• LIFE Stories: A message of hope through beads

    With every new piece of jewelry Erin Bressler designs, it’s another reminder of the moments she’s been able to enjoy since beating a brain tumor .

    Bressler, 26, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 4.

    “I had three surgeries and was in and out of the hospital for a lot of my childhood,” she said. “Throughout my recovery, arts and crafts helped me.”

    Today, she is a resident of LIFE and the founder of Erin’s Super Beads.  She creates beaded items such as necklaces and bracelets, pens, salad servers, wire-wrapped stones and more. She donates a portion of her proceeds to organizations such as the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children and Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as other organizations.

    “I love making the items and I like to share my story with the customers,” said Bressler, who started her bead business as a young teen after going to a craft show with her mother and seeing rows and rows of jewelry.

    She participated in a handful of local craft shows over the summer and had a week-long post at the HyArts Artist Shanties in September. This was her fifth time selling at the Shanties, which has successfully been providing local artists a unique, affordable harbor-front location to sell their work since 2005. On Oct. 28, Bressler will have a table at the Bourne Middle School Fair and on Nov. 18, she’ll be at the American Made Craft Fair in Bourne.

    Bressler has been with LIFE for four years. Originally from Georgia, she moved to the Cape six years ago to attend the Riverview School, and then moved on to LIFE.

    “It’s been a good fit,” she said. “I’ve got my crafts, a job and friends.”

    Erin has worked at T.J. Maxx stores in Falmouth and Hyannis. Now, she’s working three days a week at Mrs. Mitchell’s Gifts — a seasonal gift shop on Main Street in Hyannis. She participated in the Project Forward program at Cape Cod Community College for a semester last spring for a retail course.

    “I enjoyed that,” she said. “It just helped me understand more about stores.”

    Active in the community, Bressler has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Restore in Yarmouth, as well as Cape Cod Hospital and the Salvation Army. She still actively volunteers at the Hyannis Library. She lives in Hyannis with a roommate.

    “I like being able to do things on my own and go out when I want to,” said Bressler, who enjoys going to the beach and out to shows.

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