Behind Beads by Bettina, UMD’s Favorite Farmers Market Vendor
By Tara Goldstein
December 6, 2022
Image Credit: UMD Dining Services
While the University of Maryland’s weekly farmer’s market is over for the season, students can look forward to the return of the popular vendor, Beads by Bettina, at the upcoming holiday market and at the spring market.
This vendor sells handmade charms and jewelry, along with a variety of unique earrings she finds from other vendors. Owner Bettina Magarill Pressman explained that she has been attending the Tawes Plaza farmer’s market since 2019 and has no intention to stop any time soon.
“It’s a great market and I love working with the kids,” Pressman said. “Students have had a rough year with COVID and my charms seem to cheer students up.”
Pressman started her business in 1989 after learning how to make jewelry. She started selling her work at local craft fairs and then went on to sell at handmade wholesale shows. However, about 10 years ago a lot of stores started closing down, leading Pressman to go online with Amazon. Pressman also started bringing her products to local farmer’s markets, which brought a lot of success to the business.
The most popular aspect of Pressman’s business are her 2 for ten earring sales. She has a huge display of unique earrings for students to choose from, including everything from miniature pigs to gummy bears to hot dogs. The colorful and quirky earrings captivate students' attention, and the affordable price ropes them into purchasing.
“It’s such a great deal,” sophomore kinesiology major Kate Koung said. “The earrings are really cute and I’ve also bought a necklace from them that I love.”
The booth is always crowded with students looking for the perfect earrings to purchase. A lot of students return weekly and have acquired a huge collection of fun earrings. Sophomore kinesiology major Avery Zellweger is a perfect example as someone who looks forward to going to the market every Wednesday and to check out the earring options.
“It’s one of my favorite stands at the market and the lady is so sweet,” Zellweger said. “There is always such a fun selection of earrings to choose from - I am especially a fan of the animal earrings because they are so fun and different!”
While her 2 for ten earrings tend to be her best selling items, Pressman only has them available in person at the markets. The rest of her hand-made products can be found online, but she started bringing more and more earrings to the market after seeing how much students love them.
When Pressman first started selling at the farmer’s market she didn’t have too many earrings, but after listening to students' requests. Pressman makes sure to note her customers' comments and always looks to provide them with what they want.
Pressman never thought she would be making jewelry and running her own business, but she loves every minute of it. She plans to be there for future markets at UMD and will be at the upcoming holiday market also outside of Tawes.