Stuart Freedman: Engineering the Bead Business

Stuart Freedman

Fireplace Mountain Gems and Beads co-founder Stuart Freedman died on November 27, 2022. Relatives say he passed peacefully in a hospital with his spouse, Chris, and son, Matt, at his side. As a single of the most significant beading source merchants in the world, Hearth Mountain Gems and Beads touches nearly every person who beads or tends to make jewellery. Stuart’s legacy lives on in our market.

Previously mentioned: Stuart Freedman sought beading and jewelry supplies all-around the entire world. Image: Dev Nagi of Fireplace Mountain Gems and Beads.

In the 1970s, Stuart commenced cutting turquoise cabochons in his garage to take it easy from his day task as an aerospace engineer. He acquired his initially promoting room in Lapidary Journal and hired men and women to aid slash and fill orders. Staying the businessman he was, he speedily realized the reward of purchasing cabochons to resell relatively than slicing and advertising his have. Fire Mountain Gems was born. The line that Stuart would usually share “my task is to deliver in the solution and Chris’ is to promote it.” They created a formidable, generous pair.

Chris Stuart Freedman
Chris and Stuart Freedman in the early days of Fireplace Mountain Gems and Beads. Photo: Fireplace Mountain Gems and Beads.

Giving Inspiration and Education 

Going to Cave Junction, Oregon, from Los Angeles in 1986, Stuart and Chris took more than a neighborhood grocery retail outlet and inevitably transitioned their direct-to-consumer business enterprise to mail purchase. They grew and grew their stock, incorporating Quonset huts onto the assets until they had been out of space, alongside with growing team right up until there was no much more room remaining to do all the items.  

Somewhere all through this time, Chris’ daughter acquired how to make jewelry and, with each other, they wrote an instructional e-book of types to enable their consumers know what to do with their products and solutions. Chris nonetheless supports jewelry-making training and has created an on the net library to aid shoppers find out. Chris and Stuart have been also some of the biggest supporters of magazines—believing in a “you train them, we’ll promote to them” philosophy. They had been also early sponsors of the PBS series, Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

Stuart Freedman
Stuart thought in uniting the earth one particular bead at a time. | Picture: Dev Nagi of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Touring the World  

In the early 2000s, Fire Mountain moved to Grants Pass, Oregon. They expanded to more than 500 employees, with a massive simply call center and distribution center on web site for its 100,000+ products and solutions from all-around the globe. Stuart enjoyed touring and finding treasures. Stuart estimated that Hearth Mountain Gems developed get the job done for 20,000 artisans in this place, additionally, that quite a few a lot more around the globe. He believed all those employment helped make unity and peace.

Beadalon product manager Wyatt White says Stuart’s legacy goes outside of our marketplace, “There is no 1 who would not say Stuart constructed an empire. His enterprise has offered perform in Grants Go when there wasn’t substantially to be had. A lot of individuals benefited from that.”

Chris and Stuart Freedman with Turbo the dog
Stuart was a horseman who beloved his Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies and creating about them. | Image: Hearth Mountain Gems and Beads

In Memoriam

Stuart had a good chortle, completely ready smile, huge heart, and funny sense of humor. He was born and elevated in Modesto, California, and was a outstanding man with an remarkable occupation who introduced the planet to beaders and jewellery makers.