You’ve decided you want to invest some time and energy in making jewelry from beads. Jewelry supplies for this hobby are easy to find all over the place. The real questions are how much do you want to spend, what kinds of beads will you use, and are you willing to wait a couple of days to get them.
Local Bead Shops
No question about it, this is your best option if you are a hands on person. The selection is pretty good, although not comprehensive, and you can finger the beads, see how they feel and put one next to another and decide if you like a particular combination.
The down side is that you are going to pay a lot more for beads here than anywhere else you can find them. The reason is that the shop owner is paying rent, utilities, employees, shipping, and goodness knows what else and they have to make a profit. That’s not your fault, per se, but you will be helping them pay the bills. If you are lucky, the employees will be knowledgeable and will help you make good choices. If not, well at least you got to see things up close.
Hobby and Craft Shops
The selection is smaller, as these shops are usually limited to carrying one or two lines of beads. If you don’t like the selection or are looking for something in particular, you might be out of luck. Unless you happen to find an employee who knows something about beads and beading, you are on your own.
The up side though is that you will usually pay less for beads here than at a bead shop. Of course, the quality is likely to be lower since mass produced beads tend to be, well, cheap. But, if you want to let your kids play with kits or you are just looking for something simple to make, this is a good option.
The Wild Web World of Beads
There is little doubt that your best prices and selections are going to be found online. Not only will there be thousands upon thousands of beads to choose from, but the prices are very reasonable. This means that you can get specialty beads affordably. Even handcrafted, one-of-a-kind beads can be found or ordered online, and if you are a serious beader, this is the source for you.
The down side is that the Web can be a little impersonal. If you don’t know what you want, you can spend hours looking for the right item. That is why it pays to find a good bead supplier and stick with them, developing a relationship over time; that way you will know when the sales are coming and how to get that special bead you want for a particular project.
Eventually, every serious artisan comes online for beads. Jewelry supplies are expensive enough without paying a premium at a local store.
Post time: 04-01-2017