Published on Thursday, 03 March 2016 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
A floral designer is redefining the concept of jewelry by combining accessories with living plants, so you can basically wear a mini garden around your neck that constantly changes as the plants grow. Susan McLeary uses real succulents hand-picked from her family's greenhouse to craft intricate headpieces, necklaces, rings, bracelets and all other types of bio-jewelry that literally grow on you.
Each piece of jewelry from Susan's “Passionflower” collection can only be worn for up to two to four weeks before the plants outgrow their metal base. When this happens, wearers can cimply remove the succulents from their metal base and repot them to keep in their homes. The brass jewelry bases can still be worn on its own. The awesome thing about these accessories is that it is an awesome idea to gift and wear them for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings as the potted succulents will become all the more significant.
Susan has worked with leading floral designers across the US and has spent years combing her two passions – plants and jewelry. “Before I was a florist, I made jewelry for friends,” she revealed. “When one such friend got married, she asked me to design her wedding flowers in addition to her jewelry. As I had her flowers in my hands, I knew I’d found my medium. One wedding turned into many more, and before I knew it I was working as an event florist. I still adore designing for weddings, but have found that I enjoy creating floral wearables and (not surprisingly) floral jewelry even more.”
“I make each piece by hand, paying careful attention to composition and color,” she added. “Each jewelry piece is made with locally sourced plants from a family owned greenhouse and jewelry bases sourced from other small businesses. The jewelry is intended for special occasion wear, but if treated gently, the jewelry can be enjoyed for a few weeks. These pieces are perfect for weddings, as bridesmaids gifts, birthday or anniversary gifts, or as the perfect complement to an amazing party outfit.”
Susan's unique botanical jewelry are available for sale on her Etsy store
, ranging from $27 for a dapper boutonnière to a whooping $414 for a dramatic statement necklace brimming with succulents.