How to at S&A Beads:

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Kimberly Arnold | 1 comment

Waist Beads
Culture, Style & Healing

Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for buying waist beads. Many people have come in searching for them and left with bags filled with colorful beads and inspiration to make their own!

We don't sell pre-made waist beads in store because its best to custom make them to fit each individual for size but also to personalize it to your style and needs. Some people wear them to keep their waistline in check, others wear them for cultural, spiritual or motivational reasons; adding charms or beads symbolizing things that empower them. It is said that certain stones carry healing powers or characteristics which can be passed on to the wearer of the beads. Style, of course is another big reason people wear waist beads. They compliment any torso and liven up your summer look!


Now that you're inspired to make your own waist beads,

Here's how:

There are two options,either we can do it for you (skip this section and scroll down) or do it yourself! Beading is its own form of therapy. We detail the steps below:



1. Choose your beads and clasp:
We recommend smooth, round, or flat beads that are not scratchy.

Dangling charms is a good way to express yourself or add meaning to your waist beads. We have a TON of charms and pendants in store that are sure to express the uniqueness of each individual!

2. Get your beading wire.
Visit the service desk to get measured for your wire. Consider how you want the waist beads to fit, snug? loose? and where you want them to sit on your hips.

The cost for the wire and findings would cost approximately $7.50 and up.

3. Bead away! String up your waist beads.

We recommend using one of our beading mats to use as a smooth surface while beading, it prevents your beads from rolling away, Don't you hate it when that happens? Try to string them on an open flat surface in an area which is not disturbed by others in case you have to "pause" the beading you want to know that they'll still be there when you return!

4. You're at the finish!

After the beads have been strung its time to finish off with your clasp. We can end/clasp the waist beads for you for a nominal fee of $3-$4, if the finishing is more complex it may cost more. If you know how to apply crimp beads and finish off your waist beads go ahead and work your magic!

You can learn to string your own waist beads by attending our Bead Stringing I class.


Let us do it for you:

We can professionally string your waist beads! The cost for this service is the labor fee (Beginning at $25) plus the cost of materials. The labor fee may be higher depending on the size of the beads and the level of skill to string them.

You choose the beads and clasp, we measure you and professionally string it for you. Its as simple as that. Visit the service desk in store to learn more.





Posted in style, waist

30 Days of Earrings!

Posted on June 01, 2014 by Larry Silverman | 0 comments

Psst! Come closer. I have a secret to whisper. Your ears are bored. They are getting tired of the same pair of earrings, every day, week after week, every outfit, sometimes year after year. Oh we know you’ve loved them since the day you first held them up to your ears. And they will always be a part of your personal repertoire. But a little variety might perk up your ears and your spirits.

To drive home this point the artists at S & A Beads will create and display for sale one pair of earrings every day in the month of June. We will be posting to Facebook and Instagram. Come, look, try, maybe buy, or maybe just be inspired to make your own.  



Day 1
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 2
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 3
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 4
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 5
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 6
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 7
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 8
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 9
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 10
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 11
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 12
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 13
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 14
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 15
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 16
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 17
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 18
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 19
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 20
in store artist: Kimberly Arnold

Day 21
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 22
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 23
in store artist: Carlista Martin

Day 24
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 25
in store artist: Lisa O'Brien

Day 26
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 27
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 28
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Day 29
in store artist: Cheryl Moody

Day 30
in store artist: Emily Silverman

Posted in carlista, cheryl, earring, earwire, emily, june, kimberly, lisa

Lisa & GrooveQuest

Posted on May 08, 2014 by Kimberly Arnold | 0 comments

The team at S&A Beads is comprised of a well-rounded group of talented artists of all art forms, including music! Lisa, one of the "bead ladies" you will find in store is bass guitarist and vocalist in the band GrooveQuest which she and her husband, Steve co-lead. When you attend a GrooveQuest show this is what you can expect from Lisa:

"possessing a natural solid rhythm timekeeping sense, Lisa offers driving danceable grooves coupled with a naturally supportive team-player approach that mixes with an extraordinary stage presence, filling band stand and venue with a radiant karmic glow."

(From her bio on the band website. View more on their website.)

If you stumble into Clyde's Restaurant at Mark Center (Alexandria, VA) on a Saturday night you will likely find her there with the band playing rock n' roll songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's including; Elvis, Van Morrison and B.B. King classics. Take a look at all the hits in their repertoire.



Their motto is "From the Heart, from the Soul, Essential Spirit of Rock and Roll through the Groove to You!"

Take a look at their schedule to find your opportunity to cheer Lisa and GrooveQuest on! Stay posted to view more news about our bead ladies at S&A Beads. Our staff members are active in the DC Metro community with various arts involvements.



Posted in groovequest, lisa, music

Bead Blessing Ceremonies

Posted on May 01, 2014 by Larry Silverman | 1 comment

Wisdom, Wishes, and Love . . . One Bead at a Time

By Lisa O’Brien, S&A Sales Associate 

A bead blessing ceremony can add heart-felt and enduring significance to your event. Traditionally this type of “ceremony” is conducted for expectant mothers, but it can be used at any gathering intended to honor any one . . . or any thing.
I incorporated a bead blessing ceremony into a baby shower for my daughter -in-law, Kelly. Typically, guests are asked to bring a bead to the event. However, in this case, I took advantage of my employment with S&A Beads and borrowed a large plastic container filled with beads. As the guests arrived, I gave them the container and asked them to make their selection.
When it was time for the ceremony, the guests took turns presenting their beads to Kelly with some words of encouragement or advice. It was wonderful how the beads “spoke” to many guests, helping them formulate their words of wisdom.
After the shower, I asked Cheryl Moody, S&A’s senior designer, to string the beads. Because they were irregular in shape and hole size, she strung the beads with knotting cord and then connected the knotting cord to a piece of soft suede. Cheryl took care to ensure the final strand was as tactile as possible.
I don’t expect that Kelly will wear these beads as a necklace. I do hope that she will keep them close as a remembrance of the wisdom, wishes, and love of her family and friends. Want to host a bead blessing ceremony? Contact S&A Beads. We can help you plan the ceremony, and, after the event, string your beads for an enduring keepsake.

Three-year-old Rowan was thrilled to have the job of collecting the beads in a brass bowl.
The bowl emanated a cheerful ker-plunk each time a bead was added.
Two guests selecting their special bead.


The final result!

Posted in bead, blessing, idea, lisa

Trade Beads at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Larry Silverman | 0 comments


Kathleen Fern, my bride of two years, shared this link to the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, one of the world's great museums."Look," she said, "they have your beads." And indeed, while S & A Beads doesn't have all the beads shown on the V & A trade bead site, we have a lot of them. And many more like them. Collectors of trade beads and other antiques will be delighted with the photos and history the V & A offers.

Compare our trade bead collection here, to theirs here.

Read their article online here.


Photos from Victoria & Albert Museum article. March 2014.

Posted in african trade beads, larry, victoria & albert museum

The Smithsonian Museum's New African Bead Website!

Posted on May 01, 2013 by Abraham Silverman | 0 comments

Our favorite web site of the Week:

BEADED SPLENDOR: Migration of Beadmaking and Beadwork Throughout Africa

This website has fabulous information about African bead work, both past and present. Photos are great but few. 

You can see many of the beads discussed on the Beaded Splendor website right here on and at our store in Takoma Park, MD.

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