Brag-Worthy Beading Companies from the Bay Area

These ladies met at Blue Door Beads and enjoyed an impromptu "bead date"!

These ladies met at Blue Door Beads and enjoyed an impromptu “bead date”!

Now that we have been in business for two whole years (!!!), we can proudly say that we are a firmly-established part of the Bay Area beading community. Folks come into Blue Door Beads all the time and share that they specifically sought us out after having found us on Yelp, saw us while driving down Piedmont Avenue, or (most exciting of all) having heard other customers raving about us! It warms our hearts to know that our customers enjoy their time in the shop so much that they want to tell everyone they meet to visit the shop!

Here is one of our favorite recent customer stories: Ms. K was in the grocery store checkout line when a woman behind her complimented her on the necklace she was wearing. When Ms. K thanked the woman, she also mentioned that she made the necklace and had only recently started beading. The woman congratulated her on starting her new hobby, and said that Ms. K should visit Blue Door Beads because we’re the best bead store she had ever been too! Ms. K laughed and told her, as a matter of fact, Blue Door Beads was where she learned to make the necklace she was wearing! They exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up for a “bead date” at the shop. 🙂

That story confirmed what we have always believed to be true: one of the most valuable forms of advertising is word of mouth. On that note, there are several Bay Area-based companies whose praises we would like to sing. Each of these companies excels in their little subset of the jewelry market, and they are successful because of their high-quality products, as well as their exceptional customer service. Behind every great business is a team of great people, and we want to say thanks to those who help make beading fun!

SoftFlex_cordSoftFlex CompanySonoma, CA

There are heaps of different types of cord in the beading industry, but the cord we turn to time and time again for the majority of our beading needs is SoftFlex. We have tried other brands of flexible beading wire, and we have found that, when it comes to flexibility & durability, SoftFlex stands out head-and-shoulders above the rest.

With their wide range of diameters & colors, SoftFlex offers one of the most extensive selections of cord we have ever seen. With their fast shipping, easy-to-navigate website, and warm customer service, we can’t say enough nice things about SoftFlex! Read our blog post Flex Your Power to find out more about the terrific cords SoftFlex has to offer.

Tierra_Cast_findingsTierraCast Inc.Santa Rosa, CA

There are lots of great alternatives to sterling silver and gold-filled components within the beading world, and TierraCast manufactures some of the most high-quality plated beads, clasps, bead caps, and charms in the industry. TierraCast uses a lead-free tin alloy in their plating process that exceeds the stringent California standards for lead content and complies with the standards for pewter in contact with food and the Consumer Product Safety Commission policy for children’s jewelry. All castings are electroplated using precious metals: fine silver, 22 karat gold, rhodium or copper.

TierraCast’s range of designs is incredible, and we add new styles to our inventory all the time! We already carry a lovely range of their charms, clasps, and bead caps, so be sure to check them out the next time you pay a visit to Blue Door Beads.

hrvst3DHrvst 3DOakland, CA

Based in Oakland and manufactured in Emeryville, California, Hrvst 3D designs 3D-printed jewelry and accessories. Their first product line is a series of charms and pendants they call Landmarks Jewelry, featuring three-dimensional renditions of architectural landmarks and local icons. Their SF Bay Area collection includes the Transamerica Pyramid, Sutro Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, the Oakland oak tree symbol, the shipping cranes found in the Port of Oakland (pictured above), and the new Bay Bridge.

Hrvst 3D uses a printing process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). As Hrvst 3D explains on their Facebook page, “[we design our products] using advanced 3D modeling software which is then sent to the 3D printer. The printer begins with a bed of powdered material; lasers then sinter the material into the shape of the design, layer by layer.” Using this method, Hrvst 3D is able to create charms and pendants out of nylon and stainless steel, as well as molds for casting sterling silver & 24 karat gold-plated brass. Super cool!

Blue Door Beads is proud to support all three of these worthwhile companies by carrying their products in our store. All of these Bay Area-based companies deserve the praise customers give them, and if you have not yet had the chance to enjoy their products, swing by the shop today and allow us to introduce you!