Thursday, November 20, 2014

End of an Era.

As a third generation " Bead Man" , like in any family business, one wants to make the past generations Proud. Since I walked through the YORK doors post-university, legacy and commitment have been important. There have been many changes :  The Wall came down, 9/11, and the explosion of the Internet. Amongst all these changes and the fact that I was just a business major, not a jeweler or artist or collector by any means, I felt the need to reinvent myself, and the company.

I am very awestruck reading bead history books. Many sample cards that have been published in print are from companies that no longer exist. The Great Depression alone wiped out a generation of different bead families. World War II brought new opportunities and one was the growth of York Novelty Import, which had been established several years earlier on December 9, 1924.

It saddens me to tell you that York Novelty Import, Inc. and will be closing shortly. One of our staff members, Kelly Stevenson, has been with us for 29 years. Like myself, he has seen the changes in the garment/accessory district from its most bustling to today where hotels and coffee shops dominate the atmosphere.

When you have been in business this long, "family" offers different meanings. The York family is our customers who had us ear-marked as a destination, the artists and Jewelry designers we have been so fortunate to work with and see flourish, and the faces that have walked through our door daily. It is our employees, who, on average, have been with us for over fifteen years. Marjorie and Mary greeting you at the door, Kumar first too arrive, and Alfred sending you our newsletters. I want to thank them for their service, hard work, and dedication.

This Thanksgiving week, in honor of our ninetieth anniversary we are welcoming world renowned beading artist Helena Tang Lim with old-time York customers like Marg Yama and Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten in attendance. As much as it has been about the beads and finances, it's nice to know that York will end as it began, with family.