Dianne Johnson, the owner of Angel Rosebeads in Whitman, draws inspiration from her clients.
Written on the wall of a small showroom in the back of Whitman Wallpaper & Paint on Route 18 are the words “Celebrate life’s journey.”
That, said Dianne Johnson, owner of Angel Rosebeads, is what her business of making beads out of roses is all about. The small, five-year-old company creates and sells jewelry, rosary beads and keepsakes made out of roses saved from funerals, weddings, dance recitals and other special events.
Johnson, a Whitman resident, grew up working at her family’s home decorating store, now an expanded business she and her husband, Donald, own.
Angel Rosebeads evolved from a gift that she received after her husband’s grandmother passed away. It was a rosary made from roses.
“I was so incredibly inspired and driven emotionally by that gift that I decided to learn more about them,” said Johnson, 41, a mother of two. “I looked online for a recipe, and failed miserably several times. The emotion of the beads kept me going, and after much trial and error, one day I woke up with an idea of how to do it.”
Since then, Johnson has committed herself to creating unique beads to help people heal or commemorate special occasions. She uses roses from funerals in about 80 percent of her work.
Working for about 10 hours a day at home and in the store, Johnson crafts each bead, while her mother, Millie Chicklowski, helps her assemble the jewelry. “Together, we’re making something that can help someone heal,” Johnson said.
Previously a Web site designer, Johnson said she felt she was making no meaningful contribution to society. That has changed for her now. “The spiritual and emotional satisfaction I get is priceless,” she said. “I’m very much surprised at how it has affected me.”
Michelle Brown of Bridgewater and her four sisters recently visited Angel Rosebeads’ showroom the day after their mother died. Brown’s sister Marylou Andrews said she would wear a bracelet that Johnson made from her father’s funeral roses a year ago to her mother’s funeral.
Prices range from $15 for a pendant (without the chain) to $120 for a standard rosary of 59 beads. While the overhead cost is minimal, the process is time-consuming. On average, one rose can make about 10 beads, and it takes about 90 minutes to roll all the beads in a rosary. Each bead takes a month to dry before it can be assembled into a rosary or piece of jewelry.
Angel Rosebeads is at 242 Bedford St. (Route 18) in Whitman. Call 781-447-2633 for more info
The Patriot Ledger