In his own words: Larry Wahrenbrock of The Bead Store

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.

Larry Wahrenbrock: My wife and I are the owner/operators of The Bead Store, a full service retail bead and jewelry supply store in Carson City. We are open Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We do it all.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Wahrenbrock: I started out as a jewelry craftsman and consumer of beads. I have always been interested in history and this led me into the world of antique and ancient beads.

NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?

Wahrenbrock: Persistence and careful economic decisions are the keys to success. When you are a small business operator you must spend money on your business. It is imperative to always ask yourself the question of whether the money being spent is going to grow your business and provide a return on investment or just satisfy a want. You must always accurately identify and choose between needs and wants.

NNBW: How did the recession change the way you do business?

Wahrenbrock: We found it necessary to downsize our staffing levels and adjust our hours of operation.

NNBW: What was your first job?

Wahrenbrock: A locker boy at the Reno YMCA.

NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working in it?

Wahrenbrock: I am doing it!

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Wahrenbrock: Do your homework, study and know the history of your industry and product. Constantly learn. You will never learn it all, so you must maintain a curious attitude and a willingness to learn.

NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?

Wahrenbrock: There are really two really great aspects of my job: Participating in historic reenactment events and traveling internationally to investigate bead history and manufacturing, archeological sites, market places and museums.

NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Wahrenbrock: Do the best you know how in each and every instance. Don’t be concerned about making mistakes. Learn to embrace the vulnerability of experimenting and trying new things. Learning is a process of making mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to expand and create.

NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes?

Wahrenbrock: Hunting upland game, waterfowl and big game. Visiting museums, historic and archeological sites, hot springs and national and state parks.

NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?

Wahrenbrock: Experimenting with jewelry design and fabrication and using diverse materials and learning new techniques.

NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

Wahrenbrock: I would learn to play a musical instrument.

NNBW: What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?

Wahrenbrock: I am very proud of my retail store and my collection of ancient and antique beads.

NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?

Wahrenbrock: A wildlife biologist.

NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?

Wahrenbrock: Identify and evaluate beads, particularly ancient and antique glass beads.

NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?

Wahrenbrock: I don’t know if I will ever retire in the classic sense — I love what I do. If I did not have economic constraints I would travel more.

NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?

Wahrenbrock: Paula Poundstone’s performance to support the Carson City Library.

NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?

Wahrenbrock: I don’t think there is one. Of all the places I have traveled, there are none I would not enjoy returning to; however, there are many more places I haven’t visited and would like to.

NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?

Wahrenbrock: I grew up in Reno. I enjoy the weather, the recreational opportunities and the ecosystem of the Great Basin.

Know someone whose perspective you would like to share with NNBW readers? Email reporter Rob Sabo at or call him at 775-850-2146.


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