Lately, I have been doing a lot of digging at my favorite downtown bead warehouse. I have been cleaning out this old shop since I was 17 - the age when I was allowed to drive on the freeway. I would take the old VW bus and head north on the 110 - exit downtown Los Angeles and head over to the east side of town. I must have found it accidentally - and thank goodness I did - I have been coming back ever since. At first I would just buy a few pieces here and there - deal with the ladies behind the counter - spending whatever money I had saved up from babysitting. I would ooh and ahh at the colors and the ideas - never knowing that one day I would end up in the same business!
It's gotten to the point now that when I walk in the front door, the manager greets me and says "Let's go to the back" - music to my ears.Once we are in the dusty, dark aisles of the warehouse, he points to a pile of things he has uncovered since I have been gone and says "I found this for you". After all my years of digging through junk, piles of boxes and dust - now someone, in this case the manager, is actually doing it for me. I think he must get a kick out of finding the old stuff, thinking I will like it and then presenting it to me - like - here it is - I too can find gold! I rifle through it quickly - not wanting to look too anxious or excited and after agreeing to a price, say "that will do" - inside I am usually jumping with excitement that someone has actually uncovered something I had never seen before - old pink silk wrapped fasteners? Why I need to buy the whole box - I will never know. Something about not wanting to leave anything behind. The last time I was there, the manager said to me "We are going to have to come to you to get the old stuff" and I thought yeah - basically we have just moved the contents of this old bead warehouse to my shop - it only took me 25 years!