Shop Local: Ornamentea

September 24, 2009 at 1:39 am (Shop Local)

When I first started making jewelry, I knew nothing about beading. On a trip down to Florida many years ago, I stopped at a bead store in Ormond Beach and got the bug. The woman there showed me how to crimp and string a basic necklace, but that was it. When I came back to Raleigh, I made it my mission to find a bead store. I had drawings of necklaces I wanted to make but had no idea how to execute them. Then, I found Ornamentea.

Ornamentea is located in the Glenwood South area of Raleigh. It is an unassuming green and turqoise building, but inside it is a treasure trove of crystals, stones, vintage glass beads, and findings. The staff is knowledgeable and the prices are reasonable (especially compared to some of the other bead stores in the area), and they do offer a designer’s discount, which makes it a perfect place for hobbyists and professional beaders alike.

In the five years I have been making jewelry, the staff and the owner, Cynthia Deis, have become my friends. Cynthia was so supportive when I started the Capital Area Polymer Clay Guild here in Raleigh, gave me valuable advice when I did my first wholesale show in Baltimore, and helped me become a better artist by introducing me to other professionals who have challenged me to think and work “outside the box’.

This month Ornamentea turns ten years old. Happy Birthday, Ornamentea! Keep up the good work.

If you go, Ornamentea is open seven days a week and  is the West Street (R4) stop on the R Line.  Even if you are not in town and still want fabulous base metal findings, filigree, and more, visit Ornamentea’s online store at Want to try something new? Visit Cynthia’s blog for free beading project downloads at


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