Dear Friend,

Thank you for visiting Solana Kai Designs. You may be wondering – what is a Solana? what is a Kai? They are the names of my two children, Solana and Kai. Beyond that though, Solana means ‘sunshine’ and Kai means ‘ocean’. And it is from those natural elements, along with the rest of nature’s bounty, that I derive so much of my inspiration.

Barbara Len at Mt. Hood, OregonNature exhibits such a vast array of colors and textures in every facet of itself, but particularly in its gemstones. Add in Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, polished and patina-ed metals, and any number of other beads, and the possibilities for creation are endless. I have been fascinated with exploring these possibilities for as long as I can remember, and to this day nothing makes me happier than going into my studio, pulling out my many cases of beads and metals, and seeing what emerges.

In past years I learned to make some my own beads from materials such as polymer and paper, but in more recent years I have focused on studying the metal arts, which have added copper, brass and sterling handcrafted creations to my line. This combination of lifelong passion and evolving skills allows me to design unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that I hope will make you, the wearer, feel unique and special, too.

I also make beaded window crystals. As you can see from the photos, with just a little bit of sunlight they can decorate every surface (and inhabitant) of a room in an abundance of rainbows. Those of you who remember the Hayley Mills film “Pollyanna” will know where I got the idea. (In one scene, Pollyanna cheers up a bed-ridden woman by hanging chandelier crystals in all of her windows.) This spirit of good cheer and natural, colorful beauty is at the heart of Solana Kai Designs.

I hope you enjoy!

Barbara Len

Designer, Maker, and Avid Bead-Raker