Yone San Francisco is a one of a kind bead source. Bead hounds have said the only bead shop quite like Yone was Byzantium in Columbus, Ohio. That was then. This is now. Yone is like it’s always been. It’s not a place to buy cheap beads. At Yone you can pay 3 cents for a bead or $300 for a bead, a necklace or a treasure. Yone is not an everyday bead store. It is an experience. You have to come to San Francisco to see it in real time. It takes time and effort to come here. This is where it’s at. The source for the unusual, big beads or small, valuable or otherwise. Some beads are beautiful and some are so spectacularly ugly you can’t help but like them.

When you come to Yone San Francisco, please take your time. You can’t see everything in 5 minutes. You can’t see it in a short break between cell phone calls. Get acquainted. Visit. Talk bead talk. You don’t have to buy something either, but that would be nice. Just once experience YoneSF. Be good to yourself.

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A rare bead is not easy to find. It’s not there when you need it — that special. You will have to search, be persuasive, or lucky. Most people are happy with a bargain, something popular or a cheap copy. Bead lovers have higher hopes than that. They need a specific bead for a particular effect. My specialty is that rare bead or treasure that you won’t find just anywhere.

The rare bead is not always expensive. You may need a wood bead, glass or plastic. You may want a precious 20-carat gold bead or a moderately priced semi-precious stone strand. I have ancient ethnic beads in the store. Some items are modern imitations, silver beads that are NOT “bali” type, also pewter copies that don’t pretend to be authentic. What works for you. It is a matter of personal taste.

If you love beads come to San Francisco so I can help you personally. This is no longer a secret. If that is not possible, bid on a wide range of items on,, or Make my day. Mr. Bee wants you to be a happy bead lover.

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A Beehive of Beads

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More Than a Bead, Button and Bangle

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Beads for Everyone

From the first year the policy at Yone Beads was to make them available for everyone. People could walk in off the street, see the selection, and pick out the special beads that interested them. Some of the leading people in beads and bead design today came around. Beads were new, but bead lovers knew what to do with them.

To be able to touch and select what you wanted was a novelty. Here is an example of a mindset in the bead business at that time. A New York wholesaler of beads paid me a visit. He was horrified, almost insulted by what he saw. “You let them handle the beads! They must be stealing you blind.” Also a well known local shoplifter complained, “You’re pathetic” she said, “it’s too easy to steal from you.” We were lucky. Our customers were happy to pay for the beads. They were not ordinary beads.

A very good customer was a young woman who spent most of her welfare check on beads. She made wonderful things out of the beads and was able to support herself and her two children in this way. Her ingenuity really paid off. She eventually sold her work at big stores all around the country, made her fortune, and later told her story on the Opra Winfrey show. My customer was an example of what a bead lover can do then and do today.

Now everyone seems to be into beads, but bead lovers are as few now as they were then. They lead and do not follow. To create rather than to copy is a talent that few have. The range of beads is so extensive. It is impossible to stock everything in a small store like Yone Beads. The solution is to transfer most of the stock to the internet, and specialize in beads that you don’t find everyday. Beads of value that I like and hope you will too.

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“This is not a bead store”

After so many years in the glass bead game, it hit me, “This is Not a Bead Store.” I’m not selling beads, I’m helping people find solutions. Beads are the way to go. When people are beading, problems go away. When they bead, the pain disappears. BEAD NIRVANA.

Of course I sell beads, who doesn’t these days. Not just any beads though, not this source for beads. I carry things you are not likely to find in the usual bead store. People come to me for beads they can’t find elsewhere. They love beads and they instinctively know where to find them. I guess you might call that bead radar.Since the summer of love 40 years ago, when the bead phenomenon began, I was there when “love beads” were all the rage. That was then. Now beads have become too ubiquitous and almost too common. The love of beads is very ancient. Is it now too late in the game to lose that love? About the earliest development in the history of mankind was the use of beads to count, identify, to adorn and, ultimately now, a way of making money.As the source for lovers searching for that very special bead, it is no longer practical to mantain a traditional storefront. To celebrate my presence on the internet, transform yone beads into I will make the wide range of my extensive collections available to those who have not been lucky enough to visit San Francisco and be able to say “Now this is a Bead Store!”

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Mr. Bee

smaller-headt.jpgOnce upon a time a young man called Yonemitsu Arashiro (Yone to you) opened a very unusual store on Union Street in San Francisco. In the years before the “Summer of Love” and “Love Beads”, he and Joe Wilson designed very special clothing for unusual people. Yone’s sister Sueko modeled the clothes. The store was called Sueko in those days. This is where Mr. Bee came onto the scene.

Mr. Wilson eventually left to go East. Then Yone discovered Peking glass beads and the beads took over as they do with bead lovers. Later, Sue passed away. The name of the store was changed to Yone. A worldwide selection of beads was the result. After Yone’s death 14 years ago, Mr. Bee carries on in San Francisco and now on the internet.

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It’s All About the Beads

Mr. Bee has this thing about Love Beads. They say it’s about love, but it’s really about the beads. Back to the 60s the bead generation discovered love and beads. The 80s were about money, now it’s babies. We seem to be back to love again. My customers bring in their children and even grandchildren. Recently one woman said this is where mommie bought her beads when she was a hippie!Back in those carefree days they made love beads and gave them to each other. Now nothing seems free. Everything costs money now. We seem to forget about the love part. Back in the 60s they were sharing. Now we are just coping. Instead of creating, most are just copying. Today people are either homeless or they’re living the hip style. Now you have to have money to be hip.

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Love your beads, love yourself, love everybody.

The 60s are still here, maybe even still relevant. Everybody just got a little older, maybe a little less lovely. What’s wrong with love, beauty? Love your beads. Maybe they will love you. The beads you wear or collect. You might even use your beads. The are such things as rosaries, malas. You might use your beads, maybe even say a prayer. It might be later than you think. Boy are beads beautiful. Look at those beads, meaning in beads, Beads are where everything began. How about that? Beads are more than just fodder for frustrated bead freaks. Try utility, not futility. What’s wrong with bead crazy?

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