BEAD STORE REVIEWS.  Scroll down to see reviews of stores I've visited in California, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee


This store is only about 1.5 miles from the main strip in Las Vegas. Situated in a strip center, once inside I was greeted immediately by a gentlemen who was one of the owners. The store is owned by two older gentlemen who worked in retail and retired with this business having a love of minerals and rocks in common. It is a medium size store which is neat and orderly, well lit and maintained. The prices were really great on crystals and they told me this is where they are competitive. 144 pcs of 4mm for 6.99! 72 pcs of 6mm for 8.99! I started at the crystal case first to take advantage of these prices. They also have delicas at really good prices as well. Along the walls hung czech facet glass, pearls, faux pearls, and gemstone strands. Sale tables in the center had .99 cent cabachons!!!! and they had a table with 2.99 items as well! Since this was my first visit they gave me a free strand of pearls! Lots of silver findings, not too many seed beads however. Customer Service was wonderful, they give a quantity discount, and you may use your wholesale tax id here as well. I came out of here with a great quantity of beads feeling like I got fantastic deals on my purchase. Everything here was pretty much the basics, but that's ok if that is what you need. A+ Service, B Selection



BALLY BEAD-Rockwall (Dallas)

My favorite place to shop in Dallas. It is on the east side of Dallas in the suburbs. It was the closest bead shop to my house at the time as well. Lucky me. First time I tried to find it, I missed it because it is located way off the road with avery small address marker on its' street, which is actually a very loooong driveway leading up to the store.It is a home turned into a store and the man who owns it I believe also lives at the location. There are 3 very large rooms. They have tons and tons of czech facets in every size and they sell them by the gross rather than small strands, but the prices are very good. They have a huge assortment of crystals which I used to buy there all the time. Sold in strands of 50 or 100. Unusual cross shapes and oval shapes in semi precious strands was another thing I have not seen anywhere else. Lots of semi-precious/silver pendants as well. One thing they have that you don't see much of are necklace parts for centers of drop necklaces or for use in earrings and they had lots of unique styles you won't find anywhere else. Very large assortment of natural stones in an array of sizes. Usually there are 2 or 3 women sitting at desks ready and waiting to help you for checkout time. They also used to have a large assortment of turquoise strands in all shapes and sizes. This is a huge place so plan to spend some time here. A very large assortment of African trade beads can be found here if you like that sort of thing. The owner travels there often and picks up interesting things from beads, to masks, to accesory items. This is a wholesale place only so bring your tax id numbers. A+ for assortment A for service



The most organized bead store I have been in, they have lots of tables of beads in small cubelets
really a feast for the taking when you see them all laid out this way. They sell quite a bit of loose beads as well as crystals in all colors. They have a large assortment of 8's and 6's as well as strands and strands of lots of things. Classes are also available here with a really knowledgeable bead staff. The owner Linda is extremely talented and willing to help in any way. I still remember the first time I went in here long before I did beadweaving and I remarked that I could never do some of the complicated things that they had on display here. Linda smiled and said that it just took patience and a class! A for assortment A for service

HOUSE OF INDIA - Market Hall Trade Center -Dallas

Not the usual on the path place to shop for beads, it is located in the trade center where all the trade shows for clothing buyers and store owners are held. They also hold the big bead shows and other type shows here since it is a huge place. I only shopped here if I had to stop by a vendor booth when I was a retail manager/buyer in the fashion industry. I did notice this place and always stopped in to see what interesting things they had. Unusual seed beads, lots of accessory brass pieces to hold your beads and onesies and twosies can be found here. Not sure if it is still there since I last shopped here, but it's worth looking. B selection A service

ROCK BARREL - Richardson

I love going to The Rock Barrel. They have lots of "rocks" minerals, cabachons, sliced natural semi-precious rocks, and unusual pieces. If you don't go through all the many many metal drawers you will miss some treasures. There are a lot of drawers and you never know what you will find in them. The store is run by a father and son and maybe another son behind the scenes, but they are always ready and willing to help you find what you need. They have a large assortment of freshwater pearls. They also have a whole wall dedicated to vintage and current findings. I don't know where they get all these vintage findings but they are interesting to look at and design in your head as you go. They have greek ceramic beads here which are unique to them and I always pick some up here. Very inexpensive too! I like to go here to find something unique and also buy pearls here. They have a website that does not remotely reflect what they are about at this store, although the owner travels to India quite a bit and posts his travels on there. A for uniquenes and selection A for service
FRIENDZE- Humble (suburb houston)

