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The gorgeous lifestyle store French General has legions of devoted fans—and its founder, designer and stylist Kaari Meng, has created an exquisite book based on the boutique's beloved aesthetic. Inspired by vintage French beads, these 36 simple but gorgeous jewelry projects go month by month, season by season. With evocative names like Les Grandes Vacances (Vacation by the Seashore), La Rentrée (Back to School) and La Saint Valentin (Valentine's Day), the 12 sections each feature three pieces of jewelry-including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
After studying jewelry-making techniques at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Kaari Meng sold her designs to specialty shops including Bergdorf Goodman, Anthropologie, Sundance Catalog, and Peruvian Connection. In 1997, her business evolved into French General, a Soho retail store selling a French-inspired lifestyle that included textiles, ephemera, and household items only found in France. The shop moved to Los Angeles four years later. Kaari has designed quilting fabrics for Moda, wallpaper and home décor items for Fabricut, and scrapbooking supplies for Jo-Lee's Boutique. Over the years, Kaari wrote five books for Chronicle and Lark Books highlighting all of the elements the French General brand had evolved into. Her home and shop have been featured in Oprah, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Romantic Homes, and Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines. Kaari lives in Los Feliz, CA.