A first glance at Bao Yang’s flowery earrings might surprise you. How did she keep the flowers so perfectly and tie them to poles? A closer look reveals that she didn’t – she just carefully reproduced polymer clay flowers.
Yang, 35, studied fashion design, but later turned to jewelry and small sewing projects.
“I wanted an outlet for my creative work,” Yang says, “but I didn’t have time to sew or design clothes after coming home from my daily job. “
For the past two years, she has sold her products through her website, Npauj (the Hmong spelling of Bao). Elegant gold and pearl earrings sit alongside pearl-encrusted hair clips and Hmong-inspired printed fabric scrunchies. Prices range from $ 15 to $ 30.
The idea for her most recent jewelry collection, Enchanted Garden, will resonate with Minnesotans trapped inside for a long winter, then faced with a gloomy spring.
“I needed a little floral cheer,” Yang says. “I imagined flat 2D images blooming into 3D sculpted flowers. It’s her most complex work to date, representing a new emphasis on Npauj – she had more time to devote to her art after being fired due to the pandemic.
Yang was inspired by his family and his upbringing, which involved creating traditional clothing and jewelry for Hmong holidays and celebrations. She also draws inspiration from her frustrations with Hmong traditions: “There are a lot of patriarchal elements in Hmong culture, and for a long time it has been difficult to find Hmong women who are getting started and being successful. their own business.
Her younger sisters are with her. They model and photograph his creations. “They are having a lot of fun doing it,” she said, “and I’m happy to be able to include my family.”