Although they list themselves as a bead store, I would really call them in my opinion a charm store. They have tons and tons, boxes and boxes of every kind of charm you could imagine. They sell a lot of finished jewelry and accessories here as well. I as a beader am not really into buying finished pieces but they are nice to look at for inspiration at least. If your looking for beads, you will find some, but it doesn't seem to be their main focus. I did like to buy my charms and findings here and you can find stringing material as well, but not a great selection. B for selection and B for service

Two rooms fill this store, they have a very large selection of seed bead hanks, bugles, tubed seed beads in a nice assortment of colors and I always find something different here. They have a ton of component findings, like angel parts and metal charms. They are packed by the dozen and you will save money buying them this way.
Beaded Iris- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
Last Visited 2011
They've moved!!  They have moved into a bigger store, same shopping center but on the northeastern side.  You may think they are gone so don't go, check it out.  Very nice shop. The ladies here are so sweet and very helpful. They offer classes here and carry a nice selection of seed beads, cubes, triangles,  leaves and flower beads, czech facet glass beads, and unusual pendant pieces. This a good place to find unique little trinket beads. They carry a lot of Klew handmade beads (polymer) and designer  lampwork beads as well. I go here whenever I visit Albuquerque and as beaders do, we admire each others work. Sparse classes available.
A+ for service and B for selection.

Kameyab Imports- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

Kameyab is a wholesale bead store. It is the biggest place I have been in. 6000-7000 square feet of beads. They had 10 huge tables in the center of the place filled and organized by color and type of stone with coral, turquoise, pearls, lapis, mothe of pearl etc.. I think I spent just an hour at the tables alone. Then I headed for the strands hanging on the walls by bead stone type. They looked so pretty hanging by color and their denim lapis section alone was about 3 feet wide and 12 feet deep. Each type of stone had a large wide and lengthy section. They are direct importers. They have a large large large selection of every type of pearl and some of them were priced on this day at 4.00 a strand...and then they gave me a discount on top of that. Two eastern men ran the place this day, and I realized they are at all the bead shows in California to the East coast shows. They have a huuuuuuuuge selection of unique and different carved cabachons, smooth stone and high end cabachons. Peruvian opals, carved jade, They had two large tables with just cabachons on them. Amazing. I spent 3 hours in there and spent a good portion of my bead money here. They don't carry crystals but they are a fantastic place for strands of semi-precious stones if you need them. You must have your resale license to enter the store and receive a quantity discount. A++++++++ in every way.


MAMAS MINERALS - Albuquerque
Last visited 2010
Store is located back behind the old Kistler Collister building, off of San Mateo. If you like rocks, stones, interesting gems, you will love this store. In the windows are amazing 2 foot wide fossils from Egypt which should give you a clue as to what is inside. The front area of the store has strands and strands of semi-precious stones, pearls, facets, glass czech beads. I didn't see a whole lot of seed beads or delicas, but who cares because this place is called mamas minerals and that is what they cater to. They also have a large area of charms, silver findings, and unique toggles to choose from . I always find nice rustic copper pieces that are not readily available anywhere else here. The back area of the store is all about rocks, minerals. You will find pretty much every tool to cut, shape, or carve your rocks and make them into pretty stones. They also have quite a few fossil pieces and large semi-precious rocks for sale as well. Service is average, no complaints on my part, but they don't go out of their way to come up and help you are pretty much on your own. Lots to look at in this store and worth a trip if you can visit. They give a discount if you purchase $200 worth of merchandise at one time. B for assortment (only because not many seeds) B for service.


Poppyfield Bead Company - Albuquerque, N.M.

