Temple Tree | Heart in Hawaii | Laura Lee
Hi! I'm Laura, a third generation artisan currently living near Denver, Colorado. I've been designing, making, photographing and shipping all of the items available here for about 15 years now!
"Heart in Hawaii" was established in 2006; a serendipitous result of my first visit to the islands. A nature lover, I was inspired by the amazing flowers, and happy to be the first to design, create and offer a unique alternative to the foam/plastic plumeria flowers so commonly seen. The artist in me was intensely inspired by this worldly, historic and symbolic flower. I have since devoted 15 years to creating from such inspiration.
"Temple Tree" was established in early 2020; a result of my expansion into sacred geometry and mandala inspired designs. I felt this name encompassed the heart of my previous works with forward space to "branch" out, also utilizing ancient global influences with modern aesthetics.
I left my heart in Hawaii...
After visiting Hawaii I was forever changed. Like many who visit, I have been strongly influenced by the incredible beauty and allure of these enchanting islands and their wonderful people and aloha spirit. I have great passion and respect for all things Hawaiian, and love reading about Hawaiian and Polynesian history, mythology and culture. I have since been lucky enough to explore all the main islands but Moloka'i, and return whenever possible. After each trip I compile a pleasing arrangement of the many photos taken. Until they are posted here on my site, visit:
I rediscovered beading in 2002 and began devoting more and more time and focus to my hobby.
I started creating plumeria flowers in 2005, after visiting the beautiful island of Maui. I fell in love with the island and like many others who visit, truly felt as though I had left my heart there...
My pineapples and Maui Dragonflies were created in 2006 and I began selling a few locally.
I started selling online in 2008. In May 2010 my flowers were featured in print by BRIDES Magazine! (June, 2010 issue, p. 215)
After leaving a previous job where I spent 15 years, the following decade was spent in near solitude, intensely learning. I studied with weeks, months and sometimes years (in the case of peyote stitch) experimenting with a single stitching or weaving technique: discovering it's possibilities and potentials alone and in combination with other stitches, knots, as well as different shapes and sizes of beads. I eventually ended up taking an inclination towards advanced 3D and shaped beadwork. Although designing each piece can be a challenging, time consuming process requiring tens up to hundreds of prototypes with modifications along the way to contentment, I found I really enjoyed the challenge and focus involved. It was cathartic, meditative, and it became easier the more I worked at it. Almost two decades of persistence later, I'm finally confident in my decision to pursue, express myself through, and master this craft in my own unique way. I hope what I admittedly lack in marketing and "extroverting" skills, I make up for in the detail, quality, and exclusivity of my work.
When I'm not creating, I enjoy cycling, taking nature photos, listening to (mostly) electronic music, flying my Mavic Mini, reading, and looking for interesting rocks and crystals in and near the South Platte riverbed. I live in a cute house with my husband, 4 cats, and many happy houseplants between a notoriously haunted road and the South Platte in historic Adams County, Colorado.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about me and my work.
All the best,