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 www.yorkbeads.com 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.


17 comments:

  1. Perry… my heart is with you. Your landmark NYC visit will be very much missed.

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  2. Per Per ... you've got me in tears. I love you, bro.

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    1. Will miss you, but you disappeared for a bit then returned, tell that Mark to watch out lol

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  3. I have only recently become a customer of York, however you have helped me immeasureably with my requests. I thank you profusely for the professionalism with which you deal with your customers. Thamk you Perry, Kelly, and all your people. God bless you all!

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  4. I feel like I have grown up with York and I will miss all of you. Best wishes for the future. Keep us all posted.

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  5. I know you will have a marvellous weekend of fun and laughter with the beaders. My best wishes to all, Perry, Kelly, Al and the gang. I still have York beads I bought over 15 years ago...I must make a little something of a few from each strand to use as a memory prompt of great beads, great service, great people. You will be missed...

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  6. The end of an era indeed and a very sad day. A moving post, beautifully written Perry. Thanks for everything - the beads, the opportunities, the fun and the friendship. My very best wishes for the future to you and all the special York staff.

    Kerrie ♥

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    1. Thank you , The Real Robin Hood of Nottingham! Squire

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  7. I don't know what to write. I am so sad, and I can only imagine how you must feel. But deep inside, I am hoping that you will rise from the ashes, like a phoenix, reborn. I hope that comes next. Love, Kinga

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  8. I learned the news this afternoon when I went in to buy. I'm completely devastated. I've been visiting you since the 1970s and I have no idea where I can go now. No one has your quality and quantity. So much has changed on 37th and 38th Streets in the last couple of years. I will miss you far more than I already miss some of your neighbors. But I hope that I will see you again in a different form. Thank you for 40 years of wonderful beads and beading experiences.

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  9. This is a shame. I only found out this week. Unfortunately, 2014 was a bad year for me, so I couldn't buy anything. I wish I had. The bead business seems to be crashing and burning, and I don't know why.

    Caleb Murdock (Perry is my middle name which I use online)

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  10. I didn't know about your store until this evening, when I came across the York Medal made by Helena Tang-Lim. I was curious what York Beads was, and I googled this name.
    Now, as an owner of 7,5-year-old bead store from Moscow (Russia), I find myself in tears reading all this. I can't even imagine how it felt like – and how is that possible at all! :(

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