New store front and Old store front

Last Visited 2011
New store!! as of September 2011 with a new owner.  Yay...I can't say enough good things about the new store...It's bigger, brighter, has more beads..beads and more beads.  The staff is friendly and helpful and they offer classes as well.  When I visited I was very impressed with their layout.  The store has moved from it's old location in an industrial area to a new more visible main street location.   They carry all kinds of seed beads in all sizes, delicas, and books.  They don't cater to a whole lot of stones and semi-precious stones but in Albuquerque those are in abundance.  If you need seed beads this is the place.  A+ for service, B for selection.

SUN COUNTRY GEMS - Albuquerque - Old Town

Store is located in the Historic Old Town district off Central and between Lomas. It is situated upstairs in one of the centrally located 'plaza' areas. Store is somewhat small, clean, organized and usually the two owners are always the ones working. They have a very large selection of delicas and seed beads. I found lots of colors I don't already have (and that is amazing to me in itself) They carry interesting lampwork beads and leaves and flower beads as well as a nice variety of beading books. They also have a basic (not large) assortment of semi-precious stones and pearls hanging on their walls. Prices are a little high here I thought, but in Old Town that is to be expected and since some things are a little on the unique side I was willing to pay their prices. B for service and B for assortment


Thomason Stone Co. Albuquerque

Last visited 2011
On Menaul , in a strip center, this store is pretty, big, clean and organized by color. They have a lot of semi-precious stones. Large display cases with jewelry on display for inspiration. In September 2011 when I last visited they had a much bigger selection of items.  Prettier displays and so many one of a kind interesting pendant pieces and findings.   They give quantity discounts and will take your tax id at check out. Very nice and helpful staff. B for assortment and A for service

Southwest Gem and Minerals -Albuquerque

.I have been shopping here for over 15 years! This place is an institution.  Not a bead store, but it is a Mineral and gem store.  I still love going in here! Unique, one of a kind, rocks, minerals, cabachons, and gems. These people know their gems and minerals and where rocks come from and cut their own. I used to like to buy semi precious stones here to make my husbands tie tacks. I would pick out a pretty stone and they would mount in a setting within days. Very inexpensive, this is a treasure trove of a store if you like looking for unique pieces to bead around or wire wrap. They also carry silver wire by the foot and general jewelry making supplies. There are many many cases and cases of stones in polished shapes, ovals, hearts, solids, bead styles, from earrings size to pendant, to huge, and they carry a large selection of lapidary supplies as well. Emeralds, opals, sapphires as well as semi precious stones can be found as well. The walls are lined with shelves of fossils, rocks, and interesting "stuff" The staff is extremely knowledgeable of gems and can tell you exactly what the "rocks" are where they came from and more! If you are looking for beads this is not the place, This is the place if you want to find a really cool pendant piece or unique jewelry components for beaded items. I spend at least an hour or more in here when I go.


Nomadic Notions - Memphis TN
UPDATE: AS OF 2008, this store has closed - Here is a comment I found regarding the store and have since found out the manager is now owner of another bead store in town.
-Nomadic Notions closed in Memphis recently. I never enjoyed my visits to the store. I never felt welcome. Very snooty atmosphere. Love the bead store in Olive Branch, MS. It's called Bead Towne. Very nice shop and owners! Love working at the beading bar
Located in the older part of Memphis in the University area it is an
average size store with the fragrance of a 1960's hippie shop incense smell. The manager who looked like a holdover hippie in my opinion, always seems to be busy having lots of conversations about her life and always seems to be on the phone. Customers have to either wait til conversation ends or " forgettaboutit " I only went to Nomadic Notions if I am desperate and need one or two things I can't get right away which is sad because in Memphis "there ain't no bead places" to speak of. They carry lots of strands of semi-precious stones (overpriced) and unusual exotic one of a kind pieces in their cases. They also sell finished jewelry. Their beads seem to me to be way overpriced and their classes were ridiculously expensive. $125 for a peyote amulet class without supplies! B for selection and C for service



Beadbox - Phoenix area

Very roomy, organized place with the usual crystals, seed beads, size eights and 6's. They were having a sale this day and I got some fantastic deals. Small selection of semi-precious stones, but they did have quite a few silver chains by the foot in nice styles. Good assortment of all around beads. B for selection, A customer service.   This store may have closed??


