About Us - Part I of III

About Us - Part I of III

Larry Pike

Who are the people behind ArtisticThreadWorks?  Here's an article about the people behind this website. We will start with a little "background" on Holly and Larry Pike, then we can tell you about ArtisticThreadWorks. 

Holly grew up in Chicago and went to school at NorthEastern Illinois University.  Her major was Music Education and her primary instrument is Clarinet with a minor on Trumpet.  Her talent scholorship paid for tuition and she worked her way through school as assistant to the band director at NorthEastern and as an assistant to the editor at The School Musician magazine.

After college, Holly married Larry Pike.  Holly taught music in both Chicago public and suburban schools as well as working at a Mt. Prospect, Illinois music store.  The store rented, repaired and sold new and used band and orchestral instruments. It was here that Holly learned to repair musical instruments of all types. She also took up free-motion-embroidery and quilt-making as hobbies.

The owner of the business was injured when he fell off a ladder while cleaning his gutters at home. Holly was able to run the business for him and save him from bankruptcy. The owner made her manager of the business and told her she had a job with him forever!  His exact words were "for as long as you want it".  

As manager, Holly created a very successful marketing strategy for the music store and was able to grow the business into a small chain.  She became the company's General Manager. At that time, the owner's family suddenly wanted to get involved in managing what had previously been only a mom-and-pop music store. The two sons were brought into the business as trainees.

A couple of years later, in early 1998, Holly began feeling numbness and tingling in her right arm.  After many tests the doctors determined she had ulner nerve compression.  If you have ever hit your "funny-bone" and experienced what felt like an electrical shock running down your arm, then you have experience ulner-nerve compression for a split-second.  Imagine that feeling non-stop! 

After months of unsuccessful therapy, surgery was done to remove some of the bone in her right elbow and relocate the nerve into the newly created void.  Another year of therapy and Holly had regained 80% of the use of her right arm... Enough to look normal, but not enough to play or repair instruments.  It was at this point that the owner terminated Holly's job so he could move his son into the management of the company. (Life Lesson #27 -- "forever" is a shorter time than you think!)

Holly moved on to a job with a Fortune 100 company where she learned Oracle and became a Systems Analyst and Functional DBA.  While the job paid well, Holly no longer had an artistic outlet since she could not play music and couldn't move the hoop around to do free-motion embroidery....

Continued In Part II - Click Here!


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