Bead Night Out at Bead Cafe

I got invited to an evening of crafting at Bead Cafe back in October. Considering that it was Afro inspired, and it was happening the weekend before my birthday, I figured it was worth looking into. So after I got in from work that Friday, I got all dolled up and made my way to Bead Cafe on Mucurapo Road in Port of Spain. 

In true Nelly B. fashion, I'm either early, or late, and in this instance I was actually early.  While we waited on the others, I took in the Afrobeats music and the Afro inspired art decor that scattered about the space as I sipped on my cocktail. Yes, cocktails were included, as well as light eats.  

After the group of attendees assembled, Tameika Fletcher-Birmingham, the head crafter in charge at Bead Cafe gave us a rundown of what we had in store. 

The evening's session was about being inspired by the beauty of adornments that stem from our African heritage. We were given three options, a bracelet, a necklace, or waist beads. While everyone else easy decided between the first two, this lone ranger decided that waist beads were the way to go. I'd been reading up on them for a while, and in understanding the history of why there are worn, I felt compelled to make one. 

After careful consideration, I chose my colours: red (my favourite colour), black (my husband's favourite colour) and gold (accent colour). Adding the beads on to the string in itself wasn't tedious, but considering how many beads I'd need, I realised that the process would take a while. In between, I did a take break or two, to either get a quick snack or just give my eyes a rest from focusing on those tiny beads so hard (note to self, carry my glasses next time).

In addition to the crafting, the conversation with other patrons was well enjoyed. Silly banter, and comical remarks about a butterfly which kept fluttering from one attendee to another, mixed in with the Afro beats created a light, fun having atmosphere. 

In the end, Tameika measured my waist to ensure the waist beads would fit, and added on some shells for decoration. I was very happy with my masterpiece. And as I got home, I put it on. You would believe how something so simple makes you so aware of your body. I definitely don't regret making them. 

I also don't regret the evening spent, for several reasons. 1. I got a night out the house that was relatively inexpensive, 2. I left Bead Cafe with something tangible, something that I could look back on and remember, something that I can keep with me all the time and 3. I now have a deeper love and respect for our local crafters. Whether it be jewellery, clothing, or any other accessory, I now have a better understanding of how painstaking it can be create something. This makes me want to support local crafters even more. 

Overall I would highly recommend that you check out Bead Cafe if you want to have a fun day/evening out learning a new skill. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and you can check their calendar to see what other events they have in store. 

So, who's going with me to the next one? 

Tshenelle aka Nelly B.