Kari Golden/The Bull
Tanks, short shorts, and flip flops. Summer is on the horizon and it’s time to flaunt the beach body you have been working hard for all winter. Add glamour to your look by crafting your own jewelry. The craft industry is a booming business with bead shops opening and thriving within the community nationwide. Get those fingers to work. Below is a list of the top five stores in Los Angeles County to find rare and inexpensive stones, beads, and supplies.
Beads of Paradise(Ventura)- How cool is it to have a store solely dedicated to beading? Well Beads of Paradise has nothing but beads, beads, beads… and more beads. The store is infused with colors of all kinds like a tropical paradise. The shop is neat and organized so that everything is easy to find. Some items are a little steep in price, but there are a plethora of precious stones and crystals that are worth the extra penny. New to beading? Beads of Paradise also offers classes to those wanting to take up the craft of beading. >> 1792 Callens Rd C., Ventura, 800- 642- 5050, www.beadsofparadise.com, Tues – Sat 11a.m. – 6p.m. Closed Sunday & Monday.
The Bead Factory ( Downtown)- Based in downtown L.A., The Bead Factory is a golden find. Though most of the items are sold in bulk, the quality and bargain are worth every penny. Their Cloisonné beads and semi precious stones are perhaps some of the most beautiful designs carried in stores. >> 810 Maple Ave., Los Angeles, 213- 624- 2121, www.beadsfactory.com, Mon- Fri: 9a.m.- 4p.m..
Amazon.com– Amazon is possibly one of the best ways to order any kind of tools and accessories you may need. The pricing is negotiable, it’s open 24 hours, and the selections are numerous and almost infinite. The downside is having to wait for the package to arrive which can take up to a few weeks for some items. A lot of the items also appear bigger on screen, so it is wise to know what dimensions you are looking for as well as the type. Recommended for the more advanced beadier.
Michaels (Inglewood)- The Inglewood store is one of the better locations with a greater diversity of art supplies. It’s like being a kid in a candy store. The beading sections are abundant in color, size, form and texture. The pricing is moderately inexpensive, and the products are easy to find (though occasionally after a large sale, everything is scattered and you have to hunt through small piles). All in all, Michaels is a spectacular find. >> 3340 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood, 310- 677- 1531, www.Michaels.com, Mon-Sat: 9a.m.- 9p.m. and Sun: 10a.m.- 7p.m..
Pearl (Los Angeles)- Positioned at the busy intersection of Pico and La Cienega, Pearl art store is easily accessible and offers great discounts and sales for a price that is just right. This location has tons of beading accessories and supplies. Between the high racks of spray paint and yarns of different colors, the beading aisles are long and seem to harbor a plethora of selections, though most of it is filled with vacant spaces and prices botched a little too high. Pearl is a great place for the last minute shopper.>> 1250 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310- 854- 4900, www.pearlpaint.com, Mon-Fri: 9:30a.m.- 8:30p.m., Sat: 9:30a.m.- 8:30p.m. and Sun 11a.m.- 6:00a.m..