Taipei Thing #17: Shop at Bear Mama DIY store

8 Jun

Felting is a hot craft in Taipei recently

Missy M., an all-around great lady and the rocking mama behind Rocking M farm, had recently asked me about wool in Taipei before I began this project, and later sent me some information on Bear Mama DIY, a rather large craft store on Yan Ping North Rd., just north of Taipei Main Station.

I used to consider myself a fairly crafty person, back when I had more time for it (and a bigger house to hold all the supplies!), so I was excited to check the place out. I’ve been to lots of craft stores in Taipei, but this is one of the first that I’d hold on par with my American craft store standards. First of all, it’s large:

Bear Mama DIY

Not quite a Michaels or Joann Fabrics, but a decent size, considering the competition for space in Taipei.

As you walk in, you’ll see tables to the left and right, where crafting classes are held. On this day, the place was bustling with grannies and middle-aged women weaving baskets, with store attendants nearby to help them with any crafting emergencies.

Crafting mamas

One difference I did notice between this store and its American cousins was the level of gaudiness, as evidenced by this entire row of beads that would likely be on clearance in a typical Michaels. Or maybe it was just the harsh lighting – I think American craft stores also tend to feel a little less like grocery stores, with nice displays and elegant packaging, unlike the hot pink in-house packaging used by Bear Mama.

Clear plastic beads, anyone?

You’ll also find all the typical things you’d expect in a craft store, like yarn and ribbon.

Yarn

Ribbon

I did make some purchases, which I carried around in the basket brought over to me by a helpful staff member, though I had to remind myself not to get carried away. Lots of interesting little finds in this store, and I’ll definitely be making another trip when I find the time and inspiration.

PS: If you’re in Taipei, and are interested in taking some crafting classes, you can find Bear Mama’s class schedule here (Chinese only). They also have locations in Taichung, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung.

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3 Responses to “Taipei Thing #17: Shop at Bear Mama DIY store”

  1. catherine_sr July 31, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    I was actually just thinking of my childhood trips to Michael’s the other day! Specifically, I was thinking of the silk/dried flowers and scented candle section every store has in the front and how much I HATE the way it smelled. I worked at a Jo-ann’s in high school and they were also weirdly obsessed smelly candles and fake flower arrangements. Ugh. Every time I think of Bear Mama, I think “thank you, Bear Mama, for not trying to sell me flower corpses.”

    • ktvxiaojie August 2, 2010 at 10:15 am #

      Wow, you’re right – I didn’t even notice the lack of smell, but now that I think of it, I would have noticed it had it been there. That craft store smell always reminds me of “Ben Franklin” (this was before the other chains rose to fame) and its two floors of random goodies. Every time I went to a craft store in the US as an adult, it still reminded me of Ben Franklin. Bear Mama didn’t, but maybe the chatty Taiwanese grandmas and all the weird beaded crafts threw me off!

  2. ewa May 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Wow,at first i saw the photo i to exciting of the shop i like and love of knitting n crocheting i have found in Malaysia of the material i want but i can’t get so love to visit this shop when i travel to Taiwan on jun’11. Can i get the full address of this shop? thanks

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