As a practicing physician in Diagnostic Radiology for almost 10 years, my life drastically changed in November 1996, when I developed debilitating neurological injury and a severe chronic pain syndrome. My entire life as I knew it; from career, to hobbies, to sports, was gone. There were several years that I couldn’t even turn a doorknob from the extensive upper body nerve damage, let alone pick up a pair of knitting needles, or throw clay on a wheel! I would not have made it through such a tough time had I not had such a wonderful husband, family and friends.
Having gone from a very active life to significant painful disability, it was quite a while before I was capable of functioning at all! I was left with the need to do something with my life, to keep myself from going nuts! For a short time, my husband Bill and I had a nationally launched mail order catalog, “The Amberfield Collection”. It featured superb artisan-crafted, one-of-a-kind gifts and special items, geared towards the professional woman. I felt that if I could no longer do crafts, I could at least be around crafts and other artisans. The story of my foray into the mail order catalog business appeared in such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, and two local New Jersey papers, The Burlington County Times, and the Courier Post.
Although after 4 issues “The Amberfield Collection” ultimately didn’t last, it gave me valuable experience in business, craft writing, craft retail, etc. With beading being the first craft I tackled during my healing years, the catalog experience eventually helped me in my decision to open up a bead store. In 2000, three years after the catalog was put to rest, Bill and I adopted a 2 year old girl from Russia, our Lilia Renée, who added to my family that already included 4 wonderful step-children. Once Lilia was old enough to be in school much of the day, (and with my 50th birthday approaching), I realized it was time to move away from the sadness of my losses. I opened the store when I decided to stop crying & grieving for all that I had lost. Thankfully, Jubili Beads & Yarns® helped me to re-define myself, and move on with the feeling that “the best was yet to come”… not that it was behind me, and gone forever.
Less than two years after opening in a small, 850 sq. ft rental storefront, we have moved into our own historic, newly-renovated 4,000 sq. ft. building. With 2,500+ sq. ft of retail on the first floor, and 1,000+ sq. ft on the second floor, we were the largest full-service retail bead store in the area, as well as a full-service yarn store. We had a state-of-the-art natural gas flame-work bead-making studio, with 8 Nortel Minor torches, convertible to a metal smithing studio as well. World-class teachers gave many special workshops in the studio. We taught classes in all aspects of beaded jewelry-making techniques, knitting, crocheting, loom weaving, precious metal clay, and much more! Among several publications in Beadwork Magazine, my “Jubili Scarf” appeared there in October 2004. You can find the patterns for both knitting and crocheting versions on this web site.
Our name, JUBILI, is an acronym of my husband, my daughter’s, and my name: Judy, Bill, & Lilia! A play on the spelling of a happy word, it has served us well for many years!
In late 2008, I started a program of arts & crafts classes for adults with developmental disabilities. Starting with one class attendee, it quickly grew to 6, then 10, and as many as almost 30 class attendees! In 2010, we officially became a 501(c)3 non profit,
Jubilation Creations. With two very talented full time employees, several volunteers, and an active internship program, we received high praise from our crafters, their families, and even state officials. We were very involved with our amazing craft artists and their families, and I am very proud of the many skills we helped nurture and develop in them. Sadly, with many crippling changes made by the state in funding and provider certifications, we had to end the program in 2017.
Along with my excellent long-time employee, Lorraine, and many others through the years, Jubili Beads & Yarns® was truly a haven for “nurturing your creative spirit”. It became known as a warm, friendly, cozy place, colorful, and inviting, where we learned our customers’ names. Time flew so quickly there, that the staff often referred to “the Jubili time warp” as the reason each day just sped by. We taught countless newcomers the art of beading and other crafts, helped many find solutions to their creative problems, and were, ourselves, continually inspired by our customers, who we considered part of our “Jubili Family”!
But times change, as did the nature of the industry, and it was time for a new phase of life and business. The building has recently sold, but Lorraine and I are still going strong with our inventory in an off-site location, and three online stores: Jubili, SunGlow Chakras, and our Etsy shop: DestashJewelryCrafts
Still available for repairs & custom designs, (via mail), through social media and a soon-to-be-developed YouTube channel,
Jubili Beads & Yarns® will be alive and well for many years to come! We look forward to meeting your creative needs on all our web and social media sites!