Reviews and Recommendations

For bead artists, there are many choices of online suppliers.  Some of the most popular are Jillybeads in the UK, Shipwreck in the state of Washington, and Parawire in New Jersey.  This will give you an idea of these suppliers and what they can bring you.

Jillybeads is a supplier of items for artists making beaded flowers, bead jewelry, other bead items and various crafts.  They have a great selection of different kinds of beads.  Some of these are Swarovski, Giverny, charm, lampwork, textile, monochrome and pearly.  They also carry some very unusual metalwork beads.

Beaded flower artists will love their selection of seed beads.  Jillybeads offers Miyuki and Toho beads, very famous beads from Japan.   Japanese seed beads are extremely high quality.  They are very consistent in shape and size.  Their holes are quite large, allowing for the making of both French and Victorian seed bead flowers.

Jillybeads’ selection of Swarovski beads is quite comprehensive.  Shoppers will find crystal pearls, hearts and a wide range of rounds, pendants, bicones, plus stones and ceramic beads.  There are plenty of kits as well, for making earrings, rings, bracelets, and even very tiny Christmas trees.

There’s a full selection of bales, findings, spacers and other great items to help the artist get really creative with their jewelry.

An great source for bulk beads is Shipwreck Beads.  Shipwreck gives discounts on larger bead orders, which is a boon for the artist who creates large flowers that need thousands of beads.  Shipwreck has everything a beader could need – kits, charms, beading tools, findings and a large selection of wires.  They state that they’re America’s largest distributor of Preciosa Ornella Traditional Czech Glass Beads, so if those are the beads you use, you know where to shop for them.

They have some unique lamp pendants, too.  If you use a lot of lamp beads, try one of Shipwreck’s lampwork grab-bags!  You might find inspiration in a bead you never thought you would use.

Their selection of seed beads from Czechoslovakia is beyond compare.  They offer over 2,700 colors, and all the sizes you could possibly use.  The beads come threaded on hanks, not loose in a bag, so if you prefer to string your beads from the hank or you don’t use a beadspinner, you’ll love Shipwreck’s beads.

Shipwreck also offers pewter charms, kits for making earrings and small ornaments, and beautiful gemstone beads for when you want to make a special project.

Shipwreck is wonderful to deal with.  Their service is lightning-fast, even coast-to-coast, and they’re very personable.  Their prices are very competitive, especially if you buy enough beads to get the discount.

Parawire, or Paramount Wire Co. is a manufacturer of wire for all kinds of arts, crafts and other purposes.  You can find a special link for Beaded Flowers on their homepage.  Parawire has worked very closely with many flower beaders and has developed special wires just for our purposes.  There’s also a special link for Jewelry Wire on their homepage, so jewelry beaders can find exactly what they need quickly.

Parawire’s products come on small or very large spools, and they’re available in lots of different colors and gauges.  You can even find the most delicate lacing wires at Paramount.  The wires are consistently high-quality and are very easy to work with.

On their site you’ll find wires that are painted or cotton coated, galvanized, brass, aluminum or bronze.  There are “chain mail” wires available too.  Parawire can also supply you with stemwires, pliers and cutters.

Parawire’s staff members are helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, and their service and shipping times are excellent.