Supplies are a very peculiar component to my design work. Although I have favorite techniques that I use regularly, the medium for focal piece varies greatly. I have a couple of local trusted stores that I can count on for top notch service, product and advice. And I shop Etsy as well.
My curating path generally works like this "Wow, that's beautiful/cool. It reallyneeds to be something!" It allows me to have an ecclectic offering to my customers, have diverse clientelle and keeps my creative brain from becoming stagnant.
Colors call my name on a daily basis. Some days I want to create in red and black and others it's all about neutrals. My go to is pewter. I love the way deep shimmery gray can enhance an item with out taking it over.
However what I love is when I visit one of my favorite local shops and the owner says "You've GOT to look at what I ran across" Most of the time, before I even see the stash, I know I'm going to love it. That is how I cam across my new additons of sugar glass. They weren't even tagged and displayed yet. Not my normal style, but great fun to work with.
My "Go To's" in Portland are
Belladonna Beads in St Johns
Bead Bullies in Old Downtown Tigard
Dava Bead in NE Portland
They are not at all close to each other in proximity, and each have different specialties