The Delaware Valley Bead Society (DVBS) will sponsor a Trunk Show with Kelley Stephenson of Back 2 Bead on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 7pm in the Café of the Hunterdon County Senior Center, 4 Gauntt Place - Building #1, Flemington, NJ. The program is free and open to the public, but non-members must pre-register.
Kelley Stevenson, owner of Back2Bead, an online bead vendor, finished high school with a GED, and work experience limited to a job at McDonalds. He got his first union job at a Manhattan company, YorkBeads. His career there began with pushing a hand truck and making deliveries. However, Mr. Stevenson got along well with customers, coworkers, and York’s owner, Perry Brookstein. Within five years he was promoted to Shipping Manager, then General Manager seven years later.
Mr. Stevenson recalled that York Beads was one of seven U.S. stores allowed to buy and import glass beads from Czechoslovakia while it was still under communist rule. When the Federal Democratic State, the Czech Republic, was formed in the early 90’s, state price controls were removed and the glass bead market opened to any vendor. During his years at York, Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Brookstein traveled together all over the United States doing trade shows and representing the YorkBeads brand.
When York closed in 2014, after 90 years in business, Mr. Stevenson was at a loss for what to do with his life. Seeing that a former co-worker opened his own business, Mr. Stevenson decided to follow suit. Thus, with a boost of stock from a friend going out of business, after 30 years, Back2Bead was born in 2015!
Over the past 18 months, Back2Bead has garnered more than 3,000 Face Book friends, with customers ranging from casual beaders to serious designers. Mr. Stevenson will be doing Bead & Button, and Bead Fest for the second time as his own boss. He thinks of his store as the home of the " Unique and the Unusual. ” He doesn’t think of his patrons as customers, just " Beading Family ".
Stephensons’ program will be presented during the two-hour DVBS meeting. To register as a guest, e-mail your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 246-1231.