You may have heard the news -- Bead&Button is turning over the Bead-It-Forward project to beader and event-planning extraordinaire Amy Severino of Massachusetts. She's already rolled out a dedicated website (www.bead-it-forward.com) with info about the 2015 project, and there's a Facebook page to like too: www.facebook.com/BeaditForward.
Amy will be the third host of the Bead-It-Forward project after its founder, Jeanette Shannigan, passed it onto us. So let's get to know this incredible woman! I think you will agree -- the Bead-It-Forward project could not find a more enthusiastic and capable director!
1. I first came across your name when assembling Bead-It-Forward squares for last year's project. What inspired you to start participating in Bead-It-Forward?
"When I first heard about this in Bead&Button magazine, I thought it was such a lovely and inspiring idea. And surely, like so many others, I knew someone close to me that had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was one of many survivors I know, so the first year I made a square in honor of all the survivors I know personally, which at the time was five women. Five women too many! Breast cancer is nasty and it's a nice feeling to do something, even something as little as a 2 x 2-inch square, to help raise money for this cause.
"I also started a page on my blog, amybeads.blogspot.com, with free patterns for quilt squares. I've been adding patterns every year. It's so fun to see finished quilts with squares created from the patterns on my blog."
2. Obviously, you've got a background in beading, but your bread and butter has to do with event planning and marketing. Tell me more!
"Yes, my blood runs food and beverage! I've been in the restaurant industry one way or another for almost 30 years now. Over the last 15, my work has primarily been marketing and managing private events. I am currently the marketing director for a restaurant group in Massachusetts, which has some pretty spectacular properties with some very talented chefs and managers. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of their team."
3. What makes Bead-It-Forward the perfect 'pet project' for you?
"First and foremost, I just love the idea of the quilts! I love collaboration, and I love beads, and I love doing projects for a greater good, and this project has a little bit of all of that. I feel like I can take my love of beadwork, combine it with my experience managing events, and add a dash of marketing and see where this project can go!
"It is amazing to be part of a project where beaders, literally from around the world, are all contributing to make something special.
"Also, I truly would love to see every single square with my own eyes! So that's a bonus too."
4. What would you like to tell beaders who plan to participate in the Bead-It-Forward project next year? Any changes? What will stay the same?
"It will mostly be the same! It would be fun to have some challenges along the way to get folks excited, hopefully with some prizes. I have also been tossing around the idea of creating an e-book with every single square that is donated. So if there is anyone out there like me who wants to see every square, they will have that opportunity.
"The new bead-it-forward.com site has a blog feature, so I also want to periodically do some profiling of individuals, stores, societies, and groups who participate. It's really important to me that the Bead-It-Forward project conveys the amazing collaboration of the bead community."
5. How can folks get in touch with you if they want to contribute goods and services related to assembling the Bead-It-Forward items next year?
"This is a great question, because this project isn't JUST beaded squares!! There are plenty of supplies needed to put this all together. We'll need quilt blanks and other quilting supplies, craft supplies (like ribbon and shadowboxes), and more! I would love to speak with anyone who is interested in contributing. They can email me at email@example.com for more information."