Bead Store Road Trip Part 1: Albuquerque

Let us begin the exciting bead store journey.  Well… I’m going to start with the second store.  Save the best one for last.  Clearly, Mom and I decided to the reject that cliche and go to the best first. 😉

Each bead store will get a Timber Rating going from 1 to 10 beads where 10 is the best rating.  Items that increase the quality of the store include Bead Selection (Seed Beads, New Beads, Swarovski Crystals, etc), Classes Offered, Lighting, Workspace and  Friendliness of Staff (to me this is the most  important).

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Poppyfield Bead Company

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Address: 4001 Cutler Ave NE, Albuquerque NM, 87110

Phone: 505-880-8695

Timber’s Rating: NA out of 10 – Must visit to determine!

Poppyfield Beads was our second store of the day.  Unfortunately it was closed until 2:00pm that day.  While we did consider going to other bead stores and heading back we needed to get to a yarn outlet store on the other side of the city that closed at 3:00pm.  We were surprised by the odd hours.  Maybe next time we go through Albuquerque we’ll have a chance to go in and explore.

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We did peek through the window to see if we wanted to possibly try and come back before our way out of town.  Through the window (which isn’t much to judge by) it looked like your typical bead store.

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Stone Mountain Bead Gallery 

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Address: 4008 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque NM, 87108

Phone: 505-260-1121

Timber’s Ratings:  5of10

Notes: Embrace the smell of incense as you walk through the door.  This smell is often a sign of a bead store / knick knack hippie store.  This bead store was full of beads which was a relief because of the strong incense.  Of course the store did have a smorgasbord of odd and ends like spiritual items, baskets and statues.  At first we were just greeted with a  hello and left to wonder around on our own.  Most of the Czech glass is laid out in little baskets where you can buy the beads individually.  There were strands of semi-precious stones behind the counters on each side of the store.  While mom was looking at some of the books the owner piped up and told us they have “The largest book selection” in New Mexico.

There was a large selection of items.  Unfortunately the place seemed kind of dusty.  Like the stock had been sitting around for awhile and not moved or touched by potential buyers.  It really aged the place and made it less inviting to beaders.

While the owner didn’t seem the friendliest the other employee was very friendly and brightened up the store.

Pros: Large selection of beads, large book selection

Cons: Incense (personal opinion.  I use to pass out at adoration when the priest used too much incense.  Bad memories!!), dusty, Owner could be friendlier

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Thomason Stone Supply

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Address: 4100 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque NM, 87110

Phone: 505-268-9934

Timber’s Ratings:  7of10

Notes: The store was pretty impressive.  Thomason Stone Supply has a vast variety of different types of beads, kits, and other supplies.  A ton of semi-precious beads lace the walls throughout the store.  Some of the more expensive strands were in cases.  Mom and I loved a strand of $200 synthetic opals.  Needless to say the strand is still in the store.  The store encourages new beading trends such as creating swarovski clay pendents and kumihimo (stands, bracelets, necklaces).  This is a great way to keep people coming back for more.  The store owners also had a novel way of displaying kits for customers to purchase.  The kits were hooked onto decorative bird cages.  This really enabled people to see the projects available.

On a less positive note…  The workers were not very friendly.  It took awhile for either of the two employees to say hi.  And then that was it.  They were adding more beads to the walls and tables.  There were a few times I felt that I was in their way.  They were just less then friendly.  This was pretty unfortunate given the wonderful amount of beads they had.  I will say that the employee who checked us out starting chatting a bit with us and made our experience there enjoyable.

Pros: Lots of strands of semi-precious beads, supplies to make swarovski clay pendents, lots of classes offered to customers, supplies for kumihimo bracelets and necklaces, the bird cage kit display

Cons: No warmth towards customers…

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New Mexico Bead & Fetish

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Address: 401 Romero St. NW, Old Town, Albuquerque NM, 87104

Phone: 505-243-2600

Timber’s Ratings:  8of10

Notes: The staff is extra friendly.  But not overwhelming and “over your shoulder.”  Mom and I spent a ton of time admiring the fetishes.  The store has a sheet for you to take home that talks about the origin of fetishes as well as what each element and animal mean.

Most of the walls had strands and strands of semi-precious beads displayed for beaders to purchase.  The middle of the store had a table with little bowls of beads so a beader could buy one or two or a handful of beads instead of an entire strand.  The store had a limited amount of seed beads and crystals.  However, the store doesn’t focus on beadweaving but supplying a beader with some of the most beautiful stones and fetishes in Albuquerque.

Pros: Tons of semi-precious beads, many stunning fetishes from the local Indians, great staff

Cons: Few seed beads and crystals

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