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French General

French General

Art
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
(47 Reviews)

Kaari Meng began designing jewelry for Bergdorf Goodman after graduating from the jewelry program at FIT in New York City in 1992. In need of a hat pin, Kaari designed a collection of pins and presented them to the jewelry buyer at the monthly open-buy day. The buyer at Bergdorf's bought all of Kaari's designs and requested a full collection of jewelry for their cases. Using vintage glass beads, buttons and notions, Kaari created a unique look that appealed to many who were looking for vintage inspired jewelry. Kaari began designing for Anthropologie when they opened their first store in Philadelphia in 1992. For many years, Kaari enjoyed designing for retail shops, museums and catalogs - all of the jewelry pieces Kaari designed used her vast collection of antique beads found all over the world.

In 1997, the year Kaari's daughter Sofia was born, the business evolved into French General, which began as a retail store on Crosby Street in New York City's Soho district. Filled with apothecary jars brimming with vintage notions, Kaari and her sister Molly began selling a French-inspired lifestyle that included textiles, notions, ephemera, and household items found only in France. In 2003, Kaari and her family moved to Los Angeles and set up French General in an old Spanish style warehouse, on the edge of town and opened up one day a week for people to come in and browse their ever changing collections that they collected on yearly trips to the South of France.

Offering a variety of vintage craft workshops and kits, French General began teaching workshops using their vintage craft materials, including jewelry making, stitching, paper crafts, sewing, shibori, indigo dyeing, and weaving. French General has become a well recognized craft workshop which now features talented teachers from around the world who visit to share their techniques and inspiration.

Over the past ten years, Kaari, and her husband, JZ, have written, photographed and designed six books highlighting all of the elements of the French General lifestyle. Books include: The French Inspired Home, French Inspired Jewelry, Home Sewn, Handmade Soirees, Treasured Notions and A Year of Jewelry.

French General designs quilting fabric and patterns for Moda which are sold in quilting shops around the world. French General also designs scrap booking materials, including paper, notions and dies for Sizzix; as well as a line of home decorating fabric, trim and wallpaper for Fabricut.

And to relax....French General take groups of women to the South of France every summer to live in an 18th century chateau.  For four weeks, four different groups of creative women come and learn to live like rural French women - visiting the flea markets, local villages and artisans. Kaari and JZ draw on their summers in France as inspiration to continue to create the French General lifestyle.

Reviews of French General

(47 Reviews)
Charm Bracelet Workshop

10/7/2018
Kathleen O.

Attended: Charm Bracelet Workshop


Although I didn't really have any experience making jewelry, I ended up with the most wonderful bracelet! The instructor, Tyn, helped me pick out a kit that was suitable for my skill level and gave very detailed, patient instruction. The setting is wonderful and my classmates were all supportive. I'm very pleased with the result and was able to finish it during class time.

Charm Bracelet Workshop

8/8/2018
Irma V.

Attended: Charm Bracelet Workshop


Class was fun and people were great!

Fall & Winter Eco-Printing Workshop

7/29/2018
Rubina Y.

Attended: Fall & Winter Eco-Printing Workshop


I enjoyed the class very much. Monica is a very nice and knowledgeable instructor. she will send us an email explaining everything again and if we have a question we can email her.

Shaker Basket Weaving Workshop

7/22/2018
Lisa W.

Attended: Shaker Basket Weaving Workshop


This workshop was the most enjoyable thing I've done in as long as I can remember; exciting and relaxing at the same time. The ladies of French General and the instructor were all so kind, welcoming, and helpful. I was amazed that - despite having trouble finishing things on my own - I walked out of the workshop with a beautiful, completely finished basket in just a few hours. I would love to take more local basketweaving workshops, and (without a doubt) more classes/workshops at French General! Thanks, coursehorse, for bringing me this opportunity!

Indigo Shibori Workshop

5/7/2018
Jennifer C.

Attended: Indigo Shibori Workshop


Instructions were easy to follow, kit had great fabrics, instructor was knowledgeable and delightful. I also thought that it was just the right amount of participants. I would love to see an intermediate class where we learn more about the dyes. Will definitely take another class at French General

Beaded Crochet Necklace Workshop

3/19/2018
Nadia Y.

Attended: Beaded Crochet Necklace Workshop


Everything was great... can't wait for another class! Loved it.

Beaded Crochet Necklace Workshop

3/18/2018
nadia Y.

Attended: Beaded Crochet Necklace Workshop


Very good class. Beautiful space. Wonderful owner! I will go back to her classes and her shop! Highly recommended.

The Art of Shibori

2/18/2018
nancy c.

Attended: The Art of Shibori


Very informative. Made everyone feel very welcome.

Embroidered US Wall Map

11/21/2016
Molly K.

Attended: Embroidered US Wall Map


I had an awesome time and learned a number of new skills. Robert was a very pleasant instructor and made the afternoon very fun and informative. Thank you!

Downtown Digging

12/8/2015
Blanca M.

Attended: Downtown Digging


It was a great class, I loved everything about it! Kaari is a great talented teacher and a wonderful person. I keep coming back and back again whenever I can

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Questions about this school?
2009 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, California 90039
French General
Los Angeles, Downtown/Northeast
2009 Riverside Dr
Btwn Allessandro & Newell Streets
Los Angeles, California 90039

Upcoming Classes at French General

Lamb in Pants Workshop
Lamb in Pants Workshop
Next start date:

Monday Oct 22nd, 10am

Anatomical Embroidery
Anatomical Embroidery
Next start date:

Saturday Oct 27th, 10am

Fall & Winter Eco-Printing Workshop
Fall & Winter Eco-Printing Workshop
Next start date:

Sunday Oct 28th, 10am

Charm Bracelet Workshop
Charm Bracelet Workshop
Next start date:

Saturday Nov 3rd, 12pm

Farmer's Market Basket Weaving Workshop
Farmer's Market Basket Weaving Workshop
Next start date:

Saturday Nov 17th, 10am

Indigo Shibori Workshop
Indigo Shibori Workshop
Next start date:

Sunday Nov 18th, 10am

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