Today we’d like to introduce you to Beverly Atseff.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was an art major at Syracuse University and had to take a variety of classes. I put off the weaving class until my senior year thinking it looked boring to be at a loom all day.
That was a big mistake. In 1979, I took a weaving class at Graue Mill & Museum in OakBrook. The next year I became the Craft & Volunteer Coordinator and later the Administrator for 15 years.
When I left in 1991 we had over 100 volunteers that I taught to weave & spin and demonstrate to the public. In 1981 I taught Beverly Savel, who later became my Volunteer Coordinator and business partner for the next 34 years. In 1991, we both left Graue Mill to open up our own business 2-B Weavers. We had a retail weaving and spinning store where we taught classes, and sold the yarns and equipment.
Our first location was above a dentist in Hinsdale, Clients remember coming there and buying yarn displayed in a bath tub. Later locations were in the business district of Western Springs. We closed the store in 2007 and now I operate the business from my home via the internet. My partner, Beverly Savel died in 2015 and is greatly missed by all who knew her. I have taught hundreds to weave and spin both through our business; at local guilds; and at regional conferences. I have exhibited widely, and won numerous awards. I like to weave all kinds of items including fashions; tapestries; and household items. I also teach beading and chainmaille jewelry.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Running your own business has pitfalls. The economy in 2007 was the reason we closed our retail store after 17 years. Everyone knows the term “starving artist”
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about 2-B Weavers – what should we know?
I no longer have a spot for people to shop for yarn but they can order on line and have things shipped to them. I devote a lot of hours to doing my own weaving. Every Nov. a friend and I have a sale and the whole year is devoted to making these items. Each weaving is generally one of a kind and covers a variety of techniques. I use weaving techniques for my chainmaille jewelry using metal jump rings instead of fiber to weave the designs. My beaded wall pieces are individual art works. I currently am working on a series of miniature wall pieces depicting details of butterfly wings. The beaded area is 3 1/2 x 4 inches.
Friends enjoy my handwoven towels and come back for more each year. It is the variety of my weaving that becomes exciting, One of my fashions was woven using strips of commercial fabric depicting the city of Chicago. By using both sides of the printed fabric, I created the city and its reflection in the water. This kimono, hat, & beaded necklace were in a Midwestern exhibit titled “My Kind of Town”.
My website 2-bweavers.com, offers a used equipment list for people looking for looms; spinning wheels; and antique fiber tools.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My best friend and business partner for 34 years was my biggest fan and inspiration.
Bev Savel and I taught the classes together and it was said that we could finish each other’s sentences because we were so close and had done it for years. We wove at each other’s homes on spare looms and even vacationed together for over 25 years.
- Address: 4222 Rose Avenue, Western Springs, IL 60558
- Website: 2-bweavers.com
- Phone: 708 246-9999
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org