Building Confidence, One Bead at a Time.

BeadVenture was established in 2003, by a jewelry maker who wanted to share her love of beading with youth. With one bead at a time, she built a community of confident, young artists, (fondly referred to as BeadVenture “Youthpreneurs”) who are inspired to sell their own work. Now a non-profit program of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the program provides a safe and encouraging space for youth, ages 7 to 17 years old, to learn the skills to make quality jewelry with beads, gain an understanding of beading in different cultures, and build the confidence to sell their work and make a profit from their own labor. The unique, hands-on experience is invaluable, and what youth learn can be used later in life, whether they continue to be entrepreneurs, or move into the workforce. Learn more at

We have created a safe space that is welcoming for all.
We encourage diversity and inclusion and support equity for all.



• Bead Parties –

This is a one-time event at your place or at the BeadVenture studio. We provide all the tools needed to complete two projects. You can choose age-appropriate projects that include bracelets, necklaces, or earrings. Decorations and themed parties are available.
Starting at $12.00/participant

• 6-Week Becoming a Youthpreneur –

This curriculum focuses on the basic skills of beading and the entrepreneurial skills to run a business. Each participant will receive instructions, tools, and supplies to complete a project each week. A curriculum workbook is also included, which includes beading instructions and entrepreneurship terms, and a business plan. At the end of this 6-week workshop, each participant will have the ability to write a business plan.
Cost: $60/participant

• Youthpreneur Membership –

For those who complete the 6-Week Becoming a Youthpreneur Curriculum, and want to continue learning, they can become a member. As a member, you can engage in studio time for beading instruction once per week, and attend other crafting classes as scheduled throughout the month. Completed products can be displayed in the retail store, and sold to customers. Members are also able to shadow workers in the store, and practice entrepreneurship skills learned.
Monthly Membership: $45/participant

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BeadVenture is located at:
320 E. Michigan Avenue, Suite 101, in downtown Kalamazoo

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The Handmade Boutique

BeadVenture follows a cooperative model to share its studio with other local artists who support our mission. The Handmade Boutique has space for 8 – 10 vendors each month and takes some items on consignment. Each artist joining the cooperative agrees to share their craft with our Youthpreneurs, and support their learning in the classroom and in our retail space. Our Youthpreneurs now have the opportunity to learn photography, sewing, screen printing, painting, creative writing, and so much more. Each artist also volunteers to work in the retail store, and share their entrepreneurial skills with our Youthpreneurs. Our youth will have access to many business mentors and a plethora of arts and skills that they can use later in life to continue to be an entrepreneur or in the workforce.

Program Director

Deanna F. Omoniyi, LMSW, CAADC took over leadership of the program in 2018. Her daughter was a Youthpreneur, and she wholeheartedly accepted the challenge because she believes in the values that BeadVenture instills and supports the mission. Using her knowledge and skills as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Deanna created a 6-week curriculum that provides structure and organization for participants to learn the basics of beading and entrepreneurship. Activities, classes, workshops, and studio times have been infused with techniques to promote social and emotional learning and boost the self-esteem and confidence of all participants.

For More Information:

Email Deanna F. Ominiyi or call (269) 425-1153.

Thank you for your generous support of the Arts Council.

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