Bead Stores

Beadmania (Vancouver)
1011 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
hours: Monday-Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5 (Sunday opening only during the holiday shopping season)

A small, but tidy shop with all the beads in little glass dishes in various cabinets lining the wall. Lots of interesting pressed glass, plastic and metal shapes that I haven't seen much elsewhere. A little bit of everything (seed, delicas, swarovskis, czech, semi-precious, wood/bone, etc).

Note: The shop is on the second floor, and there's no elevator access, so if you're packing a stroller or have other mobility issues, you've got problems (I ended up leaving the bottom part of my stroller at the shop downstairs (Penelope's) where the shopkeeper is very nice and sells interesting things from Peru).

Beadsmart Findings Inc. (Richmond)
8086 Park Road, Richmond, BC, V6Y 1T1 (note: the address on the website is old, this is the current address.
p: 604 278 3761
hours: 11-7 daily

The best selection of Swarovski and Czech crystal in the area (half the store is crystal). A good selection of findings and stringing supplies. Buy in bulk for the best pricing (individual beads are available, but packs of 8, 10, 12 or more your better bet).

Beadworks (Granville Island, Vancouver)
#5 - 1666 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3S4
p: 604-682-2323, f: 604-682-1303

Close to downtown Vancouver, this is a standard bead shop.

Beadworks (Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver)
#117-123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 3K7
p: 604-983-2309

Located in a public market, this edition of Beadworks is more of a kiosk.

Beadworks (Port Moody)
253 Newport, Port Moody, BC, V3H1X5
p: 604-468-8769

Located in yet another public market-type touristy area, this is a full-sized edition of Beadworks.

Capilano Rock and Gem (North Vancouver)
1406 Pemberton, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 2S1
p: 604-987-5311, f: 604-987-5303

Originally a lapidary supply store; beads, jewelry supplies, and their tools have staged a takeover (incomplete, however, there are still tumbling grits and whatnot if you want them). Skewed towards the bulk/production buyer, the packages are large, but well priced. They also have a good selection of semi-precious beads, fresh water pearl, Czech and Swarovski crystal, and findings.

Warning: A number of customers have reported poor/rude service.

Country Beads (Vancouver)
2015 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
p: 604-730-8056
hours: Monday-Saturday 10-6, Thursday 10-8, Sundays & holidays 11-6

A standard bead shop with experienced staff.

Note: They do have Delicas, but all they have displayed is a tiny colour card behind the till. Ask for what you don't see (like sterling).

Douglas Trading Post Limited (Vancouver)
991 Granville, Vancouver, BC, V6G2Y1
p: 604-687-4024, f: 604-687-4024

A general craft store in downtown Vancouver, at least half of which is devoted to beads. One wall is obviously covered in beads, but don't forget to check inside the glass counters, both sides have stacks of bead containers. Just ask.

Warning: The place is packed with stuff, and usually has boxes on the floor that makes stroller navigation difficult.

Mayway Creatives (Yaohan Mall, Richmond)
Closed as of April 1, 2003
#2405-3700 No.3 Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 2C1
p: 604-244-9398, f: 604-732-6039

A bead/Chinese knotting/gift store. Their bead selection is not huge, but they have a much better than average variety of semi-precious beads (both in shape and type).

The Other Bead (North Vancouver)
1830 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 2J9
p: 604-904-4254

Last visited when they were just setting up. The selection was not all that varied, but tended towards higher end beads (eg. Bali silver). Also a significant portion of the store was set up gallery-style for finished work.

Strung out on Beads (Abbotsford)
33735 Essendene, Abbotsford, BC
p: 604-852-8677

Jewelry and Lapidary Supply Stores

Artistic Arts & Crafts Limited (Chinatown, Vancouver)
125 E Pender, Vancouver, BC V6A1T6
p: 604-682-7118

A Buddhist/spiritual paraphernalia and jewelry store in Chinatown, this establishment also sells many semi-precious beads (in a good variety of shapes) as well as rough and polished stones and crystals. They also sell malas in various materials that the enterprising individual can render down into beads if they choose.

Capilano Rock and Gem (North Vancouver)
See their entry in the Bead Stores section.
Focus Gemstone Ltd. (Crystal Mall, Burnaby)
#2802 - 4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC
p: 604.430.9880
A store specializing in semi-precious stone gifts and jewelry. A small selection of beads are also available for purchase.
Lacy West Supplies Ltd. (Yaletown, Vancouver)
#102-480 Smithe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3C1
p: 604-669-5229, f: 604-669-5242, Toll Free Order Line: 800-667-4118

A jewellery supply store very close to downtown Vancouver. They have a very small section of beads (mostly precious metal spacers), but tools and findings galore. A "trade" shop, they cater to industry but will sell to anyone (buy in bulk and get bulk pricing).

