Bow and Apple Hair Bows By Heather: Custom bows made in Fernandina

Sculpture Bows display by Bow and Apple

Bow and Apple’s sculpture bows are handmade by a Fernandina Beach Middle School teacher. / All photos courtesy of Bow and Apple

You can’t just pop in to a big box store and find delicate shrimp-shaped hair bows for Shrimpfest, bows that look like your child’s favorite princess, or personalized holiday hair accessories.

shrimp hair bows

Shrimpfest, here they come!

But fortunately for Fernandina Beach and the surrounding area, there is an artist in our midst – a hair bow artist who hand-designs creative, beautiful hair accessories when she needs a little “mommy alone time” at home (and who doesn’t need that sometimes?!).

Meet local school teacher, mom and artist Heather Stefanski:

Mamamelia: How did you get started making hair bows?

I started making hair bows when I saw a sculpture bow in a boutique and thought…”I bet I could make that…” So, I gave it a shot. I have a 6 year old son, Elias, and twin almost two-year old girls, Tenisen and Jesien.  Jesien has a lot of hair and she loves hair bows.  I thought I’d make her a few.  Then, I realized it was kind of fun and I was good at it.  I made a few more for gifts.  Eventually I started selling them to friends and family.  Then decided I could make a nice little side business–I could close the door to my craft room and I didn’t feel guilty about having time to myself because I was also making money.  I started the business in January of this year.  I began with sculpture bows.  I love the art–making ribbon sculpture.  I have branched into boutique bows, combining them with sculpture bows.

handmade hairbows Fernandina Beach

Stefanski’s custom creations.

Mamamelia: How do you make them?

 

witch hat hairbow Fernandina Beach FL

The witch’s hat is one of Stefanski’s faves

My hair bow art has been a work in progress and trial and error.  I learned that cheap ribbon makes shoddy products; so, I only use quality grosgrain. I do use some accent ribbon that is sheer or woven, and even incorporate feather boa, but grosgrain is more durable and gives the best finish.  I also use jewels, charms, hemp fibers, metal beads, buttons, embroidery embellishments and other unusual elements to add texture to some of the sculptures — like the witch’s hat and broom–which is one of my favorites. I try to make my bows with quality materials that are fun and artistic.

Mamamelia: Tell us about some of your “greatest hits.”

 

My most popular designs are holiday-centered bows (depending on what holidays are coming). Right now, I am stocking up for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I sold a lot of Easter bows.  I think people tend to buy for holidays that also call for cute picture-taking. My girls are still at the “destroy everything” age, so their bows make special appearances for photo sessions and important gatherings (weddings, birthdays, etc.) only. Otherwise they hang on the wall as decor until they are a little older.

 

lady bug hair bow by Bow and Apple

This “model” is wearing a lady bug hair accessory.

Mamamelia: How did you end up here in Fernandina Beach?

 

FBMS teacher Heather Stefanski

Stefanski

I am a full-time teacher at Fernandina Beach Middle School.  I have been there for 16 years!  I teach 7th and 8th grade Language Arts.  I earned my undergraduate degree at FSU and my Masters at UNF.  I am applying for the doctoral program at UF this fall, which would start in the spring of 2016.  I am originally from Tallahassee and I landed my very first teaching job here, at FBMS. Basically, I opened a map of Florida and sat down with my dad.  We discussed possible counties and locations that might be a good fit for me.  I had never been to Fernandina, but after one trip, which was my interview, I knew it was home.  I have been here ever since.

 

How to shop:

 

You can learn more about Bow and Apple and contact Heather about your custom order – or find out what she has in stock – by emailing pie_2009@hotmail.com, visiting her website (where there’s a contact form) at http://pie2009.wix.com/bowandapple or like her Facebook page at facebook.com/bow.and.apple, where you’ll see many more designs.

 

We also are so excited to announce that Bow and Apple will be one of our featured vendors at Divas’ Day Out 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 19, 2015, at the Atlantic Rec Center Auditorium in Fernandina Beach!

 

Modeling a bumble bee hair accessory by Bow and Apple.

Modeling a bumble bee hair accessory by Bow and Apple.

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