I have compiled a directory of Bead Stores in the Chicago Area hat includes the city, suburbs and northwest Indiana. I wish to help support these local bead stores as many bead lovers agree its more fun to buy beads they can see rather than order online viewing just pictures – color and finish are so important to beaded creations! My goal is to eventually visit each bead store and write a short review so local bead lovers will have a quick reference of where to find the supplies they are looking for!
1649 Montgomery Rd # 9
Aurora, IL 60504
AVP JEWELRY & BEADS #2
1127 W Granville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
AVP Jewelry has 2 locations on Chicago’s North West & East sides in the neighborhoods of Irving Park and Rogers Park. The stores carry a selection of seed beads, czech glass strands, gemstones, tools. They also offer classes and jewelry repair. Their goal is to “keep our shops feeling like a paradise of jewelry and beads for all of our amazing customers.” I visited their Irving Park location the store is organized and clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful!
Ayla’s Originals is located in the Northeast suburb of Chicago of Evanston which is also the home of Northwestern University. I have yet to visit the store but visited their booth at the Bead & Button Show. Ayla’s had a nice selection of pearls and seed beads. I am anxious to make my trip up their soon.
CLOSED – ONLINE ONLY
1127 W Granville Avenue
Sad news for the beginning of the year. Blue Buddha Boutique has announced it is closing its doors. Go to their website for sale announcements to help ease the pain of closing. Not sure about AVP Jewelry #2 which shares this location with Blue Buddha Boutique.
Beadniks is located on the west side of Chicago in the trendy neighborhood of Wicker Park. Beadniks’ focus is on stringing and carries expensive gemstones, pearls, crystal strands, metallic beads, and unique fun items. It has a definite Asian & African theme and decor. They have a very limited section for beadweavers and their small seed bead offering is not labeled.
Bead World is located near downtown Palatine which is a Northwest Suburb of Chicago about an hour away from downtown. The store is packed full of dust covered semi precious stones, Swarovski Crystal, freshwater pearls, wood, bone, and other natural material beads, Czech glass beads , Vintage German Beads, and fiber optic beads. Other services offered include body piercing, jewelry repair, and watch repair. The store is cluttered so go in with a good idea of what you are looking for or be prepared to be overwhelmed. I caution against using your cell phone while in the store or be prepared for a discussion about it.
This store has unfortunately closed/moved and only offers online sales now.
Bodacious Beads lives up to its name in that it has a fantastic selection of all kinds of beads The small is located near O’hare Airport off of I-90 in a strip mall with tight parking, but it makes great use of the space it has but is very organized and not cluttered. The store is packed with seed beads, Swarovski crystals, czech glass, findings, strands of gemstones, pearls, daggers, African trade beads etc. The staff was very helpful and friendly and most importantly shares a love of beads. I can’t wait to go back!
I have yet to visit City Beads but I have been told they have an open beading on Tuesday’s Afternoons and plan to go soon. Make sure to call ahead as their hours vary.
Found out about this under-advertised store when I saw Elka Design at the Ayla’s Wonderful World of Beads Show. At the show she had tables and tables of irresistible gemstones, crystals, findings, leather etc. I look forward to visiting the show room soon.
Facets of Isis is located in a cozy cottage style store front in the Northwest Suburb of Palatine. As you walk in you feel like you are walking into you neighbors living room to enjoy some coffee and chat. The store is FULL of everything a beadweaver dreams of: Swarovski crystals; Delica beads; Seed beads including Miyuki; Firepolished glass; Czech glass; Venetian glass foil beads; Natural stone and semi-precious beads; Lampwork glass, Sterling silver, Gold filled, and Base metal beads and findings; and Fresh water pearls. Everything is in pristine condition – organized, neat, and clean. They also offer fabulous classes.
Sadly the owner has announced that this lovely store will be closing soon. SO hurry in for sales and classes in the next couple of months before its closed for good. Imagine Beads is located in Northwest Indiana a good hour trip from the city. However the store is very friendly and offers a great selection of beadweaving supplies.
JBC Beads is located in the basement of an old office building just behind the busy corner of Main Street & Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove. JBC Beads focus is on wholesale but the store is open to the public. They offer 50% off of a $200 order or more that extends 60 days. The store is very well lit to let all the Swarovski crystals, pearls, and gemstones sparkle and shine. They also have a very good selection of findings. The store offers classes as well.
String A Strand is located in Chicago’s historic Old Town Neighborhood. Its focus is semi-precious gems, 14 karat gold filled and sterling silver findings, chains, natural coral, vintage beads, crystal for stringing jewelry. They offer jewelry making classes and parties.
*Please let me know in the comments if I am missing any stores, any stores are closed, or if I have listed any at home businesses not open to the public. Thank you.