I went to a jewelry making class this week at Global Beads. It was called Braided Bracelets. The store was closed and the instructor, Kathleen, who is also the owner of the store, is incredibly knowledgeable and gave each student lots of guidance and direction. I really liked that she didn’t just show how to make the bracelets, but she told us all kinds of tricks to make it easier and faster. Her emphasis was on teaching the technique, so that the students would be able to go home and make more, instead of just helping everyone finish their bracelet in an hour and a half. I’ve been going to Global Beads since they first opened. Did you know that the original Global Beads was in Los Altos over 20 years ago? Yes, that’s when I first met Kathleen. I remember bringing in half-finished projects or things that were broken and asking her to show me what to do. I still have the little beading pliers that she sold me over 20 years ago.
Although everyone was using basically the same technique to make braided bracelets with beads, everyone’s bracelet looked totally different from their neighbors. Some students used hemp or leather cord and others used waxed cord. Kathleen was good at making recommendations about which beads are easier to work with than others. A few of the students had taken other classes at Global Beads and they were making more advanced versions compared to the rest of the class. One student was using vintage beads from costume jewelry that she had purchased at a garage sale. Her bracelet was fabulous!
Check the list of classes on the Global Beads website to see how many different classes are offered. If you have a group of 6 people, it would be nice to book the entire class. There are a few businesses that really set the tone and make downtown Mountain View feel more unusual or unique than most other downtown shopping areas. Global Beads is definitely one of those places for me. I love downtown Mountain View.