Monday, October 13, 2008

The World's Largest Bead Store

Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, Washington is the self-proclaimed largest bead store in the world. I really didn't know it was within driving distance. My soon to be former boss Ann, our friend Kip and I embarked on the trip to Shipwreck after rendezvousing at the print shop/antique mall. Kip had said he would drive, but Ann decided she wanted to, so thankfully Kip and I actually got to look at scenery, read beading magazines (on the way back), and just enjoy the trip. It took us roughly 4-1/2 hours to get there, and we only stopped once to get gas, and at the Safeway at Jantzen Beach to get eats (none of us had eaten breakfast before we left). We were all very excited about going, but Ann and I had never gone there before. I had no idea just how big it really was. It is HUGE!!! Picture over 48,000 styles of beads and charms and findings, and books, and . . . eight, count them, eight cashiers!!! It is like going to a major bead show, great prices, fantastic variety, and all under one roof. The building takes up a huge area in an area of huge warehouses, and basically that is what it is, but decorated nicely. They have wonderful old native American beadwork items, old beaded bags from at least 75 years or more ago, and a variety of newer things as well in wonderful displays on the walls, and a fringe of mardi-gras beads all around the edge of the ceilings like a wall-paper border, only done in beads. The photos are just a sample of what is there. I loved the displays so much I wanted to share them with you. The place is so big I didn't even go to two huge areas containing the books and the high end beads. I also only went to one side of the back warehouse area. Yikes, I definitely have to go back. (Mental note to self. Time it to match the Frantz Bash next year and stay over.) After we had shopped for a couple of hours we had to take a break for lunch. Well, guess what?!! There was a cafe inside the bead store. It had great food and reasonable prices. After lunch we shopped another hour or so, and then prepared to check out. I know I spent way too much money, but got some fabulous beads, some charms, copper findings, awesome mermaid clasps for bracelets, some fun beads for my little grandgirls, some purple glass pearls for me, raccoon beads to make Tess earrings and pendant, and did I mention 31 strands of assorted beads. I found another two strands later, so make that 33 strands.

Then of course we had another 4-1/2 hour drive home, but you know what? It was soooo worth it. We laughed, told stories from our misspent youths, and just plain had a great time together. How fun it was!!!


rosebud101 said...

How fun is that? Wow!

PolymerClayTutor said...

Oh I so need to go there! I am about 4 hrs North of that store, just across the border in Canada. Sometime when I go to Seattle to visit my cousins, I'll have to go a little further and check the store out! ~Cindy Lietz

Dave Robertson said...

Hi, Rita,

I wish I could go too! Actually I work at Rings & Things in Spokane...and we have a big wonderful showroom (come visit us!)...but I keep hearing how much fun "that place" in Lacey is! There might even be a few things we don't have here. ;-)

at Rings & Things

Rita'z R-tistic Ramblez said...

Dave, I just got a new R&T catalog in the mail today. I wish i could have gone to the show you guys did in the Willamette Valley recently. Working weekends is hell sometimes. Some day I will make it to Spokane.

Steph said...

Wowww this place sounds like magpie's heaven !