A while ago I said this in a post about the JAC Oldies but Goodies Challenge "Jewelry artisans, I tell you. They go on a trip and the first thing they find in a city is a bead store."
This post for the blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community picks up the topic of bead stores - those places that make us faint or jump from excitement.
In times of online shopping taking over - and I'm not saying I am not guilty of doing that! - more and more brick and mortar shops are disappearing, not just for beads, mind you. When I started knitting in the early 80s, there were several yarn shops in my town, then they closed down and just one was left, but only because they started offering all kinds of other things, too.
As much as I enjoy having a large choice of beads online, as much I love visiting a bead store. My favorite kind, the kind that struggles the most, are those shops that are not part of a crafts shop chain or a drugstore chain which happens to have a craft department where you can find everything from bead kits over clay to the latest trend in crafting.
Being the dinosaur that I am I like a shop with the owner's heart and personal passion in it. Unfortunately there isn't a shop like that in my own town and never has been. Maybe that's why I love to sniff out bead stores when coming to another town.
I remember Edinburgh. The first evening we arrived, on a Sunday, we took a little stroll. It was like magic, not long and I had my nose and hands pressed against a window, desperately trying to notice details in the dark.
"We'll come back tomorrow morning first thing", my ex said rolling his eyes like a horse. For some reason he thought it would be more interesting to check out other things first like the tour to Loch Ness we wanted to do, going into town, see the castle, visit museums ... all things I love to do, but ... bead store!
Or how about Cambridge. We walked up the street after we had had a guided punting tour, and there, on the left side, bead store! It was closed that day, so we had to come back.
Do I detect a pattern there?
It turned out to be small and friendly, just the way I like it. "Are you going to take long?" "No, no, no. How do you like this? Or that?" "Oh, buy it already."
Nuremberg. My little brother and I came down from the Imperial Castle and almost right there at the foot of the castle was a bead store and yes, it was open. My brother waited outside with that slightly annoyed look on his face. I could have spent more time, but I told the lady I had to get back to the man out there. She laughed and said that she thought bead stores should always be built across from hardware stores. Now there's an idea ;-)
Like I said, here in town we don't have a bead store. We do have the drugstore chain with the crafts aisle, one of the toy shops used to carry some Czech beads, but finally gave that up, and we have the store with stuff for the garden and decorations on one and crafts things on the other floor.
Just the other day I ran in to look for a particular wire color and got it, but I'm not always that lucky because they have a limited choice. One normal house floor is not enough for all crafts there are. I still like to check there, though, if I need something quickly.
For more bead store stories have a look at what some of my fellow members have to say.
Jewelry Art by Dawn