Permanent IBW ambassadors

Sylvia Fairhurst - East Yorkshire, England, UK

I am in a privileged position as I organise IBW, so I have really been an ambassador since day one, way back in 2015.  My colleague Karen Gibson-Brown suggested having a National beading day, I thought great idea but let’s do a week! So here we are celebrating our ninth IBW event and having a ball!

I found beads at a craft fair way back in the early 1990’s and haven’t looked back. I was inspired to design, study and obtain my City & Guild’s certificate for beading followed by a diploma for teaching in adult education. Beading has taken me to Japan and all over the UK. I was invited to join The Beadworkers Guild as a trustee in 2001 and I serve to this day.

During IBW, we introduce designers and beaders from all over the world to each other and we love it. Our dedicated Zoom team trustees - Mairi Carlton, Carole Cowie, Karen Gibson-Brown and I (with assistance from volunteer Jess Hayman), enjoy hosting our online IBW sessions.  The events are usually very busy and we love connecting our members and those who visit, but are yet to become members.

Here’s to another fabulous IBW year, I look forward to beading with you.

Karen Gibson-Brown – North Yorkshire, England, UK

I have been beading for over twenty years and have been involved in International Beading Week since its inception back in 2015.  It has been amazing to watch IBW grow and to see how widespread it has become into what is now a globally recognised annual event on every beaders calendar.

Like Sylvia, I too studied for my City & Guilds Beadweaving Certificate, quickly followed by a diploma in teaching adults and since then I have taught workshops both in person and more recently online. I also run the A1 Bead Club in North Yorkshire, which is always good fun.

As a trustee of the Beadworkers Guild I volunteer my time in lots of ways, but my main role is Newsletter Editor.  And, as one of the team who volunteer their time to make IBW happen, I can honestly say it is a joy to bring so much pleasure, to so many people from all around the world and it makes me proud to be part of this fun event.

I hope you all have a great IBW, and I look forward to seeing you online at one of our events.


Rowena Henderson – Scotland, UK

Being an ambassador for International Beading Week makes the teenager inside of me who used to sneak out of maths (sorry mum!) to go buy beading magazines so very happy! I love all that International Beading Week stands for, and its such a great time in terms of the beading community. Living in the Highlands of Scotland, there's not many beaders physically near to me so I really value the online community that IBW brings!
I am privileged to be the Journal Editor for the Beadworkers Guild and so get the inside scoop on the plans for IBW each year, which is a real thrill! I help mostly with the social media side during IBW but will also be on as many zoom calls as possible. I love editing the journal and working with such a fantastic organisation.
As well as that, I co-founded Kit and Cabeadle, a new venture designing the perfect Bead Planners, and I have my own beadwork designs I sell through my website. I also teach online and in-person, and am a qualified silversmith as well. What can I say - I'm jewellery obsessed!
@rowenahendersondesign on instagram


Cath Thomas - Switzerland

I am proud to be a permanent ambassador for International Beading Week. This special event is all about showing the art of beading to a broader audience, and getting together to celebrate it.

Making our craft better recognised is a subject close to my heart. Together with other members of the Guild, I manage the dedicated Facebook group: "International Beading Week Group", to encourage people from all horizons to participate in this week of beading frenzy, to inform about upcoming meetings and share photos and videos of events. Members can also participate in an informal year-long beading challenge.

I love beading. Not only does it save my sanity, but the shared love of the craft connects me to a world of passionate beaders around this planet through social media, and became the foundation of very meaningful friendships.

Website (for patterns):
Blog (for beading adventures):
Facebook (to connect):

Cheryl Bryan - Wales, UK

It is such an amazing honour to be invited as a permanent ambassador this year. My introduction into beadwork occurred three and a half years ago when a dear friend gifted her bead collection to me. With a background in many other crafts including macramé, cross stitch and crochet, it was natural for me to investigate a new craft and I fell in love with beadwork instantly!

I love designing patterns, connecting with my pool of testers from around the world, and beading some gorgeous items myself from many of the other talented designers in this field.

