Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Bead District

Living here in NYC during the winter can become depressing!  It is cold and there is not much sunlight.  The streets are gray, and peoples attitudes can be more somber than usual.  When the weather is like this, I like to go down to the bead district for a quick pick me up. 

The bead district runs for several blocks in Manhattan between 33rd and 42nd street between 5th avenue and Broadway.  There are several stores which are on the side streets and the avenues that I love to visit. 

My first stop is usually at City Beads, which is located on 15 West 37th streets, between 5th and 6th avenues.  They have really good prices on thread and seed beads.  I like to use specific seed beads which are very uniform and they carry what I need in several colors and sizes at an affordable price. They also have a really nice collection of Preciosa crystal.  I also enjoy the sales help here.  The ladies who work there seem genuinely interesting in what you are doing with the beads and are always so encouraging when you talk to them about your latest project!    You can find them on the internet at http://citybeadsny.com/index.html.

Second I make a stop at Toho Shoji.  There I purchase some items in bulk and receive a nice discount doing it!!!  Now, this store can be a little overwhelming, and I often feel like a kid in a candy store because there is so much variety!

I usually shop there and get discounted tila beads, and Swarovski crystals.  They also have a good selection on quality glass pearls and fresh water pearls in all different colors as well as findings and beading needles in all different sizes.   As you can tell from the pics they have a large selection of just about anything you might need in a two story building! They are located on  990 Avenue of the Americas(6th avenue, between 36th and 37th street)

I then head over to 39th street where there are several stores on both sides of the street.  The one I frequent the most is Fun to Bead.  They have a nice selection of Toho seed beads and also Chinese crystals which are very good quality. They also give bulk discounts and have a nice supply of beading tools such as jump ring makers and craft lamps.  They are located at 1028 6th Avenue.  They can be found on the web at http://www.fun2bead.com/.

Next on our bead trek is Beads World, located on 1384 Broadway between 37th and 38th street.
You can find anything here from feathers to displays. Seed beads in large bulk bags in every color and size greet you at the door, and their swarovski inventory is amazing! They are online at http://www.beadsworldusa.com/
When I reach this point in the trip I am usually very happy because I have received some pretty nice buys and can't wait to get home and start working!!!!!

If you are ever in New York and want to go bead shopping, let me know.  I would personally like to give you a tour!


  1. When I go to NYC, I will definately visit the stores you wrote about. Looking forward to my trip this spring. Thanks for posting

  2. I would love to fly across the pond to visit NYC and what a wonderful offer... a guide who knows a bargain :D
    You have some wonderful shops there.. enjoy the beading and I look forward to seeing what you make with the beads you got from the shopping trip