This is a preview of the full article - Full access is exclusive to subscribers. To read the full article please subscribe to our print or digital version of Ornament Magazine. Subscribe now!

VENDORS IN THE AUDITORIUM, one of two rooms for the Bazaar; in the background is the elevated stage, also used by the vendors. There were at least six booths with only demonstrations. The Los Angeles Bead Society has held their bazaars here for decades.

The Bead Society of Los Angeles Bazaar

bead bazaar



The Bead Society of Los Angeles was formed in 1975 and ranks among the oldest of such organizations, which still number between seventy to ninety or so in the United States, plus a few foreign ones. The author was a founding member and participated for many years, when he lived in that city. In order to raise funds to sponsor research, speakers or underwrite films, which the Los Angeles group has undertaken on a major level, all these nonprofit societies hold bazaars, usually on an annual or biannual basis. Begun as informal events, many members participated, since each organization always had a core who were in the bead or jewelry business, as well as those who sold to support their collecting or to eliminate duplicates. These informal sales thus benefited both the membership and the interested public, who were provided access to material that might have been difficult to find on the marketplace.

As beads grew in popularity, the number of shows increased, so that their regularity and abundance spread. As with all movements, participation is cyclical; coupled with the recent economic downturns, bead shows and bazaars have suffered; sometimes hit with the additional burden of increased rents, decreasing attendance and competition from online sellers. Not restricted to beads, craft, gift and other similar periodic sales events have increased booth fees despite these market pressures.



This article in its entirety appears only in the print magazine.

Keep rich and engaging content in your life, click here to subscribe today.



  Follow Ornament on...