A new face can be seen working in the window of a downtown Damariscotta shop.
Judy Dumont is now the owner of ABOCA Beads, in the Damariscotta Center building at 157 Main St. She bought the business from Patty Palmer and Taylor Corson, a mother-daughter duo who bought the bead shop in April 2005 and have owned the store for the past 13 years.
Dumont has lived in Newcastle for the past seven years, and has worked part-time in the bead shop for the past three summers.
When Palmer was ready to sell the business, Dumont decided she wanted to turn her hobby into her own business. “This was an opportunity for me to do what I love … it seemed like a natural transition,” Dumont said.
Corson said the shop “looks great” under the management of its new owner. “She has a real passion for it,” Corson said. “I’m so excited for her.”
ABOCA Beads has a variety of different beads, some locally made, including freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, gems, glass, stone, wood, bone, and shells.
“I love having all of the energy of the natural stones and the earthiness of the wood and the glitter of the crystal all in one place,” Dumont said.
Along with an assortment of beads, pendants, and jewelry-making tools, the shop has an ever-changing inventory of locally made jewelry, with some pieces made by Dumont herself. She has experience in metalsmithing, a skill she brings to her jewelry-making.
For customers looking for something specific or custom-made, Dumont will work with them to create their vision. She also offers repair and redesign services, to give old or broken jewelry new life.
There is a workshop area in the store for those who wish to make their own jewelry, as well as classes on the way for those who wish to learn. Classes will be aimed at teaching people a variety of different skills, from knotting with silk to working with wire, Dumont said.
Classes will start in March, on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Those interested can either go in to the store or call to sign up; the cost will differ depending on the class. The space will also be available for holding parties and events.
During the winter, ABOCA Beads is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I’m happy to be here for the community all year long … Jewelry is such a personal thing, it’s so great to help people create or recreate it,” Dumont said.