Are you ready for a road trip! A road trip that involves beads at every stop along the way? And the possibility of prizes - just for visiting a bead store?
If that is the case, the annual Southern California Bead Shop Hop may be just what you are looking for. For three weekends in September, the twenty bead stores that are members of the Southern California Local Bead Store Association (SCLBSA) join together for a fun event called a bead shop hop.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to visit as many of the participating bead stores as possible during the three weekends of the bead shop hop. At your first bead store stop, you pick up a passport that is used to track the bead store locations you visit during the hop. Get your passport stamped at each location you visit, because that is how you become eligible for prizes. Each store will also give away a free bead shop hop themed charm to commemorate the event. This year, the theme is board games. At your third bead store stop, you will receive a free bracelet and special Bead Shop Hop charm. There are gift baskets that you can win at each shop (19 in all) - but you need to visit at least 3 stores to be eligible to win one of those too.
One of the best parts of the bead shop hop is that the event planners have done a lot of the work mapping a route between stores for you. The nineteen participating Southern California bead store locations are mapped out with directions from major freeways to each in the Annual Bead Shop Hop Brochure.
The bead stores are dotted throughout Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties in the north-western region, and San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties in the southern region. That's a lot of ground to cover, so you better plan to set aside two weekends to cover them all. Even after the bead shop blog hop is over, the brochure map is a great way to find Southern California bead stores near a town you may be visiting.
At each bead shop hop participating location, there may also be special beading make and take projects that you can purchase and participate in. A jewelry make and take project is when you buy a kit and make the project at the store and take it home. There are also take and make projects, which is just the opposite - take the kit and make it at home.
The bead shop hop is sponsored by the Beadsmith company, Beadalon and the John Bead Corporation. Beadsmith is a wholesale manufacturer and distributor of beads, jewelry supplies and tools - including the 1-step looper pliers. Beadalon distributes Artistic Wire and a variety of supplies and tools. The John Bead Corporation is a supplier of beads, crystals and components.
You can find more information about this and other events put on by the So Cal Bead Shop Association Facebook page.
The member stores are:
Los Angeles Orange Country and San Bernadino County Bead Stores
Beadiak - Agoura Hills
Beadahs - Santa Monica
Jewel City Beads - Burbank
A Place to Bead - San Marin
Garden of Beaden - Upland
Bead It! - Chino
Brea Bead Works - Brea
Ruby Tuesday Bead Company - Long Beach
Beadology - Huntington Beach
Bead Station - Laguna Niguel
Katherine's Beads and Supplies - Grand Terrace
A Rolling Stone - Redlands
Monica's Quilt and Bead Creations - Palm Desert
Bead Gallery - Bonsall