Gail DeLuca/White Fox Beads
You no longer need to be present to win with White Fox Beads. Gail DeLuca's beloved little bead shop, begun in Maryville in 2006 and moved to Knoxville (5111 Homberg Drive) about a year ago, now has an Etsy store for the far-flung customer.
The name White Fox came to DeLuca in a dream the night before she took the plunge into small-business ownership, and both the streetfront and Etsy store feature an appealing array of beads, beads, and more beads: Swarovski crystal, vintage glass, seed beads for knitters, and dozens of others lovingly chosen. For the indecisive and under-confident, White Fox provides the kindly service of creating kits that include focal beads and accents for jewelry designed by DeLuca—Christmas dangles to earthy pieces like the Lampwork and Fire-Polish Set 9 pictured here. It combines beads from a local lampwork artist (VenusBeads) to complement strands of Czech fire-polished glass beads.
DeLuca, who grew up in Chicago, brings a bachelor's degree in art and life experience in California, Texas, Virginia, and Maryland to bear on both her designs and collecting forays. In June 2007, she achieved certification in Precious Metal Clay, and as a self-described introvert, is a member of an impressive number of groups: the newly formed local chapter of the PMC Guild, the Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild, the Embroidery Guild of America, and the Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society. But beads—they are the beginning and end of her artistic expression.
"I continue to be inspired by the beads themselves, often getting pleasantly distracted when doing routine things like inventory or checking in new stock," she says. "As I see and touch beautiful beads I can't help but come up with new ideas to use them."