Friday, September 26, 2008

International Bead Shopping

One of the fun things about being a beader is checking out bead stores when you travel. Had to check out The Sassy Bead Company when I was in Ottawa this past week - here's a picture of the outside of their store on William Street - love the polka dots! They also have a store on Yonge Street in Toronto, which is one of the first bead stores I visited when I began beading.

My favourite Toronto shops are Bead Junction and Beadfx. I have taken a lot of classes at each store, all of which were very well taught, and the staff in both stores are fabulous - very nice, extremely helpful and friendly. The selection of product at both stores is also excellent, I never leave empty handed!

My first foray into foreign bead shops was in London, England in January of this year. I visited a lovely store called Buffy's Beads in a neat little shopping block called KinglyCourt, off the famously funky Carnaby Street, and bought some beautiful Saworski crystal cubes in all the colours of the rainbow. It was pouring rain at the time I visited but it was worth getting wet to visit this store. Another great London bead store is called "The Bead Shop" in the Covent Garden neighbourhood.

But so far, my absolute favourite international shop is the one I discovered in Paris in March of this year (yes, 2008 has been the year of great trips to Europe!). It's called "Tout a Loisirs" and it's located in an old apothecary shop on the Rue de Archives. If you are in town, you really should check it out - it is beautiful. Lots of little wooden drawers and the beads are very conveniently displayed by colour. Here's a photo I took of the inside:

My friends Colleen and Bev were going to visit bead stores in Rome this past week, I wonder if they bought anything?

1 comment:

CMK said...

Perline a Roma!! That's how you say Beads in Italian. We got to 2 stores, the first one I had received a wonderful gift of beads from my sister last Christmas after her first trip to Rome. They do glass Venetian style beads, kind of large but interesting. We found them a bit pricey for what they are, but a good few focals as souvenirs of Rome..I picked one up for the Webmaster!!! The second shop we found on line and wasn't too far from the first. It had a lot of stock...I picked quite a few larger beads with big center holes for doing more of the Chinese knotting. All in all except for the 2 hour delay getting the train home a great day in a wonderful city!!
The stores are: 1st-Kouki
Via dei Coronari,26 2nd--La Perla D'Oriente Via Sora 30. Both have web sites with maps through a search. But the bottom line is, thank goodness for the Bead FX and
Bead Junction in Toronto. No seed beads in sight, La Perla when we asked had one small dusty drawer with small boring vials but that was it. Also a little pricey, but good for a visit and something small to bring home. Also no findings in sight either, just some long cords of leather to tie things with. I finished my second Shaggy Pearl, and B is almost finished a wonderful new Topography creation. We've been driving the hills of Umbria, seeing lots of inspiration for more projects.
Ciao, C & B in Italy!!