My husband suggested I accompany him to Chino last Saturday to meet an acquaintance for lunch.
My first impulse? To check for local bead stores in the area, of course. Doesn't everyone?
We found time to visit two stores that were new to me.
The first was Garden of Beaden, in Upland. Actually, I think I may have visited here about 8 years ago, back when my interest in beads was to embellish my art quilts. In any case, we got there to find the front door of the shop blocked, for some building-related reason, and a sign directing us around to the side entry, through the lobby of the building.
We walked directly into a beadweaving class in session, and both the instructor and the students were so welcoming. I was wearing my embroidered pendant with the ammonite, pictured here, and one of the students noticed it, and she started raving about it and the rest of them followed. I of course graciously removed the piece and let them pass it about and fondle it. I must say the stroking my ego got was very gratifying.
Later the instructor showed me her work, she did a lot of fine, small beadweaving projects that were very pretty. Her class seemed to be enjoying the various projects they were working on. And, it's a lovely large class space too. It would be a pleasure to take classes there.
Once we got into the main store, it was a bit tighter for my wheelchair, and it took a bit of maneuvering to ease around some of the floor racks. This store has a "bit of everything" on its shelves, with what I would call a concentration of findings and the Tierracast pendants and charms the advertise on their website. I didn't have much time there as lunch was approaching. The help was lovely and friendly.
After lunch, we drove off to Bead It, in Chino. This is a small storefront. In the back of the store is a large class/gathering table. I suspect that at most times, especially on the weekends, you'll find other faithful customers and enthusiastic beaders at that table, working together. This store was more crowded, and a bit difficult to get the wheelchair through. They did seem to have a wider selection of findings in finishes you don't see often than most shops.
Once again, though, friendly staff brought me anything I asked about and helped with a small purchase. Both the stores above waived sales tax with a resale license, though neither offers further wholesale discounts.
I'm looking forward to Mendocino. I have a smaller budget this time for purchases, but a better idea, I think, of where I want to go and what I want to buy there. We'll have a chance to visit new stores in Ukiah, too.