Lane and Cara are a mother and daughter team of entrepreneurial artists and jewelry designers who live in beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington. Lane (mom) has been a professional watercolor and pastel artist her whole life (see her watercolor painting of Gig Harbor at left), served as an art commissioner for our small town and has run a successful small technology business with her husband for over 25 years. As a teenager, Cara (daughter) worked for the family business and, on the weekends, helped mom with her art booth at local festivals and farmers’ markets. But for years, they dreamed of creating an artistic small business that they could run and grow together.
When Lane had a major surgery that required a long recovery, Cara suggested that they take a jewelry making class together at their local bead store. Cara immediately fell in love with the beautiful beads and creative process and was soon hired by the store. It didn’t take long for Cara to discover her passion and knack for teaching and designing jewelry. When the economy, the family’s technology business, and Lane’s husband’s health all took a serious downturn, Cara and Lane teamed up and started their first business together, Bloomin’ Artist. On the weekdays, the local bead shop was kind enough to let them teach after school beading and art classes in the store’s classroom, and on the weekends they were hired to throw artistic beading parties for eager beaders of all ages!
Much to everyone’s disappointment, the local bead store was not able to make it through the difficult recession and was eventually forced to close its doors. While Lane faced the imminent threat of loosing her own business (as well as their family home), she was forced to take a second job while Cara took over running the office. While she pitched in and took over, she never gave up on her passion of beading or of having a small business of her own and often contemplated how in the world she could continue to teach jewelry making without a local bead store.
One day, while dog-sitting for a friend and thumbing through old issues of beading magazines, Cara had the light bulb moment and realized exactly what she wanted to do. She was going to continue to teach jewelry making, but from an online storefront! And, she as going to do it in a way that “left no beader behind,” ensuring success regardless of skill level! That’s how Simple Bead Patterns was started! In the beginning, Cara often worried that her detailed tutorials, that featured step-by-step instructions and tons of full color close-up photos, were too long or basic. But, appreciative feedback and testimonials from happy customers kept her on track. And when Cara and Lane realized that her fledgling business could be the opportunity they had always dreamed of, they decided to team up once again.
We’re glad to say that the business is doing well and we continue to grow (which has allowed our family to hang onto our home) thanks to you! We have created hundreds of beading tutorials and have more constantly in the works. Both of us have also had original designs published by Bead & Button Magazine with more slated for upcoming issues – yea! We’re having fun and loving what we do, and we enjoy sharing our passion with you!
Thank you for your interest in our story, and for being a valued customer.
As always, bead happy!
~ Cara & Lane
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