Mill Valley is home to some of the best arts and crafts shops in the Bay Area, and Bay Area A-List, a website that allows users to nominate and vote on the best among an array of business categories, has recognized one of them, naming Beads of Marin on Locust Ave. as the Best Arts & Crafts shop on its 2017 list. The contest drew 24,000 votes on more than 3,400 nominees, with 121 winners chosen. 

“Though we have been finalists several times, this is our first First Place win,” says Beads of Marin owner Batel Libes. “We’re so excited!”

Beads of Marin and its space at 8 Locust Ave. have a long and storied history in Mill Valley. According to the Mill Valley Historical Society, the space itself was once home to Brothers Tavern, widely known as “The Brothers,” and acclaimed for its, well, colorful history. Libes says people still stop into her shop once a week to share juicy stories about the old days in the space.

In 2002, Libes needed to buy beads for a lariat she was designing and decided to check out Beads of Marin, which had been on Locust since 1994 and was well known for its large collection of quality beads. A “Store for Sale” sign on the front window got her attention, and Libes took the leap of a lifetime: she bought the store and never looked back.

Libes says the shop has a “most eclectic” collection of beads, including glass, wood, horn, bone, stone, coral, turquoise, pearls and more. Specializing in high-end gems, the shop carries more than 80 chains in sterling silver and 60 in gold fill, along with over 40 base metal chains.

“We serve the beading community with honesty and integrity, offering a place for all to come and be welcomed, learn and create in a friendly environment that is supportive and encourages creativity,” Libes says.

The 411:Beads of Marin is at 8 Locust Avenue. MORE INFO.

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!