We've long admired the thoughtfully curated French General, their amazing array of gorgeous fabrics and products, and of course its beautiful founder ~ Kaari Meng. Kaari's aesthetic is certainly one we love, inspired by the rural South of France. We feel incredilby honored that she'll be traveling to Boulder in April to teach her uber popular Natural Plant Dyeing workshop at this year's Makerie Sewing. Participants are in for such a treat, learning to create beautiful hand-dyed textiles that can be used in a gazillion ways.
It was really fun to get to know Kaari through our little interview and loved all of her answers to our questions, especially her trade secret! Read on to get to know the wonderful Kaari.
What is your favorite food obsession right now?
My favorite food obsession right now is the chopped salad....and what I can put into it...can I put anything into it as long as it is chopped? It is a constant experiment and I like the challenge.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up - and the funny thing is...I feel like on some level I have become one ~ I teach crafts!
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is a cup of Earl Grey tea with milk and toast with honey.
A wish that came true.
I also wanted to be a designer when I grew up ~ and that wish came true!
What risk are you glad that you took?
I am glad I took the risk of leaving the jewelry business behind to pursue other creative interests and start French General.
If you could learn a creative skill other than your profession, what would it be?
I would love to weave rugs in New Mexico year round or at least in the Fall every year.
A favorite gift you've received.
One of my favorite gifts I receive on a regular basis are Melograno candles made by Santa Maria Novella from a friend of mine in New York.
A condiment you love.
My favorite condiment is Mrs. Ball's Chutney.
What book do you keep on your coffee table?
I love Twyla Tharp's two books: The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit ~ both inspire me regularly. On my coffee table right now is: Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories edited by Sue Pritchard... the book that accompanied the first major exhibit to focus on British patchwork and quilt-making at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
What you love most about what you do.
I love being able to wake up everyday and do something creative. It feeds my soul and makes my heart sing ~ all day long!
The most challenging or difficult part about what you do.
The most challenging part about what I do is to stay focused and finish the task at hand before moving onto another exciting project ~ otherwise I take too much on and don't finish anything!
_________ is at the top of my inspiration library.
Color and fabric are at the top of my inspiration library!
Any tricks for finding life balance?
My secret to finding life balance is to pace myself and not say yes to everything. I try hard to find projects that will help me grow and inspire me and let the other opportunities pass me by without regret.
Any trade secrets/words of wisdom you'd like to divulge?
My only trade secret is do what you love with all of your heart and you will be successful!
Thank you Kaari!