The Artisan Group is proud to announce today’s Artist Spotlight Feature is Fen Li of Bead Flora and Jewels!
BEAD FLORA AND JEWELS
Tell us a little bit about your shoppe.
I remember having blue and pink beads scattered all the living room teaching myself to make roses from a book while I was supposed to be working on homework. I hear the garage door opening. I scamper to gather up my beads and run to my room. I beaded clandestinely because my typical Asian parents insisted that I should read instead.
My passion for the old-world art of French beaded flowers began in college. I had just come home from the Bead and Button show inspired and started searching for beadwork online.
French beaded flowers are a traditional art that originated in France and spread all over Europe in the 1500’s. French maids took discarded beads from making extravagant gowns and strung them on wire and transformed them into flowers. Many royals including Marie Antoinette, Napoleon’s Josephine, and Princess Grace have had French beaded flowers in their possession because of their timeless beauty.
After college, I began a career in finance. I come home stressed and my husband suggests that I bead again. And so I rekindled my relationship with beads. At the same time, the handmade renaissance was making a comeback. Over the years, my designs have evolved from traditional stems to accessories. With a rainbow palette of seed beads/wire, I create beaded flowers that were once only owned by French and English royalty and transforming them into modernized accessories, jewelry, and home decor.
Bead Flora & Jewels is most known for the extravagant bridal bouquets that are statement and heirloom pieces all at the same time. I’m in the process of switching over the focus of the business to include more patterns and tutorials and eventually teaching.
What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why?
My favorite piece is my very own bridal bouquet. I created this for my own wedding before I decided to sell my work. Not only is it special because it was my own bridal bouquet, but because that is what sparked me to decide to sell my beaded flowers. What began as bouquets has sparked a whole arena of accessories for my shop.
When you’re not creating such exquisite bouquets and beading such lovely accessories, what are your hobbies?
What other hobbies? LOL. I’m loyal to my chosen art. 😉 I did work part-time at a bead store for a short stint and learned basic jewelry making techniques. At this point, this also opened up the idea of incorporating my beaded flowers into jewelry.
While I’m not designing products, I’m spending most of my days chasing my almost 19 month-old around. These days, I’m chasing him around more than I am designing anything.
What do you like best about The Artisan Group?
It has been an absolute honor to be accepted into an exclusive group like The Artisan Group. I am so grateful to Valerie, the founder, for all that she does for the group. Without Valerie or TAG, I would not have so many amazing opportunities… participating in GBK’s 2012 MTV Movie Awards gift lounge, GBK’s 2012 Primetime Emmys gift lounge, and getting my designs into the hands of stylists of popular TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and The Client List. I am so grateful that my beaded flower will be on The Client List starring Jennifer Love Hewitt this coming April.
Fen recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on September 21-22, 2012 at The W Hotel in Hollywood California, in honor of the The 2012 Primetime Emmys Nominees and Presenters.