Nestled into The Crossing shopping complex at 701 N. Weinbach Ave., Ste. 540, The Bead Angel is a self-proclaimed repository of respite for owners Cynthia Wayland and Gregory Myers and their loyal customer base. The metaphysical supply store opened on the West Side in 2003, several years before the couple even met.
In 1996, Myers retired after 20 years in corporate sales and began attending craft shows and flea markets with his late wife Susan, a longtime cancer survivor who was in recurrence. Susan painted almost 130 colorful, fairytale-like pictures of angels and doves (which are available for purchase at the shop) before she passed in early 2001. Later that year, Myers met Wayland on a blind date; the two married in 2004.
“Cynthia started almost immediately doing shows with me,” Myers says. “But the idea of doing shows on a weekly basis for three or four days in a row became untenable for us, so doing a store seemed to become the idea.”
A retired teacher of 21 years, Wayland says customers inspired the store’s expansion from beads and jewelry into tarot cards, crystals, stones, statues, and singing bowls.
“I think of the store as a place that honors all spiritual traditions,” she says. “Our main focus is to help people find what they need to get that for themselves. You have to be able to take the peace home and recreate it for yourself.”
The store moved from the West Side to its current location in 2014 and continues to adapt to customer needs with books, local art, incense, sage, music, and an open workspace for people to conduct research, test demo card decks, and search through stone bins.
“We’re not here to milk (customers),” Wayland says. “We’re here to help them find what they need and to think about what they need.”
Photos by Christine Beyer.
Peace of Mind