“Stores Galore” for Pasadena Weekly

March 2010

Arcadia has a small town charm, but from the Westfield Santa Anita Mall’s vast array of chain and department stores, to local specialty shops in Downtown and beyond, it is possible to shop till you drop in Arcadia.

Jewelry is something most people have, whether it’s a wedding ring, fun dangly earrings, or a low-key necklace. Even men like to display their style with a subdued piece sometimes—Flava Flav not included.

And as far as possibilities, all bets are off when a bead store is involved. Surveying The San Gabriel Bead Company’s wares may cause your eyes to sparkle as much as some of the merchandise.

“We’re known for having a good selection of a lot of things,” says assistant manager Shu-Shu Perugino. “Some stores carry just gemstones, but we carry gemstones, glass and different beads from different places.”

Czech beads (from the Czech Republic) and brass wire are particularly popular right now, but their huge wire selection also boasts copper, gunmetal and other types.

Get the latest in bead tools and storage too, from the inexpensive to the high-end.

“We’re really good at helping people with projects,” says Perugino. “If people see something at Nordstrom and want to replicate it we can help them with that.”

Store events are also the norm, like a Thai silver trunk show April 17th and 18th.

Teens and young adults find a funky, sophisticated voice at Westfield Santa Anita’s Metropark. Their “Fashion. Music. Art.” motto is incorporated in their creative store displays and the art—wearable and otherwise—that they sell. Affordable Betsey Johnson accessories are a draw, as are threads from Obey, which was launched by street artist Shepard Fairey, aka the guy who created the animated head of Andre the Giant that you’ve probably seen on posters somewhere. It now acts as the company’s logo.

True Religions are on the rack too for those willing to drop a little more, as are countless other trendy brands that will put an extra spring in your step. Think John Travolta’s swagger in the opening sequence of “Saturday Night Fever”, sans polyester.

Let them eat (and decorate) cake at deCroupet’s. Since 1998, sisters Janine and Cheryl deCroupet have sold baking supplies and specialized in making beautifully decorated custom cakes and cookies for all occasions.

“Our customized sugar and shortbread cookies are popular party favors,” says co-owner Janine deCroupet.

You may become an event’s unofficial guest of honor if you order a cake in flavors like red velvet, tres leches, snickerdoodle, chocolate, and more, accented with divine fillings like key lime, Bavarian chocolate chip, peanut butter, seasonal fruit, and over a dozen others.

For those who want to have their cake and make it too, deCroupet’s offers a plethora of cake making and decorating supplies. They have over 150 decorating tips, pans in various sizes and shapes—even fun character pans—plates and pillars, pre-made gum paste flowers, baking cups and probably whatever else your mind can bake up.

If you truly want to feel Food Network-worthy and find out what some of deCroupet’s supplies are actually used for, sign up for a cake decorating class available for various skill levels and topics.

Kids can learn too at a cake or cookie decorating class, or parents can hold a decorating party for them.

“We have a Mother’s Day class coming up where kids (six to 12 years old) can make something and take it home and give it as a gift,” says deCroupet.

These are just a few places to stretch your shopping muscles. Odds are if you want it, Arcadia has it. And if you don’t know what you want, it will give you a healthy dose of choices.

The San Gabriel Bead Company. 325 E. Live Oak Ave., Arcadia. (626) 447-7753. beadcompany.com

Metropark. Westfield Santa Anita. 400 S. Baldwin Ave., Space A14, Arcadia. (626) 898-4016. metroparkusa.com

deCroupet’s. 23 E. Huntington Dr., Arcadia. (626) 446-6903. cakesisters.com

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