestones. I had seen a chandelier in a catalog that was outrageously expensive so I decided to build my own,” Richmond said. “I started searching for crystals and came across several shops with vintage beads. I ordered a few, just to see what they were like, and I was hooked!” “I had never seen such beautiful beads, and I just love the history that comes with them.”

Many thousands of beads later, Richmond decided to share her treasure with everyone else, she said.

“They are just too spectacular to keep all to myself,” Richmond said.

Richmond makes necklaces, earrings and bracelets, which she sells at The Fuller Lodge Art Center gallery and on Etsy. She is still working on her chandelier project, and has only been derailed temporarily by her new obsession with vintage beads. She said she is happy to help anyone make a pair of earrings or simple pendant necklace right there on the spot. “Handmade gifts are so special,” she said.