As for the name, Hookin' to the Beat, it originated from my crochet days when I would spend my spare time crocheting while listening to my favourite music. It fits equally now as I became instantly 'hooked' with beadwork.  This led me to becoming an active member of the Beadworkers Guild both in donating items for IBW, as well as attending the Beadworkers Guild Beading Festival in Daventry for the first time last year - and what a pleasure it was.  Love you all!

Thank you again for the honour.




Anita Adamson - USA

I feel so honoured and overwhelmed that the Beadworkers Guild has decided I deserve the title of being an IBW Ambassador for my work with Seed Beads & More.

Ten years ago, the vast majority of you had never heard of me. Then, in 2013, I conceived the idea of Seed Beads and More. I envisioned an online community of beaders who would become friends, as well as a place free of ads. It would be a 'safe place', a haven, if you will, for beaders of all skill levels to show their work without fear of harsh comments; a place where beginners could ask questions, and not be ridiculed for a question being too simplistic.

Thanks to our fantastic members, the group has become all that and more. Many of us feel almost as if it is our extended family now. Starting with 12 members, I could never have dreamed it would grow to near 20,000 worldwide members by now (and still growing steadily), yet continue to maintain that small group atmosphere.

Why not come join us?

Catriona Starpins - Melbourne, Victoria - Australia

I am honoured and very excited to be invited as permanent ambassador for International Beading Week this year.

As a young girl I was always attracted to anything that sparkled especially under lights. Today nothing has changed, I collect anything that shines and shimmers, especially beads and love to create with them. My background as a costumier and milliner has allowed me to showcase these individual skills bringing joy to others through my beadwork.

I am very passionate about all beading especially bead embroidery and bead weaving. My eye for detail and buzzing mind of creative ideas keeps me striving to always come up with something new. I love learning new beading techniques and challenging myself to try new things. This experience allows me to share my beading knowledge with others and teaching brings me great joy. I love to see students wearing their finished designs proudly.

You can get in touch with me here:


Kathy Fritz & Jo Ray of Bead Soup - Maryland, USA

Bead Soup is honoured to be invited to participate in International Beading Week. For years I have watched all the amazing bead designs being created by beaders all over the world and to think this year our designs will have that opportunity.  It will be exciting to see how far around the world our designs can go. We hope that beaders of the world will dream up new color choices for us because we often move at such a frantic pace developing new designs for the bead store that we don't take the time to enjoy the world of color and what it can do to a design.

Kathy Fritz (left) has been the owner of Bead Soup since 2008. I studied Fine Arts in college and worked for over 20 years as a Civil Engineer draftsman until I opened a tiny little bead store which grew to allow national and international bead artists to travel to teach. We specialize in seed beads and Delicas.  The pandemic changed our structure to Zoom classes and shipping kits all over the world, so we now reach far more beaders than we ever did before

Jo Ray (right) studied Electrical Engineering in college and worked at NASA and dabbled as a graphic designer before she wandered into Bead Soup only knowing how to bead crochet around 2010 and never left. She basically taught herself everything she knows with the exceptions of listening in and learning from traveling designers.  Her love is bead embroidery but she will try any bead weaving stitch and has created hundreds of designs for Bead Soup.


Lynsey James - UK

I felt very honoured to be chosen as an ambassador for The Beadworkers Guild. I am the designer and co-owner of  For the last 15 years I have been busy designing and beading whatever weird and wonderful ideas my imagination can think of and sharing them with the beading community.  It has taken me on an unexpected journey into professional beading, and I have met some wonderful people along the way.  ThreadABead is the culmination of my admiration for the versatility of the Delica bead, using simple basic stitches such as Peyote and Brick.

I passionately believe beading should be fun, and that reflects in my work which tends to be non-jewellery items such as ornaments, boxes, even houses, fairgrounds and trains.  I like to bead a wide variety of designs and I always encourage anyone no matter their ability, to bead what they love rather what they think they can do and be surprised by what you can achieve.

Whether you are a beader who loves to get out and about beading with others or like me, by yourself in front of the TV, the Guild provides all the information and inspiration a beader needs for delving into this wonderful world.  International beading week grows year on year and it has become a special time for all beaders to get together and share in the joy of beading.  Of course, after this past year of challenges where beading has become such an important lifeline for so many, now more than ever, we should embrace our wonderful craft and ensure that others can also share in our adventure.  I am so delighted that I can be a part of that for The Beadworkers Guild this year.

