Barnes opens Native Uniques in Bartlesville
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – After making handmade jewelry for nearly four years at her home, Cherokee Nation citizen Samantha Barnes provided a storefront to sell her art when she opened the Native Uniques boutique on July 2.
“I started bead weaving about four years ago. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I found a book at my grandmother’s auction service that taught bead weaving. So once I found that book, I was able to turn that want into a passion, a passion that I love to share with everyone,” she said. “I used to bead from my kitchen table. It was kind of a mess, everywhere. I have three kids, so the kids were always getting into it. It was kind of hard to keep everything straight. So I love that I’m able to bead weave here (store) and everyone can come see me and watch me bead weave and love what I do.”
Other than enjoying bead weaving, Barnes said it’s also a way she connects with her Cherokee heritage.
“It’s humbling to see someone watch what you do and love it and want to actually buy your work,” she said. “It’s that pride of seeing people actually love what I do and actually push me forward and open up my new location.”
She said although she is a business owner she is an artist as well. All her peyote-technique cuffs are made from her personal designs and patterns, those of which she sells online.
Excluding the clothing items and products such as wallets and some rings, Barnes makes all the items in her store and offers custom orders of her beadwork.
“A lot of my beadwork is made-to-order custom designs. You can always reach me on my website nativeuniques.com and on Facebook. You can always message me. If you have an idea, I can help you. I can work with you and figure out color schemes and exactly what you want,” she said. “Just because it’s not in the shop doesn’t mean I cannot make it for you.”
Opening the store was a goal of hers, and now she’s determined to complete another goal of starting a foundation where Native American women can make and sell their bead work at auction and have some of those monies go to families in need.
“Where they’re working at their kitchen table and they want to move forward and I want to be able to help them succeed in that and kind of follow my path and so they don’t have to do all the legwork. I’ve already been through it and I can give them the tools that they can utilize to push themselves as well,” she said. “Even setting up an Etsy page or websites, I think the biggest thing I find with women is they don’t know where to sell their jewelry at, so I think I would be able to be the go-to person to help them find venues and the right spot to sell their jewelry where people will notice it and know how much time they put into it and love it as well.”
Barnes added that she plans to sell kits to make dreamcatchers and other projects. She offers classes to teach those wanting to learn how to make beadwork designs as well as dreamcatchers.
The store is located at 101 S.E. Frank Philips Blvd. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday For more information, call 918-214-0030.