Monday, June 4, 2012

R.E. Style Feature : Bead Flora

Pink romance French beaded flowers - set of 3, perfect for the bride's bouquet
Photo Credits : Bead Flora & Jewels
I've known Fen of Bead Flora & Jewels for nearly as long as I've been an Etsy artisan. Her beautiful hand beaded floral creations are truly something special. Fine craftsmanship and elegant design are hallmarks of her exquisite work. Her designs were also included in the 2012 MTV Movie Awards celebrity gift lounge via The Artisan Group. Read on for more of my fantastic interview with Fen.

Crimson Passion French Beaded wedding bouquet 

What inspired you to start Bead Flora Jewels?
The idea behind Bead Flora and Jewels began in college over 10 years ago. I’ve always loved beads. Always with an entrepreneurial spirit, the moment I discovered French beaded flowers, I wanted to start my own website and sell different types of flowers. I even purchased my domain 10 years ago but never got the momentum to get it started. 

After college, I got caught up in finding a “real job” and starting a career. I was in finance for a number of years climbing the corporate ladder and breaking glass ceilings… I found Etsy in 2008 and listed the bridal bouquet that I created for my wedding. I figured if someone wanted my bouquet, I would recreate it.

Bead Flora and Jewels began as collaborative venture in 2008. I was the “Bead Flora” part and the “Jewels” part was to be jewelry from my friend Myrna. She had family health issues and never got started. In the meantime, I went full steam ahead. So now, I AM all parts of Bead Flora and Jewels. 

Aphrodite Grecian goddess inspired headband

May Flowers - French beaded calla lily bridal bouquet  Melissa - something New and Blue

Do you have a favorite design or product?

My product lines are always evolving. While I began in bouquets, I’ve come to love making hair accessories.

Do you do custom work?

Yes, I love to do custom work. It lets me create in ways that I otherwise would not think of. I had a client a while ago who loved the headband that she received in the mail and then contacted me for custom work after searching high and low for a matching necklace. She let me have full reign on the design. I loved that she had so much confidence in me. I was nervous for a minute but got super excited about it. I came up with several new techniques of doings things from creating this custom order!

Tiffany -shoe clips, French beaded flowersgold flower and crystal Lotus French beaded shoe clips

What is your studio or work space like?
My studio is a mess. It is a spare bedroom that I’ve converted into a studio space. There are two desks and a photography station. The 2nd desk is supposed to be my husband’s but he’s only used the desk once in the last two years. I’m in the process of cleaning up and purging a lot of stuff from the studio in the past few weeks. Why I kept my French homework from high school in my studio closet is besides me.

What are you doing when you are not creating?
I am always creating in my head. When I am not creating, I am taking care of my son. I became a first time mom this past August and my little man takes up most of my time. I also love to teach French beaded flowers to new students. I want to expand more on making patterns and teaching.
Beaded Peacock feather adorned clutch

What is your best advice for creating a harmonious and happy marriage?
Since having my son, I’ve found that we are in a new dynamic. It is hard to find balance between the baby, the business, and the husband. Don’t become complacent and make sure to tell your significant other that you appreciate him/her.

What advice would you give to couples seeking to make their wedding memorable and special?

Take your time and try to enjoy the process... And buy an exclusive Bead Flora and Jewels design so you’ll have a lovely reminder once the day is over!

Red beaded flower blossom hair pins
ivory cream flower hair pins

What do you do at Bead Flora Jewels that makes your product top notch?

I’ve been making French beaded flowers for over a decade, but I’ve only started to sell my work for 4 years. I didn’t feel that my work was good enough to sell before. I have boxes of stuff that I need to take apart. I have an OCD personality and can’t have anything out in the world of mine that is not impeccable in terms of materials or craftsmanship.

Photo Credits : Bead Flora & Jewels

Find Bead Flora & Jewels:

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  1. I've had the privilege of meeting Fen a couple times since I moved to Milwaukee. She is awesome, as is her work! Great interview and gorgeous photos.

  2. Fen is such a beautiful person - inside and out. I've really enjoyed this interview and especially love those shoe clips!

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