ThreadABead ⛄🧵

Katie Dean - UK

I am honoured to be a permanent ambassador for International Beading Week.

Beads and beading have so much to offer, whether it is respite from illness or a difficult period in life, or just having an opportunity to express your creativity. I see how much happiness people gain from learning to bead. Everyone I know says how relaxing it is and, in this stressful world, that is so important. The sense of achievement you get from learning a new technique or working with a new pattern is something very special.

In its first year (2015) National Beading Week did a fantastic job of spreading the word about beading and everyone who took part had enormous fun and since then it has grown to a worldwide event. With competitions, special offers from beading shops and special beading events, there is so much to enjoy if beading is already your passion and so many ways to discover this wonderful craft.

Leah Russell - USA

I am so very honoured to serve as an ambassador for The Beadworkers Guild during International Beading Week this year. I can’t wait!

Since entering the world of bead-weaving I have been surprised and delighted to find how friendly, supportive, and enthusiastic everyone is. What an expansive community of lovely people – and from all over the place! Beading is so much more fun when we can all share, isn’t it!?

As co-creator of Beadographer, my mission is to help anyone interested in making their own patterns. Want to design something but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve already got a design program but need help using it, or just want some inspiration? Please connect with me!

Please post your design questions in the Beadographer support group ( or email me directly,


Teresa Shelton - USA

I am honored and excited to have been invited by the Beadworkers Guild to be a permanent ambassador for International Beading Week.

Over the past few years, I've enjoyed participating in their Year-Long-Bead-A-Long, group beading projects, video chats, and also learning new patterns and techniques from ambassadors and other generous designers. The Guild is an inspiration and a great resource for the worldwide beading community.

By integrating mathematics and physics principles with seed beads, I create sculptural and wearable art. With every stitched bead, I incorporate structure, form, movement, and color into my artwork to achieve bold statement pieces with unexpected surprises. To distinguish my work from other geometric beadweaving artists, I use “round” seed beads instead of the precision cylinder beads most other geometric beadweaving artists use. I prefer to use round seed beads to give a softer, more organic look to the otherwise hard geometric angles.

Inspiration for my art arrives in a myriad of ways: translated from another medium, in nature, through charted data, or from an enticing color scheme. A great motivator for me to discover new designs is to ask the question, “what if?” and then fearlessly explore it. I refer to these creative adventures, with a nod to writer Lewis Carroll, as “follow the rabbit down the hole”.  Sometimes things turn out as I have envisioned them, but more often than not, I surprise even myself with what structures and shapes emerge in my hands.

Teresa Shelton uses the alias "Teresa Keygirl" on social media sites



Erica Sandor - Netherlands

Beading is my passion: my hobby and my work at the same time. It is part of every one of my days. It fulfils me and brings me new friendships. Being a permanent ambassador of the International Beading Week is an honour and happiness. I hope you will join me in learning this wonderful art!

Sarah Cryer - UK

I’ve been beading for over 15 years now, primarily in beadweaving but more and more in bead embroidery, and I’m known for my bead encrusted mixed media works.  Bead embroidery is my focus as an ambassador as it’s a great access point for existing stitchers to slip sideways into beads - let’s see who we can bring over to the ‘sparkly side’.

Beading along with others is such a pleasure, whether it’s done in person or remotely, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of all of the events and activities the IBW team work so hard behind the scenes to prepare for you every year. I was part of the Guild and  IBW Social Media team for many years and was usually too busy with that to bead or attend events during IBW,  so hopefully I’ll have time to actually bead with you all now I’ve stepped down from those roles.

Website & shop:

Instagram and Facebook: search @theindecisivebeader


Chloe Menage - UK

Chloe is a UK-based designer who creates vibrant and whimsical beadwoven designs in a riot of colours. As an experienced jewellery designer, Chloe is a Guest Designer on the JewelleryMaker shopping channel and was previously editor of popular publication Bead & Jewellery magazine. She has been teaching her colourful projects for more than 10 years and regularly teaches beading workshops at craft shops and arts venues around the UK and beyond - as well as virtually from her home studio. She sells her beadwork tutorials through her brand Pinkhot Jewellery.

