The Bead With Reed project is a vocational training curriculum focused on the jewelry arts and entrepreneurship. The program includes bead kits and a corresponding curriculum that helps people with disabilities make jewelry and launch businesses. I'm a former special ed. teacher and an advocate for people with disabilities finding their purpose and getting career exposure!
As a teacher, I saw that not many career options were available for my students. People with disabilities need jobs that are, easy to learn, have a competitive market value, and high flexibility. And jewelry design a perfect fit! Here's why:
1) Beading is an easy skill- the pincher grasp develops at 10 months old, and knot tying develops between 3-5 years old. Meaning that almost anyone can make jewelry!
2) The jewelry market is a $28 billion dollar industry.
3) Being an entrepreneur means people with disabilities can be flexible since they are their own boss, and can set their own schedule, supports, and accommodations.
Once I made this connection between the problem and jewelry making as a solution, I realized I had to make this career path as accessible as possible for people with disabilities. Hence- kits!!
Each bead kit comes with all the supplies to make on-trend jewelry and a digital workbook that will walk through the "3 M's" of launching a jewelry business:
1. Make an elastic bracelet using the supplies in your kit
2. Market your bracelets and sell them on your own (think: lemonade stand)
3. Manage the money earned.
The kits can be used by individuals on their own, or by schools in their special ed programs!
To get started, head over to "Bead Kits" to and order a a kit (yes, it's really that simple).