As soon as I learn the dates for NH Bead Bop, I start stashing my loose change and squirreling away five-notes whenever I have the chance. Then the day before my Bead Bop tour, I march myself to the nearest CoinStar and turn in my bucket of coins for shekels to take on my favorite kind of shopping spree: BEAD SHOPPING!
NH Bead Bop is a collaboration of bead stores in New Hampshire (this year also included a store in Maine, but it was a touch too far out of the way for me to make it!). To participate in Bead Bop, you must buy a "passport kit" which includes a Bead Bop passport, a tote bag, and a enamel pin for the current year. After you've purchased your initial kit, you only need purchase a passport and pin each year to participate.
Since I had participated in Bead Bop in 2015, I grabbed my bag and headed out to Manchester, NH, for my first Bop stop, The Bead Patch. There I picked up my 2017 pass port and pin and the fun began.
One of the best features of the passports: each page has a coupon for each store! Discount amounts varied at each store and sometimes the more you bought the more was discounted. My loose change went a LONG way!
Here was what I grabbed at The Bead Patch:
They also included a free gift to participants which included some candy (who doesn't need a little sustenance while bead shopping/bopping!?) and some free beads and findings!
Next stop was Deerfield, NH to BeadBush Studio. The 'Bush' in BeadBush is named after the owner, Judy Bush. Judy makes bags out of scrap fabric. So cute!
After BeadBush, it was time to visit Need for Beads in Boscawen, NH. This one was the furthest from my house, but the drive is so beautiful between Deerfield and Boscawen, there were no complaints on my end. But of course, where there are beads at either end of your trip, how do you go wrong!?
I think Need for Beads has literally every type of Preciosa bead available! I picked up a couple unique style beads here.
The capital city was next on the agenda, and in Concord, NH it was time for a visit to Bead It! Upon arrival we were quickly greeted by the store owner who sings a variation of the Tutti Frutti lyrics as such: "A-Bead-Bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!" So fun and so sweet!
As you can see....my haul is dwindling as the day progresses..... I try very hard to only spend what I've squirreled away for this fun Bop an not take out my debit or credit cards! I always feel a little bad for the stores at the end of my Bopping!
The next visit was a little closer to home, in Nashua, NH at the new location of a store called Beadles. I had visited them many years past when they had a store in Rockport, MA and wasn't thrilled with the seed bead selection. While there were a lot to choose from, their selection only included those seed beads that are all misshapen and different sizes. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise when I stopped here!! They now have a HUGE selection of all the beads I love. And come to find out, they have another store just two towns over from me. I don't know if I should be happy or scared that the two Beadles stores are so close and carry all my favorite beads!!!
Beadles also had a section with mystery grab bags for $5. So for the fun of it, I purchased one of those.
The folks at Beadles also included a free gift with purchase.
The final stop was Bead with Style in Salem, NH. My message to Bead with Style is this: I'm sorry I pretty much ran out of my Bead Bop cash stash by the time I got to your store:
So. As if I wasn't already super psyched to get all these fabulous beads at a huge discount. There was another feature of Bead Bop: with each purchase at a store, your passport also entitled you to a raffle ticket for that store to enter a raffle for a basket. So fast forward to a week after Bead Bop ended, I WAS BEYOND excited to get a call from John at The Bead Patch informing me, I was the winner of The Bead Patch's raffle! In addition to being excited I feel very lucky and grateful!
Here is a collage of some of what was in the basket, which was very kumihimo themed:
Huge thanks to Bead Patch for this awesome basket. I have tried kumihimo a few times, but never with beads, so this is now on my list of things to try!
If you are ever near the New England area during this event you should give it a whirl. It's a great way to stock up on beads at a discount and support brick and mortar bead stores.