“I just credit it to all my awesome customers,” Lisa Hanna said. “If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here."
PANAMA CITY — Lisa Hanna never predicted her passion for original art and love for people would one day translate into a successful business in one of the most well-known areas in Panama City.
“I wasn’t expecting to have a bead store," she laughed. "It just kind of happened.”
On Saturday, The LH Bead Gallery will be hosting an extra special anniversary party as they celebrate a decade of business at 550 Harrison Ave. It's a milestone not every business downtown can boast.
“I just credit it to all my awesome customers,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. They are the ones that make it happen. I’m grateful for them. And so that’s why I do the parties.”
Hanna believes the success of the store is due, in addition to her outstanding customers, to the uniqueness of the hobby.
“It’s something that you don’t see anywhere in town, which I think is kinda cool about it, and I think that’s why it does so well," she said. "People who are into the hobby, they’ll find us. So being in a tourist town, it helps.”
Hanna began crafting beaded jewelry in 2000 and transitioned to glass art and lampwork beads in 2002.
“In order for me to express myself, I had to learn to make my own glass beads,” she said.
As her children grew older, Hanna was able to dedicate more time to her work. She opened the gallery in July 2008 as an outlet to sell her original work and to share her passion with other enthusiasts.
“I’m a glass artist. I actually make my own glass beads. I’ve been doing art shows for years,” she said. “That’s really where my passion is.”
When the store first opened, she said, “ I didn’t even think I could fill it. I mean I really thought I could just put a curtain across the front.”
Today, “I’m like trying to find places to put things!”
The 10-year celebration will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will include special sales, door prizes, catered refreshments and a giveaway of one of Hanna’s signature glass seahorses, with purchase.
“It’s just a really special time this year," Hanna said. "We’re just really excited about it to be able to say that we’re open still open for business and still doing so well.”
Hanna is a member of the Downtown Business Alliance of Panama City and said it’s inspiring and exciting to see more people getting involved downtown and supporting local businesses like her own.
“I love my store,” she said. “It doesn’t get old. It never gets old.”