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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Shopping for Jewelry Supplies & Embellishments in NYC's Garment District

Even though I love all things creative, when I shop for supplies, the things I buy most often are intended for my mixed media jewelry design creations.   Now don't get me wrong, if I notice a sale on beautiful fabric or trim, I don't hesitate to purchase it for my quilting stash; more often than not, though, my focus is geared towards jewelry supplies and beads.

Last month, I spent several days in New York City.  And lucky me - my hotel was located within walking distance of the Garment District.  Prior to my trip, I researched the internet and various blogs to find shops that carry jewelry supplies.  I visited a few of those, in addition to other places I discovered just by wandering around the area.  I want to share my findings with my readers and others who are interested in finding jewelry supplies in the Garment District.

Hai's Trim
242 West 38th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
(212) 764-2166
Hours: Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Website:  https://haitrimstore.com/

Although I visited several shops, my absolute favorite was Hai's Trim.  Although Hai's Trim touts itself as a carnival supplier and fashion design shop on its Facebook page, they have much, much more by way of embellishments and jewelry design.  You name it, they have it here.  There is an entire wall of metal chain by the yard, in a vast array of designs, shapes, sizes, weights and colors - many of which I have not seen in my local craft stores or on the internet.  And best of all, it is priced reasonably compared to other shops that carry chain in the area.  Another thing I love about this shop is the fact that they carry large sizes (for example, 10-11 mm sizes) of AB rhinestone chain in various colors and metal choices, including bronze, black, gun-metal, copper and rose-gold, which is generally hard to find.   I purchased several yards of chain here, in addition to metal stampings and crystals that will be perfect for my future creations.  A lovely girl by the name of Cynthia patiently assisted me during my visit.  She was quite helpful, informing me that the shop gives a 10% discount on purchases that total over $100.00.  In addition, they sell to both retail and wholesale customers.  Be sure to bring your resale certificate when you shop here.

Storefront view of Hai's Trim.

Large rhinestone chain sold by the yard.

An entire wall of chain - a jewelry creator's delight.

More chain.

And still more chain...

Just a small sampling of embellishments available for sale.

A view of just some of the decorative trim.

A view of some of the rhinestone chain I purchased here.

M&J Trimming
1008 Sixth Avenue (between 37th and 38th Streets)
Hours: Mon - Fri : 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday : 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday : 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tel: 212-391-6200

Website: http://www.mjtrim.com/

I have been on M&J Trimming's email list for several years.  It all started with an online purchase I made from them.  However, until last month, I did not have the opportunity to visit their physical location.  Let me just say that this store is chock-full of floor to ceiling ribbons, trim, buttons and other items.  The store's website offers several items for sale, however, it does not (cannot) represent anywhere near the volume of items available for purchase in the retail location.

Included in the vast inventory of this store is a decent variety of metal chain sold by the piece, foot or yard, depending on the item.  In addition, Swarovski crystal buttons, trim and flat-backs are sold here.  The service is good, too.  I was assisted by an adorable octogenarian who told me she has worked for the shop for over 40 years - and loves it.  I can't remember her name, but she was super sweet and very helpful.  Even though the main part of my purchase here was chain, I couldn't resist purchasing some of the decorative trim for my other projects.

Outside of M&J Trimming.

Storefront view of M&J Trimming.

One of the floor to ceiling ribbon displays. I couldn't fit it all into the picture.

A close-up view of ribbon/trim available for sale.

Gorgeous rhinestone trim.

A good selection of chain is available for purchase.

My sales lady - who is an octogenarian - has worked here for over 40 years.

One view of the store.

Tons of Swarovski crystals are for sale.

A sampling of Swarovski buttons available for purchase.

Buttons galore - more than meets the eye - are for sale here.

CJS Sales
16 W. 36th Street, 2nd floor (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
(212) 244-1400
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Website: http://www.cjssales.com
NOTE:  Wholesale customers only; they do not sell to retail customers. Bring your resale certificate.

I recall reading about CJS Sales on the internet long before I ever had a chance to visit here.  This shop is iconic and there is nothing quite like it.  This is a wholesale warehouse that is jam-packed with boxes of vintage beads of all kinds including crystals (Swarovksi and cheaper versions), glass, Cloisonne, plastic, metal, pearls, etc.  CJS also sells metal stampings, cabochons, chain, bezel settings, filigree, components and so much more.

