Bead shop goes to the Emmys

CorrespondentNovember 29, 2013 

Cindy and Allen White display some of the jewelry they gave to celebrities at the Emmys.

PHOTO BY LAURA CROSIO

— Cindale Beads has gone Hollywood.

The Smithfield craft store hit the big time when its products were among the giveaways to celebrities at the 65th annual Emmy Awards.

Owners Cindy and Allen White traveled to Los Angeles, providing swag for television and movie stars in the form of original, handcrafted jewelry. Actors and directors were invited to an Emmy gifting suite at the Nokia Theatre on Sept. 21. Cindale Beads was the only independent retailer at the event.

The Whites let celebrities choose between creating their own earrings or selecting necklaces and bracelets made by the Smithfield shop.

Film director Penny Marshall stopped by the booth and chose the Juliet, a signature bracelet made with rubies and designed by Allen White. Actor Mekhi Phifer, who played Dr. Greg Pratt on “ER,” and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Joyce Giraud also picked up jewelry.

Allen White was stunned when actor Lou Diamond Phillips so admired his work that he commissioned additional pieces for himself and family. Also, Phillips asked White to design a copper twisted wire cuff to wear on his latest show, “Longmire” on A&E.

“For any bead store in L.A., this was just an average Saturday,” Allen White said. “But for Smithfield, N.C., this was something.”

The Whites are self-taught jewelers who opened Cindale Beads in 2004. For the last five years, they have had a store on Equity Drive near Caroline Premium Outlets.

“I’m very precise with my work, and my wife likes avant garde,” Allen White said. “Between the two of us, we can cover the spectrum.”

Cindy White said preparing for the Emmys was a group effort. The store, which paid a fee to showcase its wares, shipped more than 600 pieces of merchandise and equipment ahead of time to the venue in Los Angeles. Employee Kim Barnette estimated she spent nearly 40 hours handcrafting earrings and necklaces.

“It was a complete sense of community,” Allen said. “Even our customers were willing to help. It was absolutely humbling.”

“We spent a good month trying to run a business and prepare for this,” Cindy said. “If anything else, a piece of our jewelry may end up on television.”

The Whites noted that all of the designs they carried to California are available for purchase at Cindale Beads. They include sterling-silver hoop earrings and Swarovski crystal necklaces and bracelets.

“This was such a great experience for us,” Cindy said. “It was so worth it.”

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