TO BEDAZZLER - Jewelry by Fran Green

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TO BEDAZZLER - Jewelry by Fran Green
PHOTO: Valberg Imaging
From public servant
to bedazzler
By Julie Beun
Photographs by Beverly Johns
Fran Green likes parties. And she
likes jewelry. But when her private
jewelry parties topped 30 women,
buying $2,300 worth of her pieces
in just two hours, she knew it was
time to take the party public.
It was back in 2005 that things started to take off for
Fran Green. And since then, the retired federal public
servant has been stringing together beads, along with a
growing legion of fans.
Known for combining rugged, raw stones — think
titanium-dipped chunks of quartz — with more refined,
polished semi-precious gems and metals, Green’s work
also caught the eye of women’s clothing retailer Marlene
Shepherd, who now carries the line in her stores.
“It’s funky and yet it’s classic,” Shepherd observes.
“She puts chunky and refined together, so while it’s
hard to find a pearl necklace that is interesting today,
she has the nice combination of the silver nuggets with
pearls, which revives that look. My daughter, who is 17,
loves the look and my mother, who is 90, has taken one
of her pieces on a cruise.”
Not bad for a self-proclaimed accessory junkie whose
only previous claim to jewelry nous was mucking around
with polymer Fimo clay to relieve the stress of working
such high-profile gigs as NavCanada negotiations, Y2K
project management and post-9/11 security.
“I took up Fimo as a hobby, really,” Green says. “Then,
it got to the point where I thought, ‘What in the world
am I going to do with 500 pairs of earrings?’ So I did a
home show and it took off from there.”
After retiring in 2004 and switching to semi-precious
stones, however, her “demographic” immediately
widened and since then, she’s expanded to an online
store and has plans to go further into retail this year.
If her work proves as popular elsewhere as it has at
Shepherd’s, her “retirement” will be busier still.
“She’s popular here and that she’s from Ottawa is icing
on the cake for my customers,” Shepherd says. “But they
have to like the cake first. And they certainly do.”
Green’s jewelry is available at jewelrybyfrangreen.com
or Shepherd’s Trainyards and Rideau Centre locations.
STYLE Spring 2014 39