The Therapeutic Benefits of Beading

What’s so beautiful about the art of beading?

For almost ten years, sisters Ann and Anita Tristan have been providing the northwest Ohio community with an opportunity to heal and grow through the art form.

Through various outreach initiatives, their business, Bonita Bead Boutique, offers beading programs at local hospitals — including ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital and ProMedica Flower Hospital — as well as nursing homes, church groups, and migrant worker campsites.

“Bonita Bead Boutique’s mission is to make an impact on the lives of those coping with cancer and other serious diseases, and their families, by providing a different kind of support inspired by a positive message through beading,” Anita says. The business name is a nod to the Tristans’ cultural origins. “Bonita” means beautiful in Spanish.

How Can Beading Improve & Beautify Your Life?
There’s something soothing and therapeutic about making art. The way it relaxes you and gets your mind off your troubles. Anita and Ann continue to share several health benefits of beading:

  • Decreases illness-related stress
  • Provides positive coping strategies
  • Helps patients find meaning in illness
  • Restores a sense of self in those coping with serious illness
  • Improves fine motor, visual perceptual, and cognitive skills
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases energy levels

“Beading is a form of therapy that starts with just one bead and its unique beauty,” Anita says. “The process of creating and expressing can elevate you to a higher sense of consciousness. Beading can transform you to a place of healing, peace and creativity.”

Beading in Action
On Valentine’s Day weekend, Bonita Bead Boutique paid a special visit to the children and teens at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital.

Collaborating with Kate Schwan, the hospital’s Child Life program coordinator, Bonita Bead Boutique was able to provide a fun afternoon of therapeutic art, where participants were taught how to create their own lampwork beaded necklace or bracelet.

“Celebrating Valentine’s Day while hospitalized meets goals for normalization, socialization and an opportunity for children and teens to feel vibrant, to learn and explore, rather than assuming the identify of an ill child,” explains Schwan.

Anita adds, “The beading experience provided a sense of accomplishment and offered freedom from their worries,” Anita explains. “It gave the children senses of hope, peace, comfort, and lastly, smiles on their faces.”

Anita Tristan of Bonita Bead Boutique hosted a glasslamp beading workshop at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital near Valentine’s Day. She worked with 14-year-old rehab patient, Alexis Naus. The event offered a joyous experience for the patient, as well as an opportunity to use fine motor skills, complementary to her occupational therapy plan.


A Home For Beading
Beading is for everyone, suggests Anita, who says that Bonita Bead Boutique has worked with kids as young as four years old.

When they aren’t leading group therapy beading sessions out in the community, the Tristan sisters can be found at their brick and mortar business at 215 Conant St., in Uptown Maumee. Bonita Bead Boutique was the first retail store in the area that offered visitors an opportunity to be creative and imaginative with jewelry.

“Over the last ten years, we’ve grown to offer classes, jewelry repair service, fine jewelry repair, watch repair, and beading parties,” Anita says.

To learn more about Bonita Bead Boutique, visit their website.

For more information about Child Life at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital, click here.