Mountain Gems (Burnaby)
4611 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC, V5C 2K6
p: 604-298-5883
hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday-Sunday 11-5, Closed Monday, Statutory Holidays and the Sunday of a Holiday weekend

A lapidary supply store with a good selection of books and magazines on all the sensible topics (geology, rocks, gems, minerals, jewelry, beading, design, metaphysics, etc). The books are both new and used. They have current magazines as well as random back issues. They have a good selection of semi-precious beads as well as precious metal spacers, caps, and a smattering of base metal beads. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

Rockabout Gems (Steveston)
110-12240 2nd Ave, Steveston, BC V7E 3L8
p: 604.271.2070
A lapidary and jewelry supply store with a refreshingly open display. Everything that they sell appears to be nicely set out on shelves or hooks for easy customer inspection including the semi-precious bead strands and metal wire and sheets. Brightly lit and with lots of space to walk around (or maneuver a stroller).

Some hard to find items that they carry include "Tool Magic" and niobium findings and wire.

Sparkle Crystal (Crystal Mall, Burnaby)
#2616 - 4500 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC
p: 604.433.7178
A store specializing in semi-precious stone gifts and jewelry. A small selection of beads are also available for purchase.

Button Stores

Button Button (Gastown, Vancouver)
422 West Cordova, Vancouver, BC, V6B 4K2
p: 604.687.0067
hours: Mon-Sat 10:30-6
I haven't been for a loooooong time, so my recollection is hazy other than it's a fairly small store, but I've got an ad that says they have buttons in just about every material including mother of pearl, termite's nest, fur, bamboo and more.

Lampworked Bead Supply Stores

Bead Zone (604.870.0767)
Semi-private and private lampwork classes, equipment, and supplies. Studio rental and bead annealing services available.
Sunlight Art Glass (Surrey)
#102-13443-78 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3W OA8
p/f: 604-594-6311
hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:30-5:00, Saturday 11:00-4:00

A stained glass studio that offers workshops and supplies has added beadmaking to their repertoire.

Non-Standard Supply Stores

Canadian Tire (National Chain store)
Beaders have long haunted fishing tackle stores for supplies and even more since Fireline has been reported as one of the best stringing materials around. You can get it many places, but Canadian Tire has it as well as Spider Wire (that you might want to try as well). Don't forget to pickup some cheap pliers, wire cutters, and glue while you're there...
Lee Valley Tools (Coquitlam, Vancouver)
Officially a fine woodworking and gardening store, LVT is a treasure trove for any crafter. They carry a gamut of products from tools for small scale work, a wide range of glues and glue applicators, containers and organizing supplies, as well as safety gear. Wooden knobs and toy parts have also been known to be used for bead and tassel forms...

Book Stores

Chapters/Indigo (National Chain)
When you have a mega store, you have to stock some less than entirely mainstream books, because there's only so many copies of Harry Potter and the latest movie tie in thriller that you can fill your store with and not look stupid. So it is that Chapters/Indigo has a fairly decent selection of current craft and beading books. They may not make sure that they have a good stock of all the classics, but if what you're looking for just came out, you have a fair chance of finding it a one of their stores.
Golden Crown Bookstore (Chinatown, Vancouver)
159 E. Pender St, Vancouver, BC
p: 604-688-2282

Beads are hot all over the world, including Taiwan. Tucked in the back corner of this store is a good selection of books about all manner of crafts including beading, Chinese knotting, and how to make really cool things with bubble tea straws.

Iwase Books (Yaohan Mall, Richmond)
#2535-3700 No 3 Road, Richmond, BC, V6X 3X2
p: 604-231-0717

A Japanese bookstore with a healthy craft section, especially beadwork. Beadwork is hot in Japan and not only do they regularly receive new bead books, they also get the Bead News magazine. They also carry what appear to be instructional videos for beadwork, but as I don't think the explanatory monologues in Japanese would be particularly helpful for me I have not tried them.

Mountain Gems (Burnaby)
See their entry in the Jewelry and Lapidary section.
Oscar's Art Books (Vancouver)
1533 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6J1W6
p: 604-731-0553, f: 604-731-5272

Books about art, artists, inspiration and design. While not many of the books are directly crafty, if you are looking for a survey of ethnic jewelry, arts and crafts designs, contemporary Japanese jewelry, fashion through the ages, collectible costume jewelry, etc., etc. for inspiration, then this is the place. Also, if you've heard of an artist that has released a book about their work, this may be the only place in town that you would be able to find it. If you think you might be coming back, then join up and become a "Friend of Oscar's" for discounts and rewards.