An expanding and evolving group of local women are sharing their expertise, enthusiasm, and beautiful spirits in support of The Bee. Together they bring many years of both professional and amateur sewing and crafting experience as well as a mutual belief in repurposing and the power of women to build positive community.
If you would like to be considered as an instructor, a collective member/maker, consignor or help out in another capacity, please contact us.
Averie Clark – founder, creative director, improvisational sewist, instructor,
I learned a lot of lessons from my grandmothers as I was growing up, key among them how to be resourceful with what you have, the pleasure of crafting beautiful practical items by your own hand, and the joy that comes from helping and giving to others.
By generous and loving example, “Nanny” and “Grandma” (Mary and Leona, respectively) showed me that one can be truly rich without having a lot of money, and instilled in me a sense that wealth often comes from living simply and paying attention to what really matters: being there for the people in your life whether family, friend, or stranger.
With an entrepreneurial spirit, environmental sensibilities, marketing, retail, design, and non-profit experience, my idea to launch The Bee grew out of desire to express my own artistic nature, share some of what I’ve learned in my life, and empower others –especially women – to explore their true potential.
I hope, in whatever way you choose to connect with The Bee, you will discover ways to be your own inspiration. Cheers! [an interview with Averie]
Gina Sullivan – stitchy maven, instructor
My artistic mind is always (always!) flowing with ideas, and I’m pretty much willing to consider every creative thought that presents itself. Having an outlet to turn those thoughts into concrete projects, developing product lines, or providing instruction for someone else through a class or tutorial, really helps me focus my energy in a positive direction.
With years of sewing and crafting experience, I’m enjoying opportunities with The Bee to explore more artistic freedom, learning to get out of my own way to discover new approaches, and really expand my sense of environmentally and socially responsible craft and business.
I look forward to connecting with you all! [an interview with Gina]
[an interview with Judy]
Karen Paust – artist, instructor
I have been creating with my hands for as long as I can remember. I used to sew furniture for my sibling and myself, from sardine cans, padding and scraps of fabric that were left over from my mother’s upholstering projects. I would crochet a bunch of our dolls’ clothes, hats and bags. Then I learned to sew clothes for myself, and alter patterns and invent my own patterns. Knitting was soon to follow, then getting serious about drawing and painting. All of this evolved into beading.
I have been on a quest to merge my love of nature with art/craft, and beading reminded me of plant cells, and how the world is made up of tiny particles. I still keep evolving, combining beads with knitting and crocheting.
Recycling is another passion of mine, along with wild mushroom hunting, and teaching.
Karen Wishart – seamstress, instructor
I’ve been sewing and crafting forever it seems. Being an identical twin who wanted to dress like her sister, our mother made most of our clothes. I was probably 5 when I started pinning and cutting patterns for her.
Fast forward 20 years and I was in exotic places having fun clothing made by local tailors then fast forward again and I found myself with a long and interesting career as a sleepwear and loungewear designer that landed me in York and often New York.
Retired now but back to doing some custom sewing and alterations I am loving brainstorming with Averie and am excited to see kids interested in owning and, better yet, making their own unique items. The Bee is such a great addition to our Downtown. It’s mission to share exciting and fun projects and to inspire creativity in such a nice social environment is a treasure for all to share in.
Debra Striebig-Wolfrays – instructor
I was born, raised and still live in York PA. Growing up I spent many hours at the Central Market House; Both of my grandparents had market stands at the old City Markets and Central Market House. My Great-Grandmother Ella Leader Markey also had a stand at the old City Market and is pictured on the mural on the outside wall of “Sweet Melissa’s Dream,” facing the parking lot of the White Rose Bar & Grill on Beaver Street. My grandparents are why I love York City.
My grandma Innerst tried to teach me to crochet when I was in eight grade home from school because I had my tonsils out. She was left handed and I’m right and I could not get the hang of it, and didn’t have the patience to continue. So that was the end of that. Then, about 10 years ago I retired from playing competitive volleyball, and gave crochet another try to keep me busy. A friend taught me to make dish cloths and since then I’ve made hundreds of them and graduated to making baby items like cardigans, hooded sweaters, blankets, hats, and more.
I enjoy teaching this old time hobby to new hobbyist and see their surprise when they see what they can make with their own hands.
Allison Meckley – I loved to craft since I sewed my first patch onto my Brownie sash in elementary school. I began to hone my skills in middle school home economics and haven’t stopped since. My favorite things to make are gifts for my friends and family, especially when they are functional. Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than knowing my creations are seen and loved by special people.
See more of Allison’s treasures on Etsy under the shop SewYo Crafts!
We are officially incorporated as Collective Courage, LLC DBA (doing business as) The Bee