Interview: Katherine Bollinger of Frou Frou Sue SueSome people may be surprised to find so many creative people in the south, but just an hour’s drive south of New Orleans is the small town of Lockport, home of Katherine Bollinger, the woman behind Frou Frou Sue Sue.
By Dalton Primeaux
Bollinger is a master of making unique, hand-made accessories. Her Line Frou Frou Sue Sue is one of the most creative I have ever seen in the south. I own several of her pieces and I often wear them to add some extra fun to my outfits when I go out to special events. My two favorite pieces would have to be the multicolored zipper necklace and resin measuring tape bracelet. They are both one-of-a-kind pieces.
I was lucky enough to interview Bollinger this month and
get to know more about her and her work. Her creative abilities range from patchwork to making handbags to jewelry designing. She was even published in "Pretty in Patchwork" by Lark Publishing for the memory quilt she made out of vintage fabrics from her mother.
"I've never been a regular diamond girl at all. Old Pearls, yes!"
What does a usual day consist of for you?
Katherine Bollinger: Well, I’m a morning person so I get up early and like to be in my studio as soon as everyone in the house is gone. If I don’t have a specific order I play with my fabrics or jewelry supplies or paper. I like to knit or crochet in the evenings in front of the television. If I don’t do something creative for a few days, I get really antsy.
When and why did you start designing jewelry?
KB: I've been making jewelry for quite a few years now. At first I bought beads and did basic bracelets and necklaces. Then I fell in love with the mixed media pieces that included old jewelry parts. Since I’ve always loved old jewelry and really different designs, it just seemed the way to go. I’ve never been a regular diamond girl at all. Old pearls, yes!
What are some of your inspirations when creating your accessories?
KB: It really takes me a while to decide which direction to go in. Sometimes it’s the color of a buckle or button (I love color blocked items of any kind), maybe an old piece of earring or a certain collection of old fabrics. When blogs first became popular I went crazy looking at pictures for inspiration. Now, it’s Pinterest. I also like to try new and different products. Resin jewelry is my latest venture.
Why did you choose a “vintage” look for your designs?
KB: I’ve always collected and loved antiques. The house I live in is over 100 years old. Besides, now I’m considered vintage too!
Are all your pieces made with real vintage materials?
KB: Most of the time. I have so much from my mom but love to buy old jewelry pieces, sewing paraphernalia, game pieces, and other little “treasures”. My mom kept everything too so the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
How do you choose the materials you use?
KB: It may sound corny but it really has to speak to me and tell me it belongs together.
Is there a certain statement you wanted to make with your designs?
KB: Be courageous enough to wear something unique! And, recycling is always a great thing.
If you are interested in learning more about Katherine Bollinger or purchasing any of her items visit her blog: lagniappe-suesueb.blogspot.com She can also be contacted via facebook or email (links on her blog).