The Bead Monkey closes April 30

The Bead Monkey is closing at 4959 Penn Ave. S. after 23 years in business. Tina Lilja initially launched the store just out of high school, opening at a tiny space on France Avenue in 1993.

“This is Tina’s only job she’s ever had,” said her husband Dave.

He said they are looking forward to free evenings and relaxing holidays.

“It’s been good, and it’s been hard,” he said. “I think our customers are taking it harder than we are.”

The owners are ready to pursue other interests. Tina is writing romantic fiction, often from coffee shops. She has published “White Pine,” available on Amazon under the pen name Tina Ellery, and she has two other pieces in the pipeline. (One reviewer loved the setting in “White Pine”— a solo canoe trip in Minnesota — and compared it to Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.”)

Dave is in his third year selling real estate, with a focus on lakeshore and cabin properties in Northern Minnesota.

The closing sale continues, and available items include the track lighting and cash registers. The shop is slated to close April 30.