Gardiner Team

Meet some of the amazing and talented people who help make our jewellery business so successful!

Gardiner Team Members: on the home front…

Brad Gardiner

Brad Gardiner

Let me tell you about my husband, Brad. He is the one who makes all those jump rings, polishes them, weighs them, and packages them. His many years of pre-retirement life as a machinist and maintenance millwright was focused on tools, fixing machinery and production – an excellent fit for this role. He is very particular about high tolerances and quality workmanship. We are proud of the quality of the rings we produce and sell.

Here is a photo of Brad at work. That long metal object holds the coils of wire before they are cut into rings. He is screwing on the cover prior to using the saw. The saw is a Foredom that is hanging in the background. The “dust” on the table is silver – and yes, we reclaim it. The stack of copper wires are used to hold the jump rings while they are in the tumbler getting shiny again.

Brad also inventories and packages all the jewellery kits. As I write this he is preparing a ton of kits in preparation for an upcoming show. Actually, packing is something he’s really good at – you should see what all he can stuff into our van when we’re heading for a bead or jewellery show. I just try to stay out of his way.

Our business would not be what it is without his extensive help, both day-to-day and doing shows. Can you tell I think he’s wonderful?!! The next time you visit our booth at a show, take a look around and you’ll probably spot him hanging about. Please say hello and ask him any questions you have about jump rings.

Stephen Holmes

Stephen Holmes

What would I do without Steve! He’s the guy who keeps the business humming along by making sure my Shopkeeper database is up-to-date and working the way it’s supposed to. This software holds everything! Information about products, vendors, customers, sales, and purchasing – and it’s also my cash register. It connects to a receipt printer and a cash drawer. Steve was a programmer at NCR for many years so I’m sure he had a few misgivings about working on a Mac computer (just teasing). I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found him.

The first couple of times we used Shopkeeper on the computer at a show, Steve came along to make sure the program worked properly. The photo here shows him at the Toronto Bead Society 2008 fall show, so you may already have met him.

Steve has characteristics in common with a bulldog – fiercely determined and persistent as he solves problems that arise. He’s also like a collie, good-natured and calm in the face of potential disaster. And I can also see touches of a poodle – the tendency to be a perfectionist in all he does.

Sharon MacKinnon

Sharon (aka Sam) MacKinnon

This is my opportunity to tell you about “Sam”. No, Sam is not a guy – she is actually a female whom I’ve always called Sharon. I’m still not sure exactly where the name Sam came from, but that’s what she uses and what many of her friends call her – go figure! She tells me that if I want to know the story behind the name, it’ll cost me two beers (grin).

I’ve known Sharon since she was in public school: she is the same age as my younger sister. In fact, one year I did some occasional teaching in their grade 5 classroom. And yes, they both had to call me “Mrs. Gardiner.” And we’ve even been business partners in a graphic design company in Waterloo. Sharon now works as a consultant and web writer.

Sharon has been doing the newsletter. Her sense of humour can be somewhat irreverent, even racy at times. Some readers have said they quite like her writing style and think it’s fun to read, while others think otherwise! I suspect that some of you skim through the newsletter just to read what she’s saying this time around.

My thanks and appreciation go out to “Sam” for trying to keep me on schedule.

Gardiner Team Members: the booth crew for Toronto bead shows

Sue Henry

Sue Henry

Sue is the key person in the booth at most of my Canadian bead shows. I value her friendly and caring nature, her calm and professional response to any problem, as well as her wide range of skills and learning.

As an avid enthusiast of the craft, she has in-depth knowledge of beading, chain mail, and any related tools and supplies a person might need. When I’m off teaching a class I know that customers will be well-served and have their questions carefully answered. So come and say “Hi” to her at any of the Toronto, Guelph, or Ottawa shows. It’s worth the visit to my booth just to check out her wrist with its stunning collection of bracelets!

Sue’s real job is webmaster for the Peel Region. But in her “spare time” she is part of the Toronto Bead Society’s web team, she manages the publication of the TBS Calendar, among many other responsibilities. Sue is an amazing and efficient lady who always gets the job done! I marvel at how she finds the time to accomplish all that she does, and feel privileged to have her working in my booth.

Cindy Goldrick

Cindy Goldrick

You can spot Cindy in our booth at the Toronto shows. She has an amazing amount of knowledge about a wide variety of jewellery techniques and is very friendly and approachable. We really appreciate and value her!

She has been an inveterate crafter since childhood and enjoys adorning herself with sparkly objects. Cindy freely confesses that she still has beads in her stash that she bought when she was 13. She’s been honing in on wirework for the past few years and is now obsessed with Viking Knit and wire knitting. She is making exciting bracelets from a variety of different colours and gauges of wire: I think her secret is using her time on public transit to work on them!

Cindy credits her creative urge to her involvement in the Toronto Bead Society, where, for the last few years, she has served on the Steering Committee as Programming Coordinator, and is the past chair.

Gardiner Team Members: The CreativFestival Classroom Team

When I teach a workshop at the Creativ Festival I aim for maximum learning for all participants. I use two teaching assistants for each class because the Festival has class sizes of up to 20. These talented gals are fantastic at helping novices master the techniques being taught. Let me introduce these talented ladies:

Valerie Ainsley

Val Ainsley

Valerie has been teaching Family Studies for 30 years (whew! I get tired just thinking about it). In the past few years she has introduced jewelry into her Fashion and Design classes and found that her students love it – the sky seems to be the limit with their enthusiasm and creativity.

Valerie really enjoys working in our classes because she always learns something from the students and enjoys helping them develop their skills.

Dana Schoales

Dana Schoales

Dana is a recent empty nester since her youngest child went off to start her university career. With a little more free time, Dana hopes to perfect her curling game and pursue her crafting passion.

With her tongue in cheek, she says that her husband likely hopes she would spend more time in her real job as his bookkeeper. But as Dana says, a girl has to have priorities.

Joanne Neate

Joanne Neate

Joanne describes her mother as a talented “hooker” (the rug type) who also enjoyed knitting, sewing among other crafts and this interest rubbed off on her. Two years ago, a friend showed Joanne how to do Byzantine and she was addicted.

One of Joanne’s hobbies is travel; already she’s planned her trips for next year – Turks and Caicos, Seattle and England. Wow – you go girl! (and send me a postcard)

Gardiner Team Members: the Tucson Shows 

While I’m busy teaching classes I am privileged to have a very skilled lady helping. Visitors get answers to all their questions along with creative suggestions.

Velda Draper

Velda Draper

Velda studied at the University of Arts & Crafts in San Francisco and is a nursing graduate of Dominican University and Sacramento State University. She lives in Marin County California but has a second residence in Tucson, Arizona. Velda is a member of the Marin County Society of Artists and her oil paintings and jewellery are primarily in private collections.

After retiring from Nursing she began studying silversmithing, jewellery design and beading. She loves to travel and goes to as many museums, galleries, workshops, art and jewellery stores as possible with the intent of coming home with many new ideas.

Velda has worked at my shows in Tucson for the past eight years.

Velda will also admit to a wild sense of humor and a love of storytelling. She is fantastic at customer relations! Ask her sometime about her fall down a ravine in England, or about her genealogy research where she grills anyone who might have relevant information.

My Behind-the-Scenes Support

Dave Bonhoff

Dave Bonhoff, my Mac Support specialist.

Dave does an excellent job of keeping our 3 computers, server, printers, scanners,  iPad and iPhone all updated and working as they were meant to.

Garret Borland at G. Borland Design Studio is my website and webstore design guru. I can’t seem to get a photo of him…