is Closing

When I picked up my first beading needle nearly 30 years ago I never would have guessed that very moment would shape my adult career. Ten years later I walked into Baubles & Beads in Berkeley, CA and decided that was the place I wanted to spend all my time, work with those people, and of course, buy all those beads.

Twenty years after first walking into Baubles & Beads in Berkeley, CA I find myself sitting at my desk in the back office for the last time. Beads strewn everywhere, piles of half finished blog ideas, and ziplock bags scattered around me like you wouldn’t believe all surround me. In September the owners of Baubles & Beads announced that they were retiring from the bead business. The owners, Jim & Lisa Kaufman, are woven into the fabric of my life. From professional to personal they have supported me throughout my adult life; Jim even officiated my wedding. For the past 20 years Lisa & Jim Kaufman have supported by quest for bead knowledge. How lucky I have been to work with them all these years.

But I also want to thank those of you who read this blog. BeadShopGirl has always been one of my favorite tasks. I love to teach, but motherhood prioritizes my time. This blog allowed me to continue working on projects for others and to break down the steps into easy to follow instructions.

The bead world has changed so much over the past few decades. In the 80’s my mother used to drive me to Native American Pow Wows in Tennessee. There, the old ladies would give me advice and ohh and ahh over my childish beadwork. In college I found Beadworks in Boston (I worked there for a while) and thought I found Heaven. In 1997 I moved to Oakland, CA and HOLY COW I had come to the right part of the country for a bead lover; so many fabulous bead stores all over the Bay Area! But most of them are closed now.

If you are lucky enough to live near a local bead store, please support them or you will lose them. Brick & mortar stores at times cost a bit more but you are paying for something that the internet will never give you: face-to-face community. In a world where technology continues to isolate us; community is worth every penny.


For the time being this blog will remain. I will keep an eye on it from afar. Maybe one day I will pick it up again and continue my work here. is currently liquidating their stock.  Many of the items I have linked to throughout this blog are no longer available through them. However, I hope the projects will keep you inspired.

Thank you all for supporting us over the past 25 years,

Lisa Claxton (BeadShopGirl)

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