Owned and operated by the Vincent family since its founding in 1969, Shipwreck Beads was first located in a modest 750 square foot building on the shores of Mud Bay in Olympia, Washington. Originally, Shipwreck Beads was a nautical themed antique store called "Shipwreck" that happened to carry a few beads. The store's original owners sold it to their children, Glenn Vincent and family, in 1982. The beads soon took center stage, and "Shipwreck" became Shipwreck Beads.
Shipwreck Beads has certainly grown since its humble beginnings on Mud Bay. Today, with over 17 billion beads in stock, Shipwreck Beads is proud to offer the World's largest selection of beads. Shipwreck is currently housed within an impressive 80,000 square foot building. The 22,000 square foot showroom is a sight to behold, and it's practically bursting with beads! Many of Shipwreck's lifelong customers like to walk into the expansive showroom and reminisce about visiting Shipwreck's diminutive original building so very long ago. Of course, Shipwreck Beads didn't simply jump into such a formidable location straight from their tiny place on Mud Bay. The store has resided at two other locations in Olympia over the years. Shipwreck Beads was located in a 7,000 square foot building on Black Lake Blvd. until 1998, and then 22,000 square foot building on Motman Road until moving to its current location in 2003.
Shipwreck Beads specializes in Czech glass beads, including favorites such as seed beads and fire polished beads. Shipwreck Beads is the largest US retailer for their Czech supplier, and is therefore able to offer the widest selection of Czech product at the lowest prices. The company also carries extensive selections of crystals, gemstones, pewter, books, beading accessories, jewelry making supplies, and more. Customers can purchase products from Shipwreck Beads in both wholesale and retail quantities via phone sales, the internet, and in-store. Currently, Shipwreck receives about 36% of its business from its showroom visitors and about 64% via mail order. Shipwreck's longstanding dedication to customer service, breadth of selection, and ease of accessibility attracts a customer base as diverse as their selection. Native American tribes, jewelry designers, clothing designers, crafters, small bead shop owners, large corporations, church groups, children, college students, and seniors from near and far all purchase from Shipwreck Beads.