Scottsdale Bead Supply - Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale-down the road from old downtown scottsdale is where you will find this shop.
I had seen this place all over the magazines etc..and this is what it looks like. A little adobe house in the middle of a residential area. Once inside however..several rooms of floor to ceiling beads, swarovski crystals, stones, hill tribes silver, and the prize inlay silver beads. That is what I ended up spending a lot of my cash on, were pretty 12mm silver beads inlayed with opal and also square and rectangle shapes. These are pricey, but to hang just one from a chain makes a nice pendant necklace. The opal colors ranged from pinks to turquoise to sea greens. Their swarovski pearls were priced very good and they had the large 12mm size I had been searching for. Their semi-preciouse stone collection was awesome! Lots of unusual colors and shapes. They sell wholesale and everything is priced with a code where you can either see the retail or the coded wholesale price. I really liked that a lot. Very organized store and good customer service. Wholesale pricing available with tax id. One thing I really liked was the way they priced their items easily for wholesalers as well as retailers. They will tell you the "code" when you give them your resale certificate. They have a very nice catalog with their inlay silver beads and toggle sets and also a website. A+ for selection and A for service.


Beadrageous - Tempe/Prescott? Phoenix area

This was a nice little shop located in a strip shopping center. It had lots of unusual one of a kind pendant pieces and focal beads. It is a small shop, but the service was excellent. The man working there was very nice and gave me a discount on some peruvian opals I had been drooling over. I also purchased some face cabachons here. He had a really pretty assortment of the opals and hard to find gemstones in his cases. Not really a place to find seed beads, but strands and strands of genuine stones. A+ for customer service, B for selection.


D & I Beads
Outside Phoenix

D & I Beads - Phoenix area

This is a huuuge place. I found lots of great buys on shell and stone pendants, silver and copper findings. The copper ones were a bit cheap, but they had a very large selection of copper toggles. They are very nice in there and the owner even took time out to show a few of us how to make a wire wrapped ring. They also sell display pieces for your necklaces etc..which I picked up as well. I found quite a few flower and leaf beads that I have a hard time finding in good colors, and they had an amazing assortment of stone beads. Not the place to buy seed beads for me at least, the colors were pretty basic. Also available on the web. I would give it an A for assortment and maybe a B for pricing, although they do have quantity discounts.


No photo of this place but it is huuuge, they have you put your purse in a locker
when you enter and Oh my many beads, so little time. Special of the day was $5 strands of semi-precious stones all laid out on a table in serpentine jade, quartz in amazing colors, faceted rondelles, chunks, pearls. I bought quite a few strands from the table.
I found the silver 2mm and 3mm beads I have been searching for in packs of 100 at good prices and they had some pretty colors in charlottes which are hard to find and I purchased some of them. One room was strictly pendant pieces of carved butterflies and shapes. They carry 3mm crystals by the strand at a good price. I really enjoyed this store. Quantity discount given and take your tax id with you. A+ for variety and assortment B for service

Razzle Dazzle - Downtown old Scottsdale
I don't have a picture, but this place is small, and ceiling to floor beads. Lots of stone beads, which had great prices and the owner/manager was willing to haggle a little bit. Unusual faceted rectangle glass beads caught my eye and I bought quite a few strands. Service was not the greatest and nothing is priced! I had to ask about the price on everything. I kept track by writing the prices on a separate sheet so I could keep track, and then I was a overcharged and had to go back to have them refund me at that time. At that point they weren't so friendly. B for assortment and pricing, and C for service



What a lovely store!  Half bead store and half plant nursery.  Great selection of czech glass beads, seed beads, and daggers and specialty shape beads.  If that wasn't enough a lovely meditative garden out back with wonderfullly scented peppermint herbs and cactus plants for rock gardens.  I would have loved to just sit and bead in the garden here.  Nicely organized by bead type.  Owner was very pleasant and helpful and I was greeted by her pet kitty too.  Last time visited July 2011.  B for selection - A for service

