Beading, for the Love of…

Working at Harlequin has introduced me to some of my best teachers. Not just beading teachers; also the “how to be a better person” teachers – the kind of lessons I need most!

Lately, the best examples of this have come in the form of people with little or no beading experience who want to make a bracelet for someone they love. I think it’s so awesome when someone inexperienced in jewelry making is brave enough to try to do it for love. Why they happen to  come in at a time when my energy, patience and skill level are at a low ebb, I don’t know. But that is their gift to me – that we succeed together and both feel empowered by the experience.

Nome's tray of birthstonesFor instance, on a Tuesday evening at 5:40 p.m.,  a father and his two little kids, ages 9 and 6, came in to make a bracelet for Mom. Now remember, we close at 6 p.m., and I am totally focused on this fact, and they want to really put some thoughtfulness into this gift, and that takes time.

They knew they wanted to use birthstones, and luckily I keep a loose bead tray with each birthstone and month marked on it and, extra luckily, I’d restocked it earlier in the day – so there were beautiful gemstone beads to choose from. My co-worker Angela helped them choose their birthstone beads, so Mom, Dad, and the two really sweet children were all represented in the bracelet-to-be. Then they chose some pretty glass seed beads to finish off the bracelet. Together we selected a sterling silver clasp, and began to string it up.

Dad started, and it was hard to watch how slow he was! But, I knew it was important that he did it himself. Then his son strung a few beads, then his daughter. Now that they had put the birthstones on the bracelet, I took pity on them (and it was almost time to close), so I finished the last little bit. I crimped the ends, and ta-da! There was the most special bracelet a mother could receive, made by her family and representing their special bond.

They felt so good – they were brave, thoughtful and had made a really meaningful gift. I felt so good – I overcame my impatience and felt knowledgeable, skilled and good at my job.

It’s amazing what beads can do!

by Nome

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