Thursday, July 29, 2010

End of an Era


I thought today I'd write about my favorite bead store, Byzantium. As I sit here & try to come up with something to say about Joyce and all the girls at Byzantium is that I'm sad to be losing a long close friend. Byzantium has been in business for 25 years & has been a bedrock for the art community in Columbus offering beads to excite and delight everyone. It also is a haven for those looking for inspirations and imagination with all the things Joyce has collected over the years from African drums, tibetian prayer bowls, Haiti Voodo Flags, Navajo jewelry, silver pieces from Afghanistan, Nepal jewelry, beaded Hoichu masks, carved fetish, African trade beads, gemstones from all over the world, Central American jewelry, plus just about everything else you can imagine. And all of this has got to go as Joyce has decided to retire & spend time with her husband Jeff doing the things she hasn't done since being a owner of a busy bead store has kept her from just average things some folks take for granted. She wrote in an e-mail when people asked her "well, what are you going to do now that you are retired". I can hear her small laugh when she wrote she was going to work in her garden, eat breakfast AND dinner with her husband, take a daily walk & bead! Joyce has no time to bead at all! So hopefully she'll get her wish.

But for people like me it is a sad time. Every time I go to the store, there is less and less left as every day she has more & more discounts. Oh and shall I say that more & more is coming home with me! I've been helping out some selling items and it has been a thrill. I've seen more unusual and interesting thing than in all the years that I've pressed my nose to the glass cases trying to see what was hidden away. Because of that, I've got to add to my collection some interesting pieces of silver jewelry and rings. I've also purchases a string of black coral with sterling silver inlays that I'd never seen before. I have bags & bags of vintage French sequins that are someday going to make a lovely dark lady mermaid. I've also got to see old friends who I haven't seen in years & students come up to me giving me a hug and try to talk but tears are in all our eyes. Monday I went in & there was my very first bead embroidery teacher Rena standing there larger than life. It was like a big old reunion as she lives out of town & we lost track. We hugged, kissed & exchanged e-mails. Each time I leave, I turn to say goodbye to a place that means so much to me, as here was where I first got to bead bug!

But I'm happy for Joyce & blessed that she has been there to encourage me & LOL! help me with picking out colors for my teaching kits! Joyce knows I have a real problem doing blue kits! Joyce also gave me the confidence to teach and to publish articles. Roxanne, Corby, Tammy, Larrisa, Laine and all the other girls have given me hugs & thumbs up with every item I bring in to show. So you see, it is like having a long time loving friend pass away.

I'm going in Saturday to find more treasures to add to my collection & to see if they need help with customers as Saturday is the 75% off day. Yikes! So far, I've heard the last day Byzantium will be open will be August the 7th or longer. I saw that I'm off that day & will go in hopefully to see bare walls as all the goodies will have found their way to new homes, and to say my last farewell to friends.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Its just too sad when a favorite store closes. Its worse when its a bead store. There just aren't that many around these parts. Too bad we have to resort to buy online. I see that in the future for magazines as well. Too sad.