Meet us - Riverside Beads

Meet Us


Out of a love of crafting and beading Donna McKean Smith opened Riverside Beads in 2002.

As a specialist independent bead shop we have an extensive collection of beads and findings to help you create your jewellery and designs. Everything from the beginner to the advanced Beader.

We host live workshops based within our shop in South Lincolnshire, and online tutorials with specialist tutors to help you develop your craft. Workshops are run by Riverside Beads and Riverside Crafts and cover jewellery making, card making and needle felting and many more.

Our local shop based in Market Deeping, near Peterborough is also home to our sister company Riverside Crafts. In our Craft Zone you will find a growing range for card making, needle felting, inks, stamping and much more.

The Team

Here’s just some of our team helping you in the shop and getting your online orders ready for delivery.


Donna is the owner of Riverside Beads and Riverside Crafts. When Donna isn’t working in the shop or behind the scenes, you’ll find her live on our FB page and on TV.


Gaynor (AKA Donna’s Mum) is the heart and soul of Riverside Beads online orders. Gaynor processes all the online orders and gets them ready for delivery to you. Thank you for keeping her super busy!


Caroline manages the shop and supports Donna in the creative planning. Caroline leads the sister crafting business Riverside Crafts and leads many of our worksops.


Lindsay is familiar face to many of our regular visitors to our shop and workshops. Lindsay is fuelled with creativity and is often behind the creative window displays. 

Meet Donna

Founder | Author | TV Presenter | Workshop Teacher

Donna’s well earned reputation in the Crafting and Beading industry has come from her creative passion which has led to building the largest independent retailer in this sector in the region.

Notable across the UK, Donna has written two books with the most recent release in 2018 “A Beginners Guide to Kumihimo” specialising in Kumihimo a traditional Japanese braiding technique. 

As a great tutor, Donna has led many beading and crafting workshops live, on television, at shows and online. A regular presenter on Create & Craft TV, Donna showcases and inspires with new kits and you can watch Donna on our YouTube Channel.

A mother of 3 boys, Donna is no stranger to a challenge. When the shop was beginning to outgrow a craft outlet within a local antique centre, Donna seized the opportunity to expand into the current home in 2017.

You’ll see Donna in the shop or you’ll be able to connect via the Facebook page and growing beading Facebook community.

Donna gets as excited as you when she’s researching the latest trends, colour ways and beads and brings this love to you through her team and everyone at Riverside Beads.

Community Matters

We’re a close team and we love to connect and support our local area and the crafting and beading community.

Annually for 19 years Donna and the team have hosted a “Dabble Day” to bring the community together and try something new and make something while raising money for charity.

Over the years Donna has raised £25,000 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Further fundraising efforts include over £9,000 making our Riverside Beads Angels to raise money for Macmillan and previously Teenage Cancer Trust and the Poppy Appeal.

Our online communities are still relatively new, and with thousands of members there are fellow Beaders across the UK sharing their projects, their highs and lows and supporting each other.

Stay in touch

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