Small, multi-hued, and made of various materials, beads have always been a part of a whole rainbow of cultures. From their origin in North Africa to love beads notoriously worn by hippies of the ’60s to Native American tribes, people have been adorning their bodies with beads for centuries.
Omaha native Adam Michael Langdon, 33, saw a business in beads. His mother, local business owner Laurie Langdon-Gerber, has already made a huge name for herself with her own successful jewelry company, Elisa Ilana. It’s only fitting that two of her children are cruising down the same creative path.
Along with younger sister Elisa Gerber, 32, Langdon runs Adam Michael Jewelry, as well as Designer Beads and Charms, which are both located on 120th and Blondo streets. The shops carry the popular Troll Beads, Chamilia Jewelry, and an onslaught of other big brands. Their ardent ambition is evident. They have a staff of about 10, and even as the interview is going on, Langdon’s agile hands stay busy setting up Christmas displays while Gerber diligently works on her computer. The brother-sister team works well together, although they will be the first to admit they have their days.
While their tight, almost inexplicable bond clearly goes beyond just the DNA that ties them together, working side-by-side has been a true test…If that doesn’t tear a relationship apart, then nothing will. With the matriarch of the family also being in the bead and jewelry business, things have the potential to get heated, but the mutual respect they share for one another runs deep.
“We are kind of in competition with her because she sells Pandora [another popular brand of jewelry],” Langdon says. “We pick each other’s brain, and it’s usually over dinner. If there’s any flak to give, it’s all in good fun.”
As a family-owned operation, it’s the small things that set them apart from larger corporations. The staff is ready to help the customer every step of the way, even if it means designing the bracelet or necklace for you. The brother-sister duo is intent on keeping it that way.