When I started out at York Beads in 1987 it was the end of the roaring garment district age. The district and my section of 37th street had businesses that fed off of one another. Garment manufacturing created an accessory district which begat rhinestone trim and bead suppliers like York. There were many opportunities – the Internet age had not yet arrived and steady trading amongst importers still existed.
York Beads had a salesman, Hyman Kauff, affectionately known as Hy. Although Hy had closed his own business (Hollander Bead) before joining York, his ties to the industry did not change. His luncheons with the same men, also business owners, were a constant and he was accepted by his peers. Becoming a York Salesman kept Hy in the industry he knew and loved. Hyman liked the ladies, the meet and greet, and the chance for a sale. Regardless of his position, his customers called his name. I, Perry, PBeads, have fallen under the same spell. I am a Bead Man and I want to thank everyone in my life – my family, suppliers, employees, and most importantly My Customers.
History may repeat itself even in the smallest of venues. Economics, logistics and technology are greater than any one of us. Although I could sell coffee beans or plastics, I am a Bead Man. One of my recent quips has been “before there were Mad Men there were Bead Men”. When news got out that York was closing I immediately received a call. It was Larry Weiss of The Beadsmith. I was never one to over-analyze – being a third generation Bead Man was a blessing and much of the way was paved for me. Larry started out of his garage from scratch. Today Beadsmith is an industry leader and I am honored that he called. I believe my "Bead Stylings" and I can fit into their model, regardless of never having the title of salesman. The goal of distributing Beadsmith brand products to the world is exciting.
The Beadsmith now has a number of second generation family members at the helm. I have corresponded mostly with Avi Weiss. One term he often refers to in his emails is “Team”. Decisions are not just made; they are discussed, pondered and analyzed. Avi has shared my emails with Larry, Steven, Ronnie, and Robin, who in turn have discussed the matters at hand with their Czech partners. In baseball, the ball goes “around the horn”. In Cateret, New Jersey, the bead bounces from ear to ear with the world watching from the stands. I look forward to the power of the Team.
In today’s virtual world relationships can become fragmented. In our industry, these relationships are Bead Bonds and they can be forged through email, text or instant message, on Facebook, in a store, or at a trade show. They can be between stores and customers, designers and clients, wholesalers and manufacturers. All it takes is that one connection and a Bead Bond is born. I remember visiting my first California bead shop and I’ll never forget the owner saying, “What would a bead store do without The Beadsmith?” That sentiment is a result of the Team philosophy and the Bead Bonds it creates.
I remember Hy Kauff and I am sure his customers do, too. I would love for York Beads to be remembered fondly. And, I hope that the Bead Bonds I have built over the years will endure this change. I am proud that I still have the opportunity to serve you and I welcome you to come visit this bead man and the team at The Beadsmith.