It was a mere 2 days ago that I stood in an empty storefront and looked around at the cold, vacant space that was once beadclub. I decided to take one last walk around, taking in the little details that were part of my life over the last 7 years...the double french glass doors on the classroom that allowed customers to sneak a peak at the fun things we were doing in there, the lit soffits that illuminated the walls of glass, seed, semi-precious and pearl beads, the mens bathroom which we promptly turned into a storage room (sorry guys...). I opened the classroom doors and memories flooded my mind, and I felt like I was in a cheesy Lifetime movie as the montage of experiences flashed in front of me: "bead and feeds" that lasted until 2am, birthday parties for 6 year olds, wire wrapping classes which ultimately addicted new beaders to our art...and in all honesty, for the first time in the last few months...I realized what I was going to miss.
You see, I've been so excited to start this next chapter of my life. Balancing running a retail store, being a mother of two young children, and satisfying my desire to explore and create and teach has been a tricky thing. And with my mother (who ran the shop) retiring, it was clear that it was only going to get harder. So as many of my family, friends and customers experienced, I practically jumped for joy when I told people I was closing the shop. And while I will never regret that decision, today I sit here with a little more respect. You see, I didn't just close my business...I closed a place where people gathered and learned, created new friendships and laughed, celebrated and sometimes mourned. A place where people let me live my dream for 7 years. And so, humbled, I send all of you my thanks...my thanks for being part of my life and my thanks for letting us be part of yours. I look forward to continuing our relationship as beadclub evolves into its next form...
Which brings me to this website...combining a little bit of me with a little bit of beadclub, and hopefully over time, a little bit of you (in the form of student work to be posted on this blog). I am excited to announce I will start teaching again locally at The Ranch Center for Arts and Craft in Snohomish. This place has been close to my heart for the last few years. It 's the place I go to retreat and learn new things. The Ranch and its owner, Randi Harper, is not only committed to teaching the arts, but to serving people in many, many ways...and for that, it has my utmost respect. I am proud to call it one of my new "homes."
I am also thrilled to announce that my first book, tentatively entitled "Spotlight on Wire," will be coming out next year. It is being released by Kalmbach (publishers of Bead & Button, Art Jewelry and Beadstyle). I am pleased to include projects from some of my former instructors, including Pam Brown and Corinna VanKleeck.
And that brings me to the staff of beadclub. No business owner could ever hope for more when it came to our staff. Not only were they talented, loyal and trustworthy...I count them as my friends...my tired friends, of course...everyone worked their bums off packing up the shop this last week! I can't thank you girls enough...you know I love you all, dearly, and look forward to our next adventures together.
So, a closing toast to beadclub. A great 7 years was had by all. And today, a new chapter begins and I look forward to seeing how the story progresses!