"Shop Vintage" in a Paradise Called Providence!

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Six days in May 2026

Doris Coghill, Tour Leader


Picture a large warehouse with rows and rows of floor to ceiling metal shelving stuffed with boxes. Each box has something glued or hanging on the front to let you know what the box contains. You will think the rooms go on forever. Add to that a Five Star Swarovski importer, a glass factory and gallery, local bead and antique shops, a bit of area history, and you have an idea of the what to look forward to on this “Shop Vintage” Beadventure with tour leader Doris Coghill.

This Beadventure will be in May 2026; specific dates will be set by spring 2025 once we're able to firm up lodging and other logistics. It will be a small group tour, so let us know if you might be interested and you'll be the first to learn when the dates are set.

Itinerary

Day 1.  Arrive in Providence.
We will start our “Shop Vintage” Beadventure with arrival at the Providence airport (airport code PVD). We'll have a "wel come dinner."  Depending on what time everyone arrives, we may have time to take a ride around town; otherwise we'll have a "welcome dinner" to kick off our shopping!

Days 2 - 5.  Shopping for antiques, vintage beads!
During the next four days the group will (once specific dates are set, a day-to-day itinerary will be provided):

  • Go Antique shopping! We will travel west from Providence just across the border into Connecticut to visit a town of antique shops, plus stop at one or two others along the way;
  •  Visit our first Swarovski warehouse to dig through the aisles of treasures and vintage beads and cabs; depending on how much time spent  digging through boxes of vintage items, we may visit other bead/antique stores;
  • Travel to Newport for lunch and a tour of one of the "Golden Age" Newport mansions that line the Cliff Walk. Here we also w ill visit a glass blowing studio and glass gallery;
  • Visit a five-star Swarovski dealer who will talk about Swarovski's  history, show us the sample room of products they have sold during their many years in business along with their current items from Germany and the Czech Republic. If you're familiar with the afternarket coatings but on crystals, this is a company that does this process. Youwill be able to shop--but keep
    n mind crystals are only sold in factory packs. They have, however, added a “seconds and samples” section where you can purchase individual items.
  • Visit another warehouse that is so big that the basement rooms have a yellow line from the entry door to the last room so that you can find your way back out. There also is a Swarovski room, a metal room, a findings room, a plastic room, plus so many more rooms that one loses count!
  • Tour Providence's historic district and visit shops and galleries that showcase local artists.
  • Visit several local bead stores and as many antique shops and we can find.
  • Plus a few more surprises!
  • And a farewell dinner will wrap up our busy week of exploring, rummaging, and finding treasures!

Day 6.  Departure
You will be able to depart anytime this day--just make sure you have enough room in your luggage for all your finds!

 

About your Tour Leader  . . . Doris Coghill
Doris leads our trips to the Czech Republic, Tucson, and the warehouses of vintage crystals and beads in Providence, Rhode Island. Doris went on the very first Beadventure and was immediately hooked! She has been to India, South Africa, Morocco, Barcelona, and Ireland with Beadventures and has several more countries on her wish list.

Doris owns Dee's Place, LLC, a web site mail order business.  She teaches classes locally in her home state of Minnesota and around the country and acted as a show promoter for two bead shows a year in the Minneapolis area for 15 years,  as well as traveling to two others to teach and have a booth. You can see her projects in several of the national and international bead magazines and books as well as on television.

 

Trip Cost

Estimated at $1,900 for a shared room (plus an estimated $500 additional for a single room). Trip cost will be finalized by spring 2025.

Trip cost includes:

  • All lodging
  • 90% of meals
  • Admissions
  • All ground transportation

Not included:

  • Airfare
  • 10% of meals
  • Travel protection

To Sign Up

Complete the registration form; return it and a $1000 deposit to hold your spot; balance due 90 days prior to start of Beadventure.

Travel Protection

Beadventures recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Check out travel insurance options at this website.

Trip Notes

  • You do not need a tax number to go on this trip, but if you one bring along several copies of your certificate to leave with the warehouses.
  • When you purchase Swarovski items, you will have to buy them in factory pack quantities, which can range from half gross (72) to ten gross (1,440) packages, depending on the size of the item. Packs can be split with other tour members back at the hotel!

About Rhode Island . . .

Small, but beautiful, Rhode Island is the smallest state—just 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. This feisty colony was the first to declare its independence from Britain but last to ratify the US Constitution. At one time it was a leader in the Industrial Revolution with multiple textile mills, machine and metal shops, and costume jewelry production. The costume jewelry manufacturing plants may no longer be located in Providence, but many of their suppliers and importers are still there. You’ll find warehouses full of findings, beads, crystals, cabs, and other items, both vintage and new that can be used for jewelry or other crafts. 

While Rhode Island is a small state, it does have 400 miles of shoreline and several large islands within its boundaries. Water cuts the state into two pieces and the Atlantic Ocean goes most of the way to the Massachusetts border. Providence Harbor stretches 30 miles from downtown to Narragansett Bay. Providence and its 100,000 population have preserved much of its past history. In 1890 Providence was the second largest woolen producing city in the US and you still can see many of the old mill buildings, which have been converted into Antique Shops or other commercial uses. Lining Benefit Street there are more than 200 restored buildings – what the locals call “The Mile of History”. Many of the houses and buildings have a plaque on the front telling you what year they were constructed and it is not unusual to see houses dating bacl to the 1700’s. 
 
In 1794 extensive production of fashion jewelry began when Providence goldsmiths Seril and Nehemiah Dodge developed a process for plating base metal with gold, thus enabling them to produce popular
jewelry at extremely low prices. This caused the production of costume jewelry to excel during the 19th century, especially in Providence. Nehemiah later expanded his business greatly, employing journeyman gold and silversmiths and apprentices to become the nation’s first mass producer of discount jewelry. By 1880 Rhode Island led all the states in percentage of residents employed in jewelry manufacturing. By 1900 there were 250 costume jewelry manufacturers located in and around Providence. One of the largest manufacturers located there was Coro who also produced items under the names Vendome, Cellini, Francois, and many others. The jewelry boom lasted until around 1950 when changing times led to four decades of economic decline, which ended the costume jewelry industry in Providence. So many of the companies were located in one place that an area of downtown is still called “The Jewelry District” even though the buildings have long since been converted to other uses.