Beaded Jewelry
Kieu Pham Gray
Semi-precious and Glass Beaded Jewelry Designer Kieu “Q” Pham Gray was born in Saigon, Vietnam during the height of the Vietnam War. In the family’s best interest, her father moved his entire family of eight to the United States weeks before the pull-out of the US Embassy in Vietnam. They finally came to settle near the beaches of Southern California where she and her siblings were raised with Vietnamese traditions and culture, and inspired by California lifestyle.

Kieu’s well-defined sense of cultural, societal, and community obligation came from an austere upbringing. Her parents lived and practiced the tradition of Buddhism -- mindfulness and compassion -- throughout all aspects of their lives . Thus, the children have continued this spirit in their individual paths. 

In 1992, Kieu began her career in retail management at Neiman Marcus. She quickly came to understand retail and high fashion where she identified a need for more practical and affordable jewelry. Out of her own need to dress the part with a limited budget Kieu began designing her own jewelry. As with all aspects in her life, “where there is necessity there is a way”. With help and encouragement from family and friends, she taught herself a new skill and began designing a line of beaded jewelry giving birth to Why9Beads?. Kieu began marketing to national retailers with high hopes. Shortly there after she discovered that the line was “too cutting edge” and was unable to move forward. The jewelry was tucked into a briefcase until 2002.

In recent years, Kieu left California and retail to pursue new challenges in her life. She moved to the Chagrin Valley of Ohio in pursuit of creating a home for her son and husband, and entered the computer industry where she became an independent software trainer and computer consultant to businesses in the Greater Cleveland area. Her new career would allow much needed time for her family and her community.

In the fall of 2001 the computer industry decline finally reached Ohio. The demand for specialists was drastically scaled down. Again Why9Beads? found its way back into Kieu’s life out of necessity. With new found inspiration and years of experience and maturity she began to update and re-market the line.

Her Mission

Why9Beads? was named for its founder, Kieu (pronounced "Q") Pham Gray. In Japanese, the word "Q" means Nine, the number representing completion as well as the holistic goals of our company. Why9Beads? was created as part of a personal journey to find continual creativity within ourselves and express our inspirations through our company.

"I hope to share with others my knowledge, vision and creativity through a business. I believe that professionals may be successful by being in harmony with their true selves and not merely bottom line oriented. By being ourselves, we may project our sense of spirituality and morals through our business, thus leading the way to our true success." ~Kieu Pham Gray, Designer

Why9Beads? is a creative and innovative business catering to almost any personal style. Kieu uses only high quality material and hand-makes each piece with extreme care. Beads are collected from around the world to create truly unique pieces.

9Beads? has quickly gained acceptance and a following in the Greater Cleveland area. We hope to build on our success and popularity in the Ohio market and expand into national and perhaps international markets.


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