Weird Sister Strands is a one-woman store run by me, Leila, in the Pacific Northwest. The shop takes its name from the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I've always been fascinated by them, and love how their both a reinvention of the Norns and/or Moirai ("weird" being a form of the word "wyrd" the Old English term for the concept of "fate"), and how they are, in essence, a community of women that no one—neither the in-play characters nor the audience— ever get to know completely. I think I've always adored them for that partial illegibility, and the autonomy and power it affords them in the play.
The Shakespeare connection is only part of the story behind my shop's name though. Throughout my life, I've struggled to embrace my own weirdness in the context of my various communities (from my peer groups in school, to -- much more recently -- my now-erstwhile faith community). Additionally, the past few years have been marked by a variety of fissures and losses on so many scales, from the deeply personal to the global. The grief, gloom, and isolation brought on by the pandemic in many ways drew me back to beading, as it seemed a wonderful way to soothe my soul in those quiet evening hours once the children were asleep and the mind was (and still is) apt to race. I quickly realized that there were only but so many beaded strands I wanted to make for myself, but that I very much wanted to keep beading. And so, the idea of this little shop took shape, and the name, once I arrived at it, seemed perfect--a way to embrace and accept my own "weirdness" but, perhaps, encourage others to accept their own as well.
I think of my creations as gentle, lithic talismans as a result, and hope that the ones you are drawn to bring you comfort and joy in the wearing of them.
A note on materials:
- I labor to source the highest quality beads available, and endeavor always to purchase from sources who ensure the mines with which they work treat their laborers and craftspeople a fair wage.
- All of my findings are sterling silver, hypoallergenic pewter, or, in the case of the few bronze pieces I sell, an allergy-free brass that matches the color of the pendant.
- The pendants and focal pieces I use are mostly hypoallergenic pewter, but I do occasionally offer strands with sterling or bronze pendants.
A note on making:
Each strand is handmade by me with meticulous care paid to the quality of the beads and the patterns I design. Because of the natural variations of semi-precious stones, each strand I create is unique, so they will naturally vary slightly in color from the pictures you see here (unless they are listed as ready-to-ship).