10.19.2009

Happy Hands bead store open in B'Spa

For Corina Oberai, who has owned Corina Contemporary Jewelry & Fine Crafts in Ballston Spa for three years, creating things with one’s hands is a need as basic as food or water.

“My feeling is that if your hands are busy, you are a happy person,” said Oberai, a lifelong jewelry artist who studied fine metals at Boston University.

Her ideology prompted the opening of her new bead store, Happy Hands, at 91 Milton Ave. Oberai runs both businesses, which are adjacent to each other and interconnected in the building
she owns with her husband, Rob Blanchard.

Using her favorite colors and funky touches like animal print pillows, Oberai remodeled the space for Happy Hands after Rosie Bloom Again Antiques vacated it and moved down the street earlier this fall.

Corina Oberai stands in front of a table laden with beads in her new shop

Happy Hands joins a growing community of artisan shops in Art Alley, the nickname of the location near the store’s back entrance, just off the main drag in downtown Ballston Spa.

At Happy Hands, customers can browse hundreds of semi-precious beads and create their own jewelry or pick up llama, goat or sheep wool for knitting and crocheting. Embroidery supplies are available, too. About half of the new store’s space is dedicated to community craft and jewelry-making.

Oberai plans to hold Friday-night get-togethers for anyone interested in crafting and socializing accompanied by baked goods and tea. She also offers jewelry-making workshops for adults, teens and children and hires a bead teacher to give classes on Fridays and Saturdays.

Oberai emphasized the casual atmosphere and said she hopes to fill a need in town for a social gathering place unlike a bar or tavern, all while following her passion for jewelry, arts and crafts.

“I’m just going to go with what my customers seem to want,” she said.

Both stores are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about classes and workshops, call 885-0930.

Another recent addition to Art Alley is Almost One of a Kind, a quilt shop which will celebrate its first anniversary Oct. 31. Look for more details in next week’s edition of In the Biz.

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