Originally Published Here at Esther Beadwork
Republished with permission
Ever have a great idea that you never pursued? What held you back? Fear? Lack of experience? Support? Maybe even the lack of time? I recently interviewed an amazing lady that didn’t hold back…she jumped into the fire with both feet moving at full speed. Was it smart, successful, just plain crazy? Meet Laurie Gregory Bye, founder of the Bead Society of the Palm Beaches and currently serving as President.
My first question – WHY? Laurie said she had friends who all used to bead together on a regular basis, then they were not. Missing this she said, “let’s start a Bead Society then we can spend time together, do a bit of charity, have retreats, learn from others and maybe even go on a cruise”. With her experience as President of Vintage Painter’s Guild of Ontario, Laurie, with the help of some great friends, launched the Bead Society of the Palm Beaches in 2014. In just a year, the society has grown to 176 members, supports two charities: Hope House, www.hopehouseofthepalmbeaches.com and Joanne’s Cottage, www.placeofhope.com. They have monthly beading sessions called Bead Soup, guest speakers, trunk shows, famous artistic beaders, great give-a-ways, fun parties, AND an upcoming bead cruise! Talk about jumping into the fire.
This all sounds so glamorous and exciting, but Laurie puts in over 20 hours a week making all this happen (along with the hours the Board Members put in). Again the question, WHY? “to inspire people and get them interested in beading. I love bringing out the creativity in people”. I just had to ask, “would you do it again?” Laurie did not even hesitate. “Yes, I would do it again, but I would do more research regarding logistics such as taxes, by-laws, rules of a non-profit, etc., and educate myself better before just diving in”. Isn’t the title of this article called “Jumping Into the Fire”?
Laurie tries to bead 4-5 hours a day. Now we are up to 40 hours a week and I am wondering when she has fun, then I remember that beading is fun. Her favorite stitch right now is what we commonly call CRAW (cubic right angle weave) “because you can form it, make shapes and swirls”. “Bead embroidery is my favorite and I always have a project on my board of bead embroidery”. Besides beading, Laurie does like car races (now that goes with beading), traveling and she loves kids that she can spoil and send home.
Thinking of joining? This is why you should according to Laurie: “there is a camaraderie and people all doing the same thing is very inspiring to be around. You can get help with stitches, education, meet people and have fun. I love helping people and when they finally get it, I just love that!”
If you are interested in joining the Bead Society of the Palm Beaches, just head to their website and everything is there. If you are not in South Florida, there are many bead societies throughout the country. They truly have a lot to offer!