SF Bay Area Bead Stores.

Q: I will be in San Francisco 11/12/17 and plan to go to 'Lacis' and 'General Bead'. I would appreciate any suggestions of other bead stores to visit while I am there.

A: Global Beads in 'Mountain View' is fun, for beads in a variety of natural materials. 'Rising Arrow' in Sunnyvale is great for its seed bead varieties, and I think 'Gemboro' in Palo Alto is having a clearance sale - they mostly have semi-precious stone beads. Although perhaps these are too far south for you. Do you know of any good shows or shops south of the SF Bay Area? I'll be in Monterey for a conf. 10/31-11/5 and would love to find some good sources for trade or tribal beads between San Jose and Monterey area. If you want to see the largest (where you can touch the beads) bead store, hop on the train and get off at the Mt. View Station. It's an hour south of SF (by train) (about $5 I think). Walk up Castro St. for 2 blocks, and go to 'Global Beads'. They have an incredible selection of beads and jewelry making materials, as well as lampwork beads (and glass beadmaking supplies) and wild masks from Africa & Bali! Check out their website at www.globalbeads.com Castro St. is also the heart of gourmet heaven - any kind of food you want is on this series of 6 blocks - Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, and more! 'General Bead' on Minna is cool - but you have to look at beads on charts and fill out order forms, and someone else goes and fetches the beads from their warehouse shelves. Though they have an extensive "clearance" section of oddball and plastic types of beads, curtains, etc. upstairs. 'Bead Asylum' is the shop I wished for as a teenager :~(. Japanese seed beads, Czech glass on strands, 'Delicas', books - just an all around nice bead shop to visit. The owner is very helpful. They have nice classes. When you go to General, if you haven't been there before - you should go fore-warned. First the staff is very, errrrrr, ummmm, well.......... colorful, but very nice (dyed hair - rainbow colors, and bright clothing). It's not a typical bead shop. They are a wholesaler that will sell retail quantities. Samples are in baggies on the wall. You take a clipboard and fill out your order. You give it to them, and they pull it.