From a total of 12 shops on both sides of the Atlantic, Potomac Bead Company supplies the artistically inclined with everything they need to craft DIY accessories, ranging from the elegantly simple to the intricate and ornate. Beads, wiring, ribbons, and other materials are peddled wholesale, while regular jewelry-making classes educate first-timers, preventing them from accidentally crafting a magical Lasso of Truth instead of a necklace. Though the teachers recommend starting at the most basic level and working up, customers may attend any class, taking advantage of literally endless possibilities for personalized bangles, chokers, and earrings.
Though she worked as a graphic designer for more than 35 years, Tara M. Smith never considered herself an artist until she opened The Uncorked Artist, a casual salon where artists and locals of all experience levels come together to paint, drink, and unwind. The welcoming studio is stocked with all the painting essentials: smocks, brushes, canvases, paints, and bowls of fruit trying to launch their modeling careers. Though the studio does schedule open painting time, its staff of artists also leads painting classes, camps, and parties for adults and kids.