My name is Suzie Skyler Hein and I’m the proprietress of Suzie Q Beads, Buttons & Bijoux (that’s French for jewellery!). Basically, I’m a quirky craft-girl singer on a perpetual quest for all things fun and unusual!
Alberta born, I’ve lived in Calgary most of my life. As far back as I can remember, my life revolved around making “stuff”, with my goal always to be a “one-of-a-kind”. If I wasn’t busy being crafty, I was doing something that involved music. It’s my other passion that continues to this day.
After graduating from high school, my search for a “creative career” took me through several art-related programs, in three cities. Settling back in Calgary, I “lucked” into a job at a picture-framing store. It was a job I loved because it blended skills that I excel at and enjoy: colour, design, and transforming something ordinary into something extra-ordinary!
I enjoyed picture-framing so much that, at the age of 24, I bought the store I’d been working at and a second location one year later. Over the next 15 years, I honed my small business and entrepreneurial skills, while also taking vocal lessons to someday fullﬁll my dream of being a professional singer.
I sold my picture-framing stores in 1999 and moved to the Toronto area to pursue a performing career. I was also happily drawn back into the craft world via a vibrant bead store in Dundas, Ontario— I was hooked!
I returned to Calgary to do what I know best — operating a small business with a creative ﬂair… you can take the girl out of the store, but not the retail out of the girl! In 2002, just one block off the main thoroughfare of eclectic Inglewood on 10th Avenue S.E., a tiny orange and chartreuse house became the home of Suzie Q Beads, specializing in unique jewellery-making components and classes.
Because of my “off-the-beaten-track” location, I resorted to alternate ways of promoting my ﬂedgeling business, such as covering my vintage SAAB in beads and adding a jewel encrusted crown on the top—my very own beadmobile!
Everything came together and just ﬁve and a half years later, my little house was bursting at the seams with creativity. In the fall of 2007, I moved my store around the corner to 12 St. S.E., doubling the space in the process.
Being a lot closer to the action of 9th Avenue, Calgary’s original main street, proved to be a wise decision. Once again, my business increased dramatically and the space became too constricted.
In 2009 I moved my store into one of the coolest historic buildings in Inglewood, the Gresham Block. Two thousand sq. ft. of space, the original tin roof ceiling, exposed brick, wood ﬂoors and a separate studio space for classes, proved to be the perfect backdrop to unleash my love of colour, sparkle and fun, transforming a very large space into a welcoming and inspiring extravaganza of creativity!
With the additional space, I added ready-to-wear jewellery, specializing in inter-changeable brands such as Chamilia, Trollbeads & Kameleon, allowing customers to have unique and dynamic jewellery without any jewellery-making skills.
Since Suzie Q Beads was no longer “just a bead store”, I changed my store name to Suzie Q Beads, Buttons & Bijoux, and did an entire logo and brand make-over, to reﬂect that Suzie Q’s has expanded its original scope and is all about having “Sophisticated Fun”!
Suzie Q’s is the store of my dreams. It gives me immense pleasure to share my unique sense of colour, creativity and sparkle with all who enter my world. I look forward to new challenges and strive to make my business as successful and extra-ordinary as it possibly can be!