If you are familiar with Paula Radke you know she is famous for her dichroic pieces.  Beautiful glass in ethereal hologram colors.  Her shop does not disappoint! Trays of her amazing beads abound.  The beads are pricey but one bead can outshine a bracelet project by using it alone.  Very nice store run by her mother.  I have been in here twice and neither time was Paula here.  She is a busy girl I'm sure with all the bead shows she does.  Dichroic seed beads are a unique item here and I couldn't leave without that item.  If you are looking for seed beads, this isn't the place. Nice selection of semi precious stones sold here, however this store is more like an art gallery of Paulas dichroic glass bead works for sale. Amazing selection at that.  B for selection. A for service Last visited July 2011


The Bead Connection store has two sides to it. Visited August-2006, on one side is a yarn and fiber shop and the other half is the actual bead shop. Although it is a shared space they do carry quite a few beads. My eyes were on the oversize crystals they carried and the rivoli's which are good for medallions and bead emroidery items. They have a pretty good selection of seeds, and also carry triangles and charlottes. Lots of findings in silver and plated silver. I picked up several toggle sets, triangles in size 11's and some charlottes. They had 99cent packs of silver flower bead caps, and I bought all of what they had, 'cause I have plans for those! They also had some bead books that are somewhat obscure in their content. We found some finished beadwork we liked and asked for patterns buy were told they weren't sure where the patterns were. They did try and show us what they had done and promised to email us with a pattern. Classes available weekly. B for selection C for customer service



Store is situated in a residential/industrial neighborhood. Visited August - 2006 Outside doesn't look like much, but inside they have two showrooms of items. They carry a large selection of Klew beads and maybe 'look-alikes' similar to the polymer clay klew beads. Large selection of one of a kind focal beads. They also carry the basics in czech glass beads. I picked up some seed beads in 'flesh and peach tones and some carved star pendants. Large selection of the ceramic beads which I could buy directly from the vendor at half the price which they were selling at this store. They offer classes and they have a small workroom/class area in the back which had a pretty loomed beaded face being worked on at the time we visited. Very nice clerk and nice selection of items. A for selection B for pricing A for Customer Service



Upon entering Ubead It, my first gasp came as I looked at the samples in the cases. These are some serious beaders here. At this time, only classes in PMC were being offered which was a bit discouraging since they had wonderful samples of things in their cases. We meandered through the first room and I found lots of display pieces perfect to hang pendants, rings, etc. from. Lots of semi-precious stones, loose beads, pearls, everything from dichroic cabachons to fire polish beads are here. The second room was really a very large feast of seed beads, triangles, cubes, hexes in unusual colors and finishes. Yeaaah..that's what I'm lookin' for!

You will find pretty much everything you need here, as well as great beading books and I loved how they had bracelets made up in their wall cases of all the projects in 3 of their "own" bead books. Service was 'adequate' both my friend and I tried to get to the 3mm fire polish but an employee was way too busy to let us into his little space where he was No Sale there! Overall however, you will be pleased when you come here. B for service, A for selection



I was hoping this store was similar to the Beadworks in Dallas, but I'm afraid there is no similarity. Although they had a nice assortment of seed beads, loose beads, we were never acknowledged by the two sales people. One was working and covering a very large portion of the sales area with her "paperwork" so I never looked at their blue/purple loose beads at all. Nor did anyone so much as ask if we needed help. Samples were shown, however the workmanship in those was not the greatest and it was very noticeable that the store was a bit unclean. My purchase consisted of some size 15 seeds and drops in colors I had not seen. I also found some really cute "stars" in red and blue beads for 4th of July. Perfect for what I am currently making. When checkout came , the salesperson did not look up, say hello, smile, or even act like we were there until she finally looked up at us and told us the amount that's someone you want working in your store isn't it? B for selection, D for service.


