Recently I visited Bead Aura in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden. Here’s how I rated my visit….
Appearance & Service: Bead Aura is small, very small. This can be off putting when bead shopping as with every turn you’re worried that you’re about to send a boxful of a trillion seed beads crashing to the floor. Luckily I picked the right time to visit as there was only one other customer. I’m glad I never decided to visit on a Saturday afternoon! At street level they have a lot of seed beads, glass beads and a selection of findings, wire, chain and cords. Down the steep (and not too sturdy) spiral staircase they have a den of semi precious strands. The basement is well lit so you shouldn’t have a problems seeing the colours of the beads. The staff keep a watchful eye but aren’t too intrusive. No friendly welcome smile on entering the store but I can live with that. I asked a question about a particular strand and they seemed happy enough to answer so maybe they’re just not the smiling type.
Stock: This is a great store for seed beads, they have a really good variety. I don’t tend to use them so much so not ideal for me but other beaders will appreciate. The variety of semi precious beads in the basement is also pretty good. I have been looking for some red bamboo coral sticks for ages and they had them here so big tick for that. Perhaps my favourite thing about this store was the bargain bins. I love a good discount so I happily had a good rummage around to see what treats they had on offer. There were some mixed bead bundles (consisting of glass beads, seed beads, acrylic beads and some stringing materials) for around £5 which I thought were really good value, there were even some lower quality/end of the line semi precious beads in there. My favourite find had to be the large bags of wood beads. I find wood beads quite difficult to get hold of and I love to use them so this made me very happy. I purchased some large forest green oval tube beads that I used in this necklace https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/152723192/chunky-beaded-boho-necklace?ref=shop_home_feat
Prices: The semi precious strands are pricey, but then they always are. The red bamboo coral strand I spied cost £30. The findings are much more reasonably priced and sold in packs, rather than individually, so you get more for your money. The wood beads were an absolute bargain, I got a bag of 100 beads for £4.98.
Overall Verdict: This is a store I’d definitely return to, if only just to have another rummage in the bargain bin. I do also like the fact that they have some semi precious precious strands that other places don’t have. The red bamboo coral beads were a little pricey for me this time round but I like knowing they’re there if I really need them in future. I also like that they had a small selection of chain, another thing that I use quite a lot but struggle to get in the quantities I need. I probably wouldn’t buy a large amount of chain here as it’s costly, but again its nice to know it’s there if you need it.
Until next time!