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Edgewater’s Blue Buddha Boutique Storefront To Close At The End Of The Month


Photo: Blue Buddha Facebook

Centuries ago, chainmaille was used for warfare, its metal rings forming a flexible, connected layer that most people associate with knights and soldiers from the Middle Ages.

Its more common modern day uses, however, take the form of jewelry. That’s what Rebeca Mojica has spent her time creating for the past 13 years, most recently at her store at 1127 W. Granville Ave. in Edgewater.

But when its lease ends on Feb. 28, the Blue Buddha Boutique will close its doors.

“I’m a firm believer in sticking to my talents and working on things I’m already strong in,” Mojica said on her website, “which, for me, is the creative side. I realized I was great at building a business from nothing; we certainly reached $1 million in annual sales faster than I ever thought we would.”

“But a completely different set of skills is required to maintain and grow a business from there,” she added. “And those skills, I lack. So it is time to once again redirect my energy toward something I’m good at, and time for the staff of Blue Buddha to move on to other enterprises that also allow them to flourish.”

The award-winning, self-taught chainmaille artist is also an author and an instructor, teaching classes at what Mojica said is one of the largest chainmaille suppliers in the world. Blue Buddha Boutique has served more than 28,000 people in a total of 50 states and 40 countries.

Internet sales, meanwhile, will continue until April 10, and other items may be sold in her Etsy shop. After that? Mojica said on her store’s website that she will be teaching at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June, and at the Bead Fest in Philadelphia in August.

Blue Buddha Boutique may be going out of business, but it’s doing so while helping another business grow. AVP Jewelry and Beads opened in its new location at 1206 W. Granville on Thursday. Previously, it had been subletting space from Blue Buddha Boutique. AVP moved because Blue Buddha was going out of business, said Jennifer Hackman, economic development manager for the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce.

“We echo the voices of thousands of Blue Buddha customers when we say we are grateful that Rebeca chose the Edgewater neighborhood to open her retail location,” added Katrina Balog, the Chamber’s executive director, added.

“Rebeca (is) an important member of the artisan community in Edgewater, and part of her legacy is Blue Buddha’s role strengthening the customer base for arts-based businesses in the area.”

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