Imagine a building the size of your local Wal-mart, but instead of being filled with towels and toasters, this store is filled with beads and tons of other jewelry making supplies. That’s how Janet Wickell, About.com’s Guide to Quilting, described her experience at Shipwreck Beads‘ brick and mortar store located in Washington state. Janet is also a lover of beads and jewelry, so she was nice enough to take some pictures and give us a virtual tour of the place. Thank you, Janet!


Here’s what she told me about her trip:



There are sidewalks leading up to and along two sides of this building — all filled with loads of beads. Outside, a customer told me that there are more in layers below, that the beads sunk during the first attempt and had to be added again.


At the front of the store there is a large room filled with gemstone bead strands on sale — all laid out on tables. There’s also a separate room devoted to books.




Items are mostly organized by material type, but some things are displayed in a couple of places. I’ve never seen so many findings. They’re mostly stored in organizer-type drawers and sorted by material. Some things are sorted by type, like butterfly items, cat items, etc.


Their new catalog came in the morning we were there, so I brought one home with me (it almost brought my suitcase over the 50 pound mark).


They were busy, but very organized. When you walk in, you pick up a little push cart outfitted with trays and a necklace tree. So you can keep everything pretty well organized as you walk the aisles. There were always people checking out, but that group was organized too so the backups were minimal. There were also quite a few people in the aisles to answer questions, a very well-run place.

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