Upon entering the warehouse, I was given a tour of the warehouse by one of the owners, Carl Schimel.  Carl explained that he gives first-timers a tour in order to help them discern where everything is; people tend to get overwhelmed at the vast amount of "stuff" available for sale. This is great if you are searching for something in particular.   I ended up purchasing 14 pounds of goodies here; I was one happy camper.  Thankfully, CJS  provided me with a large sturdy bag to carry all of my items.  (I walked over to the nearest post office and shipped it all home so I wouldn't have to carry it around all day.)  If you plan to shop here, I would suggest wearing comfortable shoes and clothing that you don't mind getting dirty.  I'd also bring a water bottle and hand-wipes.  You will have to dig through thousands of items, and you will get dirty, but that is half of the fun.  You can easily spend an entire day here sorting through the vast inventory of items. 

Boxes of metal components and stampings are in these boxes; many are vintage.

Metal findings and components.

Tons of jewelry parts available for sale.

Chain, beads and components by the boxful.

Stone International
64B West 37th Street (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
(212) 273-1126
To be honest, I don't purchase a lot of gemstones, simply because I don't normally utilize them in my designs.  While this shop is small, it appeared to have a good variety of strung gemstones on both walls of the shop.  One thing that caught my attention here was the variety of mini beaded rosary chains available for sale here.  This is unique because the bead size of the chain was approximately 3-4 mm in size as opposed to the 6-8 mm sized chain that is readily available for sale in craft stores.  I did find the cost of the chain to be quite steep at $12.00 and up per foot. (They didn't appear to be made with gemstones, just glass beads.)  I found a seller on Etsy that sells something similar for $1.25 per foot and up for what appears to be the same thing.  On another note, there were several items marked down on clearance in the front of the store.  I purchased a few strands of amazonite beads and freshwater pearl cross beads from the clearance area that I couldn't live without.

Storefront view.

Strands of gemstones dangle from both walls of the shop.

Rosary bead chain made with 3-4 mm beads are available for sale by the foot.

A detail pic of the rosary bead chain.
Mood Fabrics
225 W 37th Street, 3rd floor
(212) 730-5003
Hours:  Mon-Fri: 9am - 7pm, Sat: 10am - 5pm
Website:  http://www.moodfabrics.com/

Mood Fabrics is well known because it is the place where the up and coming fashion designers from the television show Project Runway purchase their fabrics.  The main reason I visited the shop was because I was on the hunt for zippers and quilting fabric for my daughter-in-law.  I found the zippers my daughter-in-law wanted and bought several of them.  While there is a huge selection of fabrics perfect for making clothing, Mood doesn't carry any type of cotton fabric that is good for making quilts, handbags and other projects.  I was, however, pleased to find that Mood carries a small selection of rhinestone chain and colored metal chain that can be utilized in jewelry making.  I also found some gorgeous trim that consists of small roses fashioned from organza, chiffon and other fabrics.  I ended up purchasing a few yards of this, as well.  I think they will make beautiful additions to cuff-style bracelets and bib necklaces.

Mood Fabrics

Rhinestone chain sold by the yard.

A view of some of the beautiful trim available for sale.

More trim for sale - and LOTS of it.

Metal chain is various colors is sold by the yard.

A vast assortment of buttons on display in the store.

More trim...

And more trim...
Bolts of fashion fabric are available for purchase.
B&Q Trimming
102 W. 38th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Hours - Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Website: https://www.shinetrim.com/

B&Q Trimmings is not exactly touted as a bead or jewelry store, however, towards the back of the store, there is a small selection of rhinestone chain (the least expensive of all of the stores I visited in the area), crystals and other trims and such that can be fashioned into jewelry items.  I was helped by a woman who gave me several yards of trim marked at $1.95 per yard for $1.00 per yard.  When she saw me looking at particular trims, she made me the offer, and I couldn't refuse.  The trims will look cute on some of my jewelry pieces; the rest I will use for my sewing/quilting projects.

The Storefront.
Inside B&Q Trimming.
 All in all, I was really pleased with the purchases I made during my visit to the Garment District. If I had to offer one last piece of advice, I would suggest bringing copies of your resale tax certificate with you when shopping in the area (if you have one.)  Many of the shops are willing to accept these and you can save a lot of money on supplies you can utilize in your jewelry or craft business.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the shopping tips…..Do you know of any cool places in Kentucky or close to Kentucky with similar items?

Wanda Maria Designs said...

Hi, Daisy:

I personally have not been to Kentucky, so I can't refer you to any places there based on my own personal experience. However, I would suggest searching the internet for "wholesale jewelry suppliers" "wholesale beads" and the like. This will pull up any suppliers in the area. Good luck! Happy Shopping!

TheJewelryMagazine said...

Thanks for the shopping tips, Nice Blog. More Info: Artisans Gallery

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