Shipwreck Beads Insider Tour (Lacey, Washington)

Shipwreck Beads Insider Tour - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #580: Roadtrip #3-04 (WA): If you thought that the front of this store was big, just wait until you see behind the scenes!

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • On location at Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, Washington.
  • Our tour guide and host was Kelsy Vincent, Social Media Coordinator.
  • Besides orchestrating the company’s social media activities, Kelsy also does event planning (like the Artisan Market) and manages their blog too.
  • The overall facility is huge… over 80,000 square feet of warehouse, production, shipping, offices and showroom space.
  • They host large events such as the Summer Artisan Market (outside) and the Winter Artisan Market (inside), where local jewelry designers and artisans sell jewelry and crafts. A local radio station broadcasts from the events. Plus they coordinate food drives and other charity fundraisers in an effort to give back to the community.
  • The Shipwreck Company has been part of the Olympia Community for over 30 years.
  • It started as a nautical themed gift store in the 70’s, and then Glen Vincent (son of original founders and now CEO), recognized that the beads were selling best.
  • Glen and his siblings banded together and purchased the company from their parents and began what is now called Shipwreck Beads.
  • Back in the early days, Glen Vincent and long time friend Douglas Bolling (now General Manager), partnered and focused on selling seed beads at Native American Rendezvous’ and sold beads out of their van… lived in Teepees and grew the business into what it is today.
  • A rare opportunity to see into the facilities huge warehouse area.
  • Four years ago, Shipwreck bought out a MidWest company called Prairies Edge, along with their very large stock (14 semi truck loads) of Vintage Glass beads from Italy and France.
  • Their inventory of vintage beads date back to the 1800’s, with some of the colors no longer in production because the secret formulas died with their creators.
  • We tour the production area… receiving, processing, packaging, pricing, shipping, invoicing… etc.
  • Classroom area where students can learn a wide variety of beading and jewelry making techniques.
  • They have a collection of craft books, both vintage and new. Macrame from the 70’s seems to be making a comeback :-)
  • World’s Largest Strand of Beads… over 1 mile long… in Guinness Book of World Records.
  • A visit to the Galley… coffee and sandwich stand inside the showroom. Great for hungry and restless shoppers.
  • Tour of the Retail Showroom… The Treasure Cove (where the high end gemstones, pearls, Swarovski and tools are kept).
  • Looking out over the Showroom Floor… 30 aisles of beads, findings, tools. Sorted by Aisles and Sections. For example, Premo Polymer Clay is in Aisle 6 Section Q… information that is also listed on their website. This system makes it easy for both customers, and the order pickers, to find stuff quickly and easily.
  • You can visit Shipwreck Beads in person at their Lacey Washington location. It is a great destination for all beaders! Or visit them online (link is below the video).
  • After this wonderful tour, I headed out to do some shopping. I’ll show you what I ended up purchasing in an upcoming video… so stay tuned for that!

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Jocelyn C, 13 October, 2014

    What a great way to start the morning. Coffee, Cindy and Shipwrecked Beads. What an amazing facility! Thank you Cindy and Doug, for taking the time to share it with us.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2014

    Thanks Jocelyn! Glad you enjoyed the tour.

  3. Dixie Ann, 13 October, 2014

    Wow! Cindy that is quite a place to shop at. I was so impressed with their space and inventory. I am currently on their mailing list and have been for some time so I would suggest that anyone who needs to shop online sign up for their newsletters and bead sales. They are truly a one stop shop for so many things. Thanks to you and Doug for the video, it was awesome.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2014

    Thanks Dixie Ann! It really is a great place to shop. It is always cool if you can see a little behind the scenes, of a place that you have only bought online from. Makes you feel more like you are ordering from a real place.

  5. Kelsy V, 13 October, 2014

    Cindy- It was so great to meet you and show you around our shop! The video turned out great and I am so glad you had a great time. I shared this post on our Facebook page so all of our fans can enjoy the tour as well. Have a wonderful day! Kelsy

  6. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2014

    Glad you liked it Kelsy! Both Doug and I really enjoyed spending the day with you and getting to know you and your company much better. I look forward to making further connections with you. (Oh… make sure to pop by again on Thursday… you may just like that video too! ;)

  7. Aims, 17 October, 2014

    I’ve purchased from Shipwreck Beads before Cindy. And now that I’ve seen this video Cindy I want to go there myself and camp out!

    It’s a shame we don’t have something like this here in Canada. Perhaps with all those beads we could talk them into opening a Canadian outlet?!

    Thanks for this wonderful video. I was totally enthralled with your tour and absolutely gobsmacked by the trucks. If I worked there I could envision them finding my legs sticking out of a pile of beads one day – – – –

  8. Cindy Lietz, 27 October, 2014

    OMG Aims, I could totally see you head down in the beads, legs flailing about! How funny are you! I somehow doubt they would want to move any of those beads again. Rather just ship to us Canadians, then set up another store, would be my guess. At least now you know where your order is coming from Eh?

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