About Gifts of Avalon
CELEBRATING OUR 19TH YEAR IN BUSINESS
Walking into Gifts of Avalon in Millhopper Square, in Gainesville, Florida, one is struck by a rainbow of colors and a myriad of textures as the beads from near and far take form. For the artist and artist-at-heart, Gifts of Avalon is a place to explore. Now with 2500 square feet of beads, jewelry making supplies, books, artist made and vintage jewelry and gifts, it is a store that is both unique and exciting.
Trude Spillane and Rhonda Bergman, owners of Gifts of Avalon, were already good friends when they decided to open a bead store in 1991. At that time there were very few bead stores in Florida and none in the area. What started as a tiny 400 square foot space with only the two running the store has now grown into one of the largest bead stores in the state with a staff of 13. Florida now has over 100 bead stores and Gifts of Avalon prides itself on being one of the first and finest!
With the popularity of jewelry-making growing all the time, Rhonda and Trude and the staff have kept up with current trends and techniques to share and teach at Avalon. We offer a variety of classes of different types of jewelry- making for every level of experience. Basic necklace and earring classes are happening every month. There are bead-weaving, wire-wrapping, glass fusing, glass beadmaking, silver art clay, and metalsmithing classes offered regularly. Our large classroom offers plenty of space and comfort, and classes are a great way to meet other bead artists, share ideas, and learn the newest techniques. Attending a class can be very inspiring, even for the teachers, who are always learning what colors look beautiful together, a nice embellishment, or small variation of a technique. Besides Trude and Rhonda and the Avalon staff, teachers come in from out of town, each one offering their own style and sharing the “latest.”
Gifts of Avalon will also do birthday parties, Girl Scout troops, ladies’ night out, and special classes for groups up to ten. Sorority parties and larger groups are possible too. Work tables are set up in the store for people to use at no charge.
For all stringing repairs, including pearl knotting, custom wire-wrapping and other repairs that do not require soldering, Gifts of Avalon is the place. In addition, custom made jewelry services are offered at Gifts of Avalon. We also specialize in designing jewelry for brides and bridesmaids. All of the staff is helpful with designing jewelry for special events, such as proms and weddings.
For those who are shopping for ready-to-wear items, a variety of locally made artist quality jewelry, fine affordable imported jewelry, and vintage jewelry, can also be found. Unique gift items are also available. When Trude and Rhonda aren’t in the store they can often be found traveling to bead shows where they buy and sell, promote their online catalog, and line up teachers and vendors to come to the store for workshops and special events. Gifts of Avalon provides an online newsletter with a class schedule, list of weekly sales, and announcements of any special events for the coming month.