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Bremerton business owner balances college, motherhood and work

Lorilee Morsette is the owner of Chandelier, a downtown Bremerton bead shop that she opened in June. She’s also a mother and Central Washington University student. - Seraine Page/staff photo
Lorilee Morsette is the owner of Chandelier, a downtown Bremerton bead shop that she opened in June. She’s also a mother and Central Washington University student.
— image credit: Seraine Page/staff photo

For one local business owner, a trade that once started out in a closet has finally expanded to larger quarters with more opportunities.

Lorilee Morsette, owner of Chandelier, a downtown Bremerton bead shop, opened her very first store June 9.

For years she sold items at farmers markets. Now, the mother, college student and entrepreneur has a place to call her own.

“It’s nice to be inside and not be in the rain and wind,” she joked. “I’ve gone through so many canopies. It’s a landing space and everything has a place.”

Morsette has thousands of beads and trinkets — large and small — for customers to peruse in her two-room shop. Small glass bowls and trays showcase a rainbow of beads for the choosing. From butterfly pendants to letter blocks, the offerings yield thousands of options for designers.

“She hoards it. She has a stash of stuff,” her husband, James Pavlock, said.

Pavlock noted that all the beads now on display once were in a closet that also doubled as his wife’s workspace.

“I’m excited for her. We never thought it would happen,” he said.

Located on Pacific Avenue, the business is for those who are looking for custom-made jewelry or who want to create their own. The front of the store offers a variety of beads that can be taken into the back studio for those looking to be creative.

On average, customers spend between $12 and $15 to create their own jewelry, depending on the beads chosen, Morsette said.

“It’s really easy to get carried away,” she said, noting that some sterling silver beads are priced by weight.

Morsette is also happy to help in designing as she has seven years of experience from her work at the now defunct Bead Garden in Silverdale. She recalls knowing nothing about making jewelry, and when her boss called in sick to let Morsette know she’d be teaching a class, she panicked.

Thirty minutes before the class started, Morsette sat on the phone with her boss, twirling wire and beads in her hands. By the end of the phone call, she had learned how to make earrings and was ready to teach the class. She’s come a long way since then, and now loves teaching, she said.

Starting in September, she’ll offer basic, intermediate and advanced courses on jewelry making. Her studio room can also be rented for birthday parties and gatherings.

“We just wanted it to be a friendly place you could bring the kids,” she said, nodding toward her own two daughters toiling away on their own jewelry in the studio.

Her background is one of the main sources of her creativity and exploration of her artsy side, she said, noting her Suquamish and Chippewa heritages.

Both of her grandmothers showed her that side of her heritage, prompting her to tap into her love for creating art.

“They were so crafty and creative,” Morsette said of her grandmothers.

To this day, her grandmother still hand picks cedar bark for the baskets she weaves.

In her early years, Morsette founded Cedar Rose, a collection of handcrafted jewelry with semiprecious gemstones and sterling silver jewelry. The collection was picked up by multiple Suquamish organizations, as well as two National Museum of the American Indian locations in D.C. and New York.

Morsette noted it took a long time of hearing “no” before she received a “yes” from someone willing to showcase her work. In addition to her store, she also works as a wholesaler for other retailers.

That disciplined work ethic, along with family support is how Morsette, a Central Washington University student, gets through her days of running a business.

That, and passion, are what keep the shop open seven days a week.

“I hope I inspire people that they can do it,” she said. “I think a lot of people have been excited there’s a bead store where they could come in and create.”

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