Franck Ernault and Janice Jaworski met at a diner in Soho 13 years ago and have been together ever since. Individually, they both had vacationed in the Hamptons. They also found a unique connection to their respective crafts — Jaworski developed an affinity for jewelry while Ernault took to woodworking. Together, they’ve co-created Beads and Boards.
“We are both creative by nature and we brought our love of wood, stones, style, and design together when we launched Beads and Boards,” Jaworski said. The name is a seamless integration of alliteration and simplicity, a memorable combination for a brand.
Jaworski began creating her pieces as a side hobby to her day job, where she acts as a managing director of U.S. operations in a global agency that specializes in visual and experiential design space. Her attention to detail at her office job easily transitioned to her creative endeavor, refining the designs and attempting different techniques as she went along. Each simple yet understated piece is handmade and one-of-a-kind, perfectly suited for customers seeking out originality.
While she does create different collections, no two stones are identical. She works with semi-precious gemstones, Austrian and Czech crystal beads with sterling silver and rose gold. “For me, each piece comes to life based on the specific materials I find. Before deciding on a design or pattern, I think about how and where the piece may be worn. I look at the stones like a broad palette, curating color, texture, and shape to make each creation special.”
Currently, she is featuring three new collections — Silver & Pearls, The Sea Glass Collection, and En Fleur. But she has also been commissioned to create collections, including for destination weddings, that elicit special memories time and time again.
Ernault, a Paris native, owns a travel industry business where he “specializes in unique experiences for U.S. visitors to Europe.” Tailoring trips is similar to woodworking — piecing together varying parts to form a single, unified, memorable unit. “Wood gives me a grounded feeling with the nature around me. I get inspired when trying to solve a pattern challenge, crisscrossing cuts and creating combinations with wood that is regular, rare or reclaimed, resulting in pieces that evolve as my process evolves,” Ernault said.
He uses varying types of wood in each board — oak, mahogany, maple, walnut, and purple heart — and even utilizes reclaimed wood. Beyond the design assembly, there’s cutting and finishing properly so that the boards can be cleaned with soap and water while retaining their original luster. It’s a process that can take up to three days of work. “I love the symbolism that cutting boards represent — breaking bread with family and friends, topped with charcuterie or a favorite cheese — special moments.” Beyond boards, Ernault is also commissioned to create one-of-a-kind furniture, such as tables, sideboards, dressers, and lamps.
Together, they share a love of “springtime, the beach, and the feeling of endless summer,” inspiration that is reflected in their respective crafts, which are really more like livable pieces of art. The pair is constantly sharing ideas in their East End home. He works downstairs and Jaworski beads above in her studio, so creativity flows throughout their home.
Upon the launch of their website last year, they participated in craft and art shows across the East End, including in Southampton, Westhampton, and Sag Harbor. As plans continue to unfold for markets in the future, customers can also find them on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. To see more, visit www.beadsandboards.com or write to them directly at email@example.com.