sites with comprehensive listings of bead stores and such,
so why does this site need it's own? Because, due to the nature
of big comprehensive lists, it is nearly impossible to make a
logical grouping of stores by location other than by
province/state and city/town. I have tried (as a tourist) to plan
vacations using the internet and it can be exceedingly difficult
to figure out what is actually in range of your destination: is
Cupertino near LA or SF? is Olympia somewhere I can go and return
from during the duration of a baseball game in Seattle? etc.
Thus, our list of shopping destinations is sorted by major
metropolitan centres because that's usually how people travel
(eg. While the actual destination may be Redwood City or Nepean,
people will tell you that they are going to San Francisco or
Ottawa because that's where the airport is and that's the most
efficient way of communicating). This will, of course, cause
some overlap, but that's how it is in life too. The range of
locations should be limited to regular commuting distances which
can be on the order of 1 - 1 1/2 hrs driving time. The farther
a destination is from the stated nexus, the more special it
should be, but these lists will also be different from the usual
in that customers (not retailers) will be giving their opinion
on the stores.
Lastly, a word about categorization:
- Bead Stores
- Bead stores sell, primarily, beads (of course), but also
stringing supplies, findings and some tools.
- Jewelry and Lapidary Supply Stores
- Jewelry and lapidary supply stores tend to be one and the
same. They usually sell the bigger, more specialized tools
and findings that hobbyists and artisans past the beginning
stage may want. They also should have precious metals
(silver, gold, etc.) in wire, sheet, tube, casting grain, etc.
Additionally, they should have stones (precious,
semi-precious, and otherwise) in a greater variety of shapes
and sizes than generally found in a bead store.
- Button Stores
- If you're thinking little white plastic disks, then you
haven't been to a button store. Even a well stocked
fabric store will have buttons that can begin to give you
ideas. Buttons can be used for clasps, pendants,
embellishments and centrepieces. Plus most of them have at
least one hole in them, just like beads...
- Lampworked Bead Supply Stores
- Actually, I don't think I've ever seen a lampworked bead
supply store, but teachers often sell supplies and
the gas, torches, glass, and other paraphernalia are available
in various shops. Also, stained glass stores have clued in to
the sideline business they can do with lampworkers.
- Non-Standard Supply Stores
- The best bead containers are found in hardware stores? I
should look for stringing material in a fish tackle store? I
should ask my dentist for what? That's right, get
off the beaded path for better bargains and just the right
- Book Stores
- Bookstores with a decent craft section are not always easy
to find, but we like to point out the good ones.
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco