Growing up in China, my childhood and adolescence were forged with uniformity due to scarceness of art education and freedom of expression. My generation was rarely exposed to art. In the one art class at age nine, we were taught how to draw a tank, the kind of tank moves with metal melts with wheels inside. Forty identical tanks were created by me and my classmates. That’s my only memory of art class and still vivid. I’ve always loved dance ever since I was a little girl, but there were no dance classes around to nurture my affection to the art. Calligraphy practice was my only exposure to the creative process, during which I was able to express myself with proportion, balance, movement and rhythm.
I dropped out of accounting major in business school and arrived in the U.S. to study Fashion Design at Parson’s School of Design. I breathed in the free air and looked up at Statue of Liberty, and I knew that I finally stood on the ground where I could start creating my own dream.
Four years training at Parson’s School of Design awakened my innate demand for quality, and authenticity, those are elements that govern everything I do till this day. I graduated top of my class, winning golden thimble award with designs of a pair of black and white bias cut evening gowns, which through the process, set my dominant contemporary edgy and elegant style.
After such exposure to art and expression, I couldn’t possibly imagine being confined by employment to someone else! With the belief in my dream of freedom, I set foot on the open streets of New York City. I sold my drawings and paintings in front of the Met, in Central Park, and in Soho, along side with my boy friend, then husband, Ge, selling his photography. Before long, we bought our first little house in Bayside Queens, had our first baby girl, Lyrie, and opened my evening and bridal boutique on Thompson Street in Soho.
Embracing different culture and art forms which I never had been exposed before in China, I had my daughter Lyrie started her dance training at young age, and I had never stopped being inspired by the beauty in the dancer’s graceful lines and flowing movements they create, and that became endless inspiration to my designs.
During my maternity leave of my second baby girl Olivia, I fell in love with jewelry making. The love affair started with a set of wire wrapped tile necklace and bracelet I bought on eBay. It sparked my fascination over wire wrapping. A casual project of balling up tip of silver wire with butane torch to make ear hook, brought the spark full flamed into deeper pursue of metal smithing techniques. My demand for high quality inevitably led me to design and making fine jewelry, and finally, my true love for jewelry blossomed in my heart like wildfire, and JeweLyrie was born.
Life had taken me through many detours and to different places with pauses and bumps along the way, but everything I have experienced has made me more passionate, more creative, and create more!
No matter what I do, my free spirit emerges. Reflected in the jewelry I create, the dancing metal textures, flowing lines, and unique play of light all take center stage. I breathe in freedom, and I breathe out expressions of beauty.
I am a living example of the American dream, and I believe we were all born to be free and beautiful.
JeweLyrie – Free Your Beautiful Me