Like the Animals Do: Fua and Company Borrow Jewelry Designs from the Wild
TDmonthly Magazine!
Sign Up Your Account Login
November 2003 | Vol. II - No. 11

November 2003 | Vol. II - No. 11 TDmonthly SEARCH

The Brass Ring

Like the Animals Do: Fua and Company Borrow Jewelry Designs from the Wild

Grace Fua

Hanging out at marine parks and zoos isnít how most companies do research and development, but for Grace Fua of Fua And Company LLC (ToyDirectory), itís all in a dayís work. Fua came to San Francisco from the Philippines in 1986, but like many immigrants, memories of her native land have continued to shape her life in America. Her unique poly-based animal-design jewelry has been embraced by kids and adults alike, and with a new line for men and boys in the works, sheís ready to make the move to the national market.

Natural Inspiration

Lady Bug Hairpins

I come from a family of artists, and most of them at some time were involved in toy design or illustration. Despite this connection, as a child it was not typical that we would have access to commercial toys, and I was often left with my imagination and environment to invent things to play with. Growing up in my tropical country of the Philippines, surrounded by nature and ocean reefs, I was fascinated by little bugs, animals, fish and reptiles. Whenever the season changes, various types of small creatures with their beautiful colors would erupt from the trees, soil and the ocean. From these, I designed an animal and aquatic line to share my experiences through my products.

Dragon Ponytail

A Company is Born

Although I had been operating a similar company designing fashion jewelry in San Francisco under the name of Fua Designs since 1998, it was in 2001 that I was joined by three new partners: Stella Phan, Richard Chan and Nicky Do. After being interested in my earlier work, they agreed to back expansion and the formation of a new company: Fua and Company LLC. Currently, I am the Creative Director and Principle Designer.

Made without animal products while celebrating their markings, patterns and personalities, Fua products reconnect us with our humanity and the need to celebrate and pass on playfulness, regardless of your age. Five styles exist of each design forHairpins, Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets and Ponytail Holders for our Animal, Bugs, Fish and Reptile accessories. They are worn, tested and tried well before market, [and feature] custom multi-thread bands, double stitching, fine craftsmanship, specialty clasps, reinforced structural components and ergonomics, all of which contribute to a superior integrity, usability and dependability.

Clown Fish Necklace

Can Moms and Daughters Agree?

Our market is pretty broad and versatile. Clients range from gift shops, fashion retailers, novelty shops, museums and spas, to salons and specialty stores like zoo and wildlife shops.

By providing a wide range of styles and colors and drawing from universal and multicultural themes, by keeping originality, practicality and durability while maintaining a low price point, we can successfully market to teenage girls, women of all ages and parents.

A lot of my customersí favorites are the Red Lady Bug, Pink Lady Bugs, Green Froggy, Clown Fish, Mandarin Fish and French Angel Fish designs. Demographically, the hairpins and bracelets are commonly chosen by and for teenagers. Earrings and bracelets [are chosen] for ladies and ponytail holders for children ages 7 and up.

Green Froggy

Looking Ahead

We are planning on extending other design avenues while maintaining the feel and uniqueness of Fua & Company's work. We also hope to continue to branch out nationally and internationally, drawing and appealing to many [tastes] worldwide.

Many avenues of the industry are headed toward technological advancement and focus, particularly in the gaming industry. I believe that there is a skewed saturation with this type of evolution and focus. A casualty of this is the loss of simple enjoyment of playing and social interaction [possible with] tangible products. We are adapting by not following this trend, but instead providing some alternatives.


Advertise on TDmonthly