Who knew what a journey would begin with one class. In January of 2006 I took a basic beading class to help me get through the winter blues. Depression had been a struggle for me and winter was making me want to hibernate. The class seemed like a really good idea--- a nice craft, a hobby to keep me busy, and a way to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The class was very basic, and a lot of fun so I called my mom Ella, daughter Becky, and sister in law Nancy and invited them to join me for the next class.
We were hooked! We visited the local big box craft stores. We found a few local bead shops. We made a road trip to Springfield Massachusetts to attend a gem and mineral show. We checked out every bead and jewelry book that the local libraries possessed, subscribed to all the bead magazines we could find, and scoured the Internet for sources and patterns and instructions. I ordered from instructional DVDs and we all watched them and practiced new techniques.
Bead night started every Monday night around the dining room table. What did you make this week? Will you teach me that? That would go great with these beads. Try this! We were obsessed, and our volume of jewelry was growing, and growing and growing.
We decided to try our luck at an artisan street show called Art on Lark in June of 2006, and at the Jazz Festival in July, and in Saratoga in August. We were a hit. Sales were profitable but better yet we received the affirmation that what we had produced was good.
The FamiLee Jewels was born. We booked more shows, started a website, and opened an ETSY store. We booked home parties, did fundraisers, took orders for custom work, and started to teach our own classes.
Wait a minute......this is supposed to be a nice little hobby to get me through the winter! I am a nurse for crying out loud, not a salesperson! I don't know a thing about marketing!
But I am learning. Thank goodness for those that have gone before and are willing to share their knowledge.
Our latest and greatest venture is to open a weekend store front At The Warehouse in Albany, New York. Stay tuned as the saga continues with news of our Grand Opening.