Hello. My name is Serena Thomas. I am a life long bead fanatic, but started making my own glass beads in December of 2001.
I spent the first seventeen years of my life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there I ventured off to North Carolina to attend a tiny little college nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Swannanoa, North Carolina. While hanging out in the Valley, I met my future husband. Three weeks after our first child was born, we decided the grandparents would greatly appreciate being closer to their first grandchild. So, we packed up everything we owned in a red Pinto station wagon we had just bought and headed back to Milwaukee. The country bumpkin (my husband) hated the city! Nine months later, we were on our way to the countryside, right smack between Madison and Stevens Point. Years later, the strong desire to own our own property led us to the Ozarks of Missouri, which is where we currently reside.
One summer, while my parents were visiting, I showed my father the latest copy of Beads & Button. In particular, my awe at some of the gorgeous glass lampwork beads in the ads throughout the magazine. Both my parents at the time, were very much into stained glass. They were making stepping stones and light catchers. A couple of months later, he bought himself a hot head kit and began to make his own beads. Soon he was selling his beads on eBay. One day, he completely surprised me with my very own hot head kit. Years later, I still can't quite believe that I make my own glass beads. (Thank you, Dad!!)
Today, I have 3 kids and an extremely supportive and helpful husband. I am a full time bead maker, but I get plenty of help from everybody whenever possible. I also homeschool our youngest who also really enjoys making beads at the torch. My husband, Mike, gets stuck with bead cleaning duty most often, and I have a couple of part time studio and office assistants. So, while it might be called Serena's Beadery, most days everybody has their bead duties. I truly could not get it all done all by myself! :)
I have taken classes from Sage and Tom Holland, Holly Cooper, Andrea Guariino, Melanie Moertel, Anastasia, Dustin Tabor, Stephanie Sersich, and Michael Mangiafico.