• Home
  • Shipwreck Beads About Us

About Us

Owned and operated by the same family since it's founding in 1969, Shipwreck Beads was first located in a modest 750 square foot building on the shores of Mud Bay in Olympia, Washington. Originally called "Shipwreck", it began life as a nautical themed antique store that just happened to keep a few trade beads in stock. When Shipwreck's original owners sold the store to their children in 1982, the beads quickly took center stage, and Shipwreck Beads was born!

Shipwreck Beads has grown substantially since its humble beginnings on Mud Bay. Shipwreck Beads is currently housed within an impressive 80,000 square foot building. In fact, many of Shipwreck's lifelong customers enjoy walking into the expansive showroom and reminiscing about visiting the store's original, diminutive location so very long ago. With literally billions of beads stocked from floor to ceiling, the 22,000 square foot showroom is practically bursting with beads, making it a designer's dream come true! While many first time visitors to the showroom may feel daunted by the seemingly endless labyrinth of treasures, the 30 plus aisles are actually meticulously organized. Once inside, customers will find a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable salespeople, shopping carts equipped with a store map, and even customer computer kiosks to guide you to exactly what you're searching for and more!

Shipwreck Beads is the largest US retailer of Czech glass beads, offering the widest selection of Czech beads including favorites such as Preciosa Ornela seed beads, fire polished glass beads, and Preciosa Crystal beads. Alongside the staggering selection of Czech glass beads, Shipwreck Beads also stocks extensive selections of Swarovski crystal, gemstones, sterling silver, lamp work beads, pewter, books, beading accessories, stringing materials such as Soft Flex Beading Wire, jewelry making tools, as well as a variety of in-store jewelry making classes.

Shipwreck Bead's longstanding dedication to customer service, breadth of selection, and ease of accessibility attracts a customer base as diverse as their selection. Native tribes, jewelry designers, clothing and costume designers, crafters, small bead shop owners, large corporations, church groups, children, and college students from near and far all love Shipwreck Beads. Shipwreck Beads has new products arriving daily, so customers can find a new and fresh selection every time they visit.

Sadly, not every bead lover can live in lush, beautiful Western Washington, but everyone should visit Shipwreck Beads' vast showroom at least once (summers are GORGEOUS here)!