in Downtown LA by Melia

    All that glitters may not be gold, but it probably belongs somewhere on your belly dance costume.

    All things sparkly are what you will find along this 3-block virtual treasure trove on South Maple Avenue,
    between 7th Street and Olympic Boulevard in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles.  Store after
    store carries everything you will need to embellish your costume, including fringe*, sequins, baubles and
    beads, trim, rhinestones, tiaras and crowns, chains, feathers, costume jewelry and appliqués.  Although
    you can find glittery goodies throughout the Fashion District, Maple Avenue is where you will probably find
    the highest concentration of stores that carry these items.

    * The glass fringe usually comes on ribbon and is not as dense as the fringe from Egypt, so you will probably
    want to double it.  

    If this is your first visit, give yourself plenty of time to explore.  There are many stores packed into three
    short blocks and the sheer volume of pretty things can be overwhelming.   

    - Take notes about items you are thinking about buying, including the price, which store they are in, and
    where they are located within the store.  After walking into the tenth store with rows and rows of spools of
    trim, you’ll be glad you did that.  You may even want to take along a digital camera for a quick picture of the
    items you like.  An easy way to remember which store carries the item in your  photo is to put the business
    card in the shot.  

    - Buy things on the way back to your car!  That way you won’t have to carry your purchases while you are
    browsing, it will give you time to think about what you want to purchase, and you will be less likely to buy
    on impulse. Most stores will not take an item back if they cut a specific length for you (trim, fringe, etc.), so
    if you buy the nice trim you saw in one store, but later find the trim you have been looking for all of your life
    in another store, you probably won’t be able to return the trim you bought in the first store.  In any case, it
    is always a good idea to check each  store’s return policy before you buy.

    -Bring water and wear comfortable shoes.

    For those who like to haggle over prices, some of the store keepers will be happy to accommodate you,
    especially if you are buying in volume.  Prices for similar items will sometimes vary significantly from one
    store to the other, but make sure that when you are comparing the price of similar items that the items are
    of equal quality.  

    Only have a short time to shop? Or, is the idea of browsing from
    one store to the next more than you can handle?  Here are just 5
    stores to hit that will probably carry everything you need:

    Start at E. 7th Street on Maple --(walking toward Olympic
    Boulevard), and stop into Beads & Trim on the right side of the
    street.  Here you will find a large assortment of rhinestone chains,
    rhinestones (you can buy a mixed assortment of sizes, shapes and
    colors by the scoop for about $11.98 /lb.) and costume jewelry.  In
    the back of the store there are more goodies, including spools and
    spools of trim. They also sometimes carry a few costume pieces.

    Walk to E. 8th Street and make a left.  Cross Maple and continue down 8th Street until you come to Berger
    Beads (it’s about half way down the block on the left).  Berger Beads has been there for 46 years and is
    one of the oldest establishments in the area.  Here you will finds walls full of boxes containing baubles and
    beads, rhinestones in almost every shape, size and color you can imagine, coins and buttons.  In the back
    there is a wall covered with appliqués and in the display case below, you will find fringe, elaborate sequin
    trim and  rhinestone chains.

    Go back to Maple and make a left (continuing toward Olympic).  Cross 8th Street.  You are now standing in
    front of Azi Payless (it’s on the corner of 8th Street and Maple).  They have fringe, feather boas and a wide
    assortment of trim.  They sometimes also carry full costumes and peacock feathers.    

    Continue down Maple on the left side of the street.  A few doors from Azi Payless is the Bohemian
    Crystal/Bead Factory.  You will find bead fringe, baubles and beads, rhinestone chains, sequins and a large
    variety of rhinestones.

    Make a left when you leave Bead Factory and
    proceed to 9th Street.  Cross 9th and continue on
    the left side of the street until you reach Michael
    Levine.  This is a large fabric store with a very
    nice selection of appliqués, rhinestone buckles,
    buttons and tiaras.  

    That’s it!

    Most places carry glitter and rhinestone glue and other things you will need to make your own personal
    masterpiece.  A large variety of glue, puffy paint, silk flowers, glitter, etc. can be found two blocks south of
    Maple, between 7th and 8th Street at Michaels-Moskatel & Craft store, 733 South San Julian Street (see

    [If you are walking from Olympic toward 7th Street, take a right at 8th, walk 2 full blocks (Maple Avenue to
    Wall Avenue (there’s a little side street in between called Cecilia), Wall Avenue to San Julian Street) and
    make a left.]

    Parking:  There are one-hour meters on the street (if you can find a space) where you will plunk down $1.50
    for an hour and end up keeping your eye on your watch instead of all the glittery things there are to see.  A
    parking lot is probably a better option.  There are lots that charge $3 to park all day (a couple of them on
    Maple are noted on the map).  Be careful . . . there are big signs on some of the lots that say $3, but if you
    look closer it is $3 every 20 minutes.

    Maple Street in Downtown Los Angeles . . . a great place to let your imagination run wild.  You may just find
    the perfect piece of trim to build your costume around.

    1.        Beads & Trims
    741 S. Maple Avenue
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-689-1000                
    Store Hours:   Mon – Sat      9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    2.        Berger Specialty Company
    413 E. Eighth Street
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-627-8783
    Store Hours:  Mon – Fri       9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
                           Sat                 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    3.        AZI Payless
    800 S. Maple Avenue
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-622-6161
    Store Hours:  Mon – Fri      10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
                           Sat & Sun      12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    4.        Bohemian Crystal/Beads Factory
    812 S. Maple Avenue
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-627-9553
    Store Hours:   Mon – Fri     9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
                            Sat                8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    5.        Michael Levine, Inc.
    920 S. Maple Avenue
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-622-6259
    Store Hours:    Mon – Fri     9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
                             Sat                9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    6.        Michaels-Moskatels & Craft
    733 S. San Julian
    Los Angeles  90014
    Telephone No: 213-689-4830

Spools of Rhinestone Chains at
Beads & Trim
Rhinestones, Appliques, Fringe and Trim at Berger Beads
Rhinestones and Rhinestone Chains
at the
Bead Factory
Fabric, Appliqués and Tiaras at Michael Levine

    Need to learn how to make a
    costume?  These links have helpful

Go with a game plan:

- Before you leave home, make a list of any items you need.

- Start at either 7th Street or Olympic Boulevard.

- Browse stores, collecting business cards along the way.  On
the back of each card, jot down the type of items the store
carries and anything special that you liked, even if it’s not
something you are planning to buy this trip.  It’s a great way to
jog your memory in the future when you are trying to remember
which store carried those breathtaking rhinestone appliqué
that you loved.
Azi Payless
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