If you are interested in trying a new hobby, have you ever considered making jewellery? The Bead Shop in London has been selling everything necessary for creating jewellery since 1967. The original shop was located in Neal Street, but is now to be found in nearby Tower Street, between Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stations, and is one of the largest shops of its kind in Europe.
It occupies two floors and is packed full with glass, ceramic, porcelain, plastic and resin beads. Also stocked are semi-precious gemstones, pearls and Swarovski crystals, as well as findings (clasps crimps, spacers, jump rings etc). In fact everything you need to make jewellery, whether using pure silver and gold, or plated metals, can be found under one roof.
The buyers are all experienced jewellery makers and travel to Europe and Asia to source new stocks for the shop, ensuring a constant supply of contemporary, classic and traditional products. The shop is currently selling Halloween themed charms. You can also buy containers for storing your bead making bits and pieces, and boxes and bags for packing your finished items.
When in store, you can pick up leaflets showing you how to do the basics, or you can buy books to teach you how to make more advanced jewellery. Should you feel that you would prefer to learn practically, you can also book a class to be held on the premises. You may also find practical demonstrations taking place whilst you are in the shop, or you can check their website in advance for a timetable. The helpful staff are also readily available to help you with your own design ideas.
If you don't live in or near to London, The Bead Shop has a mail order service available via its website, where you can view the online catalogue. In many respects the website is a useful complement to the shop, as you can download information showing you how to customise your work by colours, and how to care for the finished items.
I took a friend to the Bead Shop for the first time recently, and she was like a child visiting a sweet shop. Everything is so entrancing and inviting that you feel you would like to buy the entire stock!