Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Favorite Bead Store

My Favorite Bead Store

Non-Necessities of Life


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I have to be honest when I first started making jewelry and I saw Jeffs booth at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar I didn't even stop. 

 Do you remember how you were in your early beading careers?  I was broke, overwhelmed and I wasn't really sure of who I was as a designer yet.  My choices in beads are certainly different than they are today.  My first big bead order was from MuddBeads online and it was all Swarovski and I still have some from that order.  You are lucky to find Swarovski in my jewelry desingns today.

I used to go to a wholesale store and one of my friends their named C (to keep her anonymous) would always talk about Jeff Plath.  It was all Jeff this and Jeff that!  I used to think she was secretly and madly in love with him.  So I followed her lead one day and I went to his booth at the next show he was at and just looked.  What I found was interesting. First he is the most personable person you will meet....people love him and I mean literally.  I met another gal that goes to the show just to see him!
He doesn't wear shoes (well in the winter he does) ...he reminds me of the survivorist who doesn't either.
Jeff is like the Bear Gryllus of the beading world.


Jeff Plath

The second interesting thing I found was just that ------ interesting.  His beads were interesting!  He has the largest assortment of Czech Glass I had ever seen in Minnesota and varying colors and shapes.

Seasonless Love was Published in Bead Trends November 2012

The Basalt Heart you see was from Jeffs Shop.

He also makes these lovely faux beach glass chips.

He is also an avid drool! He has invited me to come watch him work....I haven't taken him up on that yet but will!  See that lovely lampwork bead below, thats his!

I do believe Jeff started his business as a collector of Trade Beads as a young man.  He started to make lampwork beads so he could support his collecting hobby.  He is also quite the historian.

He has all assortment of stones and in my early beading days I used to just drool and not buy.  Until I learned something else about Jeff.  He gives all his designers 50% off retail with tax ID.  Lets just say that cinched the deal for me.

One thing I do have to credit him for was the vision of what I wanted to become as a jewelry artist.  His earthy & organic beads really formulated and molded me into the jewelry artist that I am today.  The visual package of what he offers pulled it all together for me.

Jeff is not located in the Twin Cities area...he is about a 1 hour 15 minute drive for me to go to his store.  He is in a beautiful area on the bluffs of the St. Croix in Taylors Falls MN right on the border of Wisconsin.

The area is beautiful and particularly in in the fall with the changing leaves.  A great trip for the family with town festivals, antique shops, art galleries, State Parks and biking.  But of course my main reason for going is THE BEADS! I love his shop and store.  His staff is fun and friendly and if you get to know him better guess what! You get to get on his Secret Friends List where he invites you to his presales to all of his newest purchases.

Jeff  is on facbook at

He is also on Etsy

He doesn't have a phone in his shop so if you want to contact him do so through his Etsy store or Facebook.

The last necklace you see I made with some of the Czech Glass I bought from his store.  
This necklace is now owned by actress Denise Richards.


  1. I'm jealous! My two LBS suck! Too small, not enough selection, and no discounts. So I do all my shopping online.

    1. It is nice to have a few with back up supplies. I do most of my gem shopping at the local shows and local stores. I rarely buy those online. I like to get my hands on them. If you are looking for a great online Gemstore Dakota Stones is great. They are high quality and if you belong to Artisan Whimsey they give you 40 - 50% off.

  2. Great Post, love the beads, the necklace and the information!! Thanks so much!!

  3. If I walked in,...I don't think I could ever leave this store! ;-)

    1. Jeff is pretty great! Gives designers such a good deal!