Updated April 24, 12:10 p.m.

Briolette Beads announced this week on their website that they would be closing the store at 7322 W. Madison.

“It’s the economy. Small businesses and independents are having a hard time surviving,” said owner Charlene Steele. The shop also suffered setbacks in spring 2010 when several incidents of leaky ceilings at their building destroyed merchandise and closed them down for cleanup.

According to the website, the store has been in business since 2006, selling beading supplies as well as craft supplies for papermaking and stamping.

“Our customers are very upset. We had quite the community here. But the reality is we can’t make it.”

Steele owns another beading and craft store, Caravan Beads, in Chicago. That shop has been in business for 17 years, she said. She will not be consolidating the stores, and plans to completely liquidate the Forest Park location, she said. The shop also has an online presence.

As for leaving Forest Park, Steele says she’ll miss her customers. “There was no way to hang on. Who knows when the economy is going to turn around. We thought three years ago, but no one sees the end in sight. It’s just sad.”

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...