For more beading patterns, kits and workshop dates visit


Instagram: @pinkhot_uk

Twitter: Pinkhot_uk


Sam Norgard - USA 

I am honored to have been asked to be an International Beading Week Ambassador!  Thank you!

I'm a Professor at the prestigious university for creative careers, the Savannah College of Art and Design. As far as I know, these may be the only beading courses that apply toward a University degree.  I teach design classes in Foundation Studies, Beaded Surfaces and Structures in the Fibers Dept. and Bead Technique for Jewelry in the Jewelry Dept.  It is a delight to witness the cutting edge work in which my students engage

I look forward to getting involved and sharing ideas, collaborating, and working with groups.  During the past couple years I have been honored to work with Kate McKinnon.  This work has connected me to a network of thousands of beaders worldwide.  I see a joyful and vast future for beading and look forward to being a small part of it.

Heather Kingsley-Heath - UK

It is a real honour to be a permanent IBW ambassador. I love beading, I love our community and enjoy travelling the world to meet and work with many beaders, it is the magical part of my job.

IBW is such an important event, it’s not just about the free stuff, it’s about getting together to bead, welcoming newcomers, supporting our bead shops and local groups and supporting all the designers who keep us bead inspired with lovely new creations; all of which keeps our amazing global beady community thriving and full of energy.

Make IBW the week you support your nearest bead shop, join a class or group, or buy a pattern you’ve been thinking you’d like to try.
follow my blog…

Melanie de Miguel - UK

I am so excited to have been asked to be a permanent ambassador for IBW. This means I get to talk even more about my favourite subject - BEADING!

I took my first beading class in 1999; I was in a room filled with like-minded souls, having fun, sharing ideas and inspirations - it felt like an extended family. Wherever I am, at whatever bead show, I still feel as if I'm surrounded by sisters, grans and aunties - we are a wonderful community!

For as long as I can, I will continue to bead, design and teach, and most importantly, spread the word about this amazing craft. We must keep it alive and continue to explore its beautiful, infinite potential, and with IBW we have the perfect opportunity to make some real beady noise!


Jessica Hayman - UK

I've tried a variety of different crafts but nothing really resonated until I discovered bead weaving. Without the Beadworkers Guild I don't think I would have progressed much past simple stringing, my eyes were truly opened to the immense potential in beadwork.

The infinite ways to combine beads of every shape, size & colour to create fun, elegant, simple or complex shapes and pieces holds me captivated, there's no right or wrong just what you enjoy and if that's different from everyone else well that's just fine! I cherish the inspiration I have got from the people I have met over the years and if I can inspire even a fraction of that I will be very content.

It's so exciting that we have a week all of our own shared by so many different nationalities so lets make IBW amazing.

Patty McCourt - UK

I am delighted to be an IBW Ambassador. I want to encourage the younger generation, and anyone else who wants to get interested in this amazing and rewarding art form, and I am happy to play my part.

I started beading in 2004 and have loved every minute of it! I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of creating a jewellery piece and over the years have tried many different techniques and materials in my creations. I have learnt a lot during all these years and I am happy to say that I am still learning.

I am proud of the hard work the Beadworkers Guild has put into IBW and happy to see its success as it has become a worldwide event. So, come along and join us, have fun beading and support International Beading Week

ETSY: PattysBeadShop (I sell shibori and a few beads)

Elaine Wood - UK

I’m very pleased to be an ambassador for International Beading Week. The Beadworkers Guild is a great platform for beading inspiration, and I hope my small contribution will fuel your design talents.

I do like a challenge and I want to share the love for entering. See where a little beading experimentation can take you. All the classes and kits we have loved can inspire you to have a go yourself? So many ways to weave the same beads together and achieve such different results.

I look forward to seeing and hearing from our home and international friends alike to exchange ideas and learn something new.

Instagram:   andsewtobead