happening peoplearchive

Stacy Bierma

When she was 17, Stacy Bierma departed Des Moines to follow the Grateful Dead. "I traveled all over the US," she says. "I sold beadwork on tour." Along the way, Bierma discovered both Eugene, where she and friends rented a house, and New York City's bead district, where she could buy beads in quantity. "I sold off the excess to Deadheads," she notes. Bierma sold beadwork and beads at the Banyan Tree in the mid-80s, then opened Harlequin Beads downtown in 1988. Hooked on alcohol and drugs since Deadhead days, she quit abruptly in 1996. "I got into a bicycle accident -- it sobered me up," she explains. "Then I got into recovery." Harlequin has propered in the era of sobriety, growing from one employee to 15. One third of sales occur online. Since 2000, Bierma has donated 10% of every Sunday's sales receipts to the Buckley Center, a chronically underfunded sobering-up and detox facility. She has also organized and sponsored two benefit concerts for Buckley at the McDonald. "My life is so much better -- I wanted to give something back," she says. "The first year we had 200 people and raised $3000. This year it was twice that."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 10 April 2003

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