Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Klew celebrates 25 years, May 18


The name Klew has been a part of my identity for many years, beginning in high school when I decided to go by it instead of my given name, Karen Lewis. I found it to be a unique and stylish name back then, but I could never have predicted that it would become the name of my small business, Klew Expressions, which I established in 1988 to showcase my polymer clay art beads.

I needed more space and rented a small studio in the industrial park on West J Street. Soon I began to get calls with people looking for items used in the jewelry I sold at local craft fairs. My boyfriend Carl Amato and I both lost our moms in the same year, resulting in a small inheritance for us both. We decided it would be the seed money to open a store.

In the spirit of our mothers, we opened on Mother's Day in 1999, changing the business name to include both as The Spirited Bead & Klew's Gallery.

Still located at 435 W. J St., Tehachapi. We have expanded five times over the years, which includes a classroom for myself and guest instructors to not only teach in, but to host private Makers Parties and birthday parties.

There have been challenges along the way, as it's the case, but we've come through the other side stronger and smarter as a result.

It's always a joy to share my process of bead making with folks, and it's especially fun to watch their eyes make the shift as they grasp my explanation!

While there have been many stores in this field open and close across this country, we feel confident that our success is due to the uniqueness of having "one of a kind" pieces, as well as being an artist having that "eye for design" while scouting out new supplies for our community.

Not wanting to take folks away from their loved ones on Mother's Day, we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with music, door prizes, $5 Make n' Take projects, specials, a taco truck and Cameron the "Rock Guy."

Carl and I look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks for supporting our small, yet mighty business. Visit us online at http://www.klewexpressions.com/.