Blackstone and Herndon area
As of 2010, Bella Bead has moved to a new location. Same shopping center, however they are in a larger store. It is at least 4 times to 5 times bigger than it was, with a lot of space, tables, and now they have a classroom, which they didn't have in their old stores. Products are pretty much the same, however I noticed they concentrate a lot more on semi-precious stones, and they have a small seed bead section. They carry drops (which I love). If you are into stringing and not beadweaving, this is a great store to shop at. In time, I'm sure they will cater a bit more to the professional beadworker/weaver. They carry almost all of the swarovski colors and have some of the newest Swarovski pieces like the hearts, flowers and rondelles. It is very organized and easy to shop in. I see now they are finally carrying the 3mm crystals as well!!! Yippee! Everything is within arms reach and everything is priced . A large selection of freshwater pearls, semi-precious strands and silver findings is a welcome sight. Their silver and findings selection is one of their strong points. Lots of onsies and twosie loose beads are on the tables and organized by color. They also have a very large variety of pendants and focal stones for necklaces neatly packaged up and displayed in glass cases. There are lots of jewelry pieces made up for extra inspiration. Service is very good and they welcome you by name. Classes offered too! They have a discount program for large quantity buyers if buying $100 which they give a 5% discount, and welcome tax id's. They have a website as well. B for selection A for service.

Bullard and West area
Nice and bright store, and lots and lots and lots of little cups organized by color. A lot of beads have been packed into this store space. There are some really different beads here and they are sold each. Many of their one of a kind beads are murano glass, interesting stone focal beads, and swarovski pendant pieces. They also have a large selection of crystals in bicones, cubes, and rounds in all sizes and colors. They currently have a lot of kits packaged up in their signature design which is a basic caterpillar pattern. Crystals are packaged in 24 or 50 and also sold separately each. They have a really good assortment of things from a large assortment of czech facets in 5mm as well as 3 and 4mm, 6 and 8mm. Seed beads, and delicas as well as size 15's are also carried. Size 8's and size 6 's in cubes and seed beads in a nice array of colors line the shelves above the cups of beads. I would like to see more triangles and size 15 or 10 delicas carried here, since they do have seed beads here. Unusual semi-precious stones hang on the walls and inside their cases, special designer beads, swarovski specialty pieces. Very nice owners who are always cheerful and happy to see you, they are always helping out someone with a "jewelry challenge" and they do so cheerfully and happily. Bead Artistry offers FREE CLASSES every now and then are available as well as paid instruction classes. B for assortment A for service


Selma is just a few minutes from Fresno area
High street and 2nd area

NEW OWNERS IN 2008- Maria the store owner greets you as you walk in. This store has completely been revamped. If you like gemstones, this is the place for you to shop!! She loves big, chunky, bright and beautiful. This is in the Fresno-Clovis area just off hwy 99 at the second street exit. The previous owner Camille had a very nice store, but I have to say I really like the layout much better now and the selections is its' strong point. Not a seed bead place, so if that is what you want you may not want to shop here. This is for stringers, lots of copper, silver, brass findings, and unusual pendant pieces. It is located in the downtown area on one of the main streets. Outside the store looks small, but once inside it is very big. An assortment of loose beads and semi-precious stones, nicely arranged on the walls and lots of tables of loose stones. Lots of cups!! They claim to have the largest selection of loose beads in the valley. I think that may be true, because I picked up a really nice assortment of focal stones to use in necklaces and earrings. Lots of unique pieces I have not seen anywhere in the area. The little waterfalls in the entry areas were a nice peaceful touch to the shopping experience and they had some nice "world music" playing that I enjoyed too. They had a table set up with all $5.00 strands and I found some nice colors of semi-precious serpentine and quartz. There are so many beads here, and small section of antiques and antique jewelry. They are open 5 days a week! Closed sun. and mon. Classes offered in evenings by the owner. B for selection and A service.
San Francisco area

I loved this store.  Visited in 2014.  They have lots of the latest in cutting edge beads, cords, findings that are hard to find.  They have a wonderful array of finished pieces by award winning designers in beautiful cases.  Each of them will inspire and make you drool.  I never knew this store existed until a friend introduced me to Huib Peterson, and he in turn introduced me to this store.  We visited one day in San Francisco and took the dart to Berkley situated in the university area.   As you walk in,  the array of colors of seed beads on the far wall draws you to them. That's only the beginning because as I perused,  I found some pretty cords that I loved for beaded pendants.  On the tables they have many one of a kind pieces to hang from pretty dyed ribbon cords, which they also carried.   Tons of metal making things and interesting pieces to design with.  They offer classes and service was good.  B for selection and B for service. 

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