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Step inside Shipwreck Beads' Showroom

Sponsored by Shipwreck Beads
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Shipwreck Beads offers an abundance of rocaille, cut, and bugle beads

Step inside Shipwreck Beads’ 22,000 square foot showroom and you’ll see we’re practically swimming in seed beads! Way back in the fabled days of yesteryear (1982), Shipwreck was housed in a diminutive 750 sq. ft. building on the shores of Mud Bay in Olympia, Washington.

Decked out in buckskins & Bowie knives, CEO Glenn Vincent and GM Douglas Boling began making a name for the company peddling seed beads and old trade beads at various rendezvous events.

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High quality, hand-crafted vintage glass beads

Ever since, seed beads have remained our “bread & butter”. Shipwreck boasts over 6 full aisles dedicated explicitly to seed beads! If you were to combine the seed bead aisles and warehouse back-stock, our seed bead stash occupies more space than that of our whole original building!

Czech glass is our speciality, we've been fostering a close partnership with Ornela, now Preciosa Ornela, since before The Czech Republic gained sovereignty. Much to our delight, we still find the odd bundle of old beads marked “Made in Czechoslovakia” in our warehouse.

Preciosa Ornela, part of Preciosa Traditional Czech Beads, proudly continues the rich Bohemian tradition of glass bead-making. Czech glass seed beads are widely known for their old-world charm, superior quality, and breadth of style, size, and colors. As a primary distributor for Preciosa Traditional Czech Beads, we’re proud to offer an exceptional variety of Czech glass seed beads, nearly 2,500 options!

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A peek inside the seed showroom

In addition to our expansive Czech seed bead line, we also carry some extra special vintage Venetian treasures we scooped up in a massive museum purchase. These unique little pieces of beaded history were hand-crafted in Italy between 1800 and 1920.

We’re also delighted to offer a comprehensive and ever-expanding selection of Miyuki Delica beads. Miyuki delicas are a Japanese cylinder seed bead, while the majority of our Czech seed beads are “rocaille” or squat & round.

For bead-weaving, the skinny, tube shape of a Delica bead results in a flatter, more uniform pattern, while the curves of a Czech bead add extra dimension and texture.

Do you beading?

Then you’ll want to subscribe to Bead&Button magazine! You’ll get exclusive projects, gorgeous design inspirations, helpful advice about new products, and much more!

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