BEADTRAILS EXPANSION                                Karen Griggs of BeadTrails in Summerland shows some of the many beads available at the store. The BeadTrails Experience is now expanding into Ontario.                                (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

BEADTRAILS EXPANSION Karen Griggs of BeadTrails in Summerland shows some of the many beads available at the store. The BeadTrails Experience is now expanding into Ontario. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

BeadTrails expands to Ontario

Business originated in Summerland and is now expanding to the Niagara Peninsula

BeadTrails is expanding to the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario this year.

The Summerland business, founded by Karen Griggs in 2010, was created to connect people to the places and experiences that memories are made of.

Businesses along the trails are supplied with their signature beads, which visitors collect to add to memory bracelets.

“Some days it’s hard to keep up with all the growth,” Griggs said. “This year three new communities have been added to the BeadTrails along with a major restructuring of our website.” Adding dynamic features and mapping options to the site allows visitors to explore communities and beads on-line while planning their itinerary. “We’ve created cheat sheets for the beads and businesses but essentially people can use our dynamic on-line maps to navigate as they go.”

READ ALSO: Bead fundraiser commemorates fire season

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The Niagara Peninsula is joining the BeadTrails family as the first official licensee.

Karen Britton, who first experienced the BeadTrails while on vacation in British Columbia, recognized an opportunity to bring the movement to Ontario. “Connecting people through tourism in a fun and inclusive way is really how I see BeadTrails evolving,” she said. In the process of meeting with Ontario Visitor Centres and tourism operators, she said, “A lot of wineries, galleries, beaches and of course Niagara Falls are on the Peninsula and many local businesses are anxious to get on board.”

The company is also planning to open on Prince Edward Island and in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia in 2020.

The BeadTrails Experience was awarded the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism’s Tourism and Hospitality Excellence Award in 2010 and 2017, and the Retail Excellence Award in 2013.

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