Luis Nuñez, Tony's husband, is the creative force behind Ka-Tzu (Kazoo) Unique Beads. "Searching for beads is relaxing and fun," Lou says, "and I hunt through the bead shops of New York City as well as online to find them."
But Ka-Tzu is more than just the beads. Lou's ability to match metal with crystal, vintage with new is enhanced by his sense of balance and composition. When you see one of his chatelaines, for example, you see a piece of jewelry that draws you to pick it up, hold the beads in your hands and then immediately slip it over your neck. You're suddenly transformed by the beauty of the necklace, almost forgetting the utilitarianism of the chatelaine.
Conversely, draping one of his necklaces around your neck and then putting on the matching earrings will transform you. Is it the jewels that sparkle in the light, or is it your light shining through? Adornment at its finest comes to you!
The other creations - scissor fobs, bookmarks, laying tools - are all statements as well. You'll love the colors, the beads and the sparkle. Click on any of the images above to see more.
Lou was born in Cuba and came to the United States when he was just two years old. Fidel Castro's regime created a frantic state for many in Cuba at the time, and his parents were granted visas to leave their country in search of a better life for their family. Lou tells the story that in preparation for leaving they gave all of their belongings to family. The police visited their house the night before their departure and stated that all of their belongings must be in their house before they left or their visas would be cancelled. Frantically, his father had to round up everything and return it to their home. Of course, all of this became the property of Cuba. They were able to take only what they could carry in their suitcases.
But arrive in the United States they did! After a short time in Miami they moved to New Jersey. His mother, a teacher, stayed home with the Lou and his two brothers while his father, originally a tailor in Cuba, was re-trained as a welder. The boys grew up in a happy household full of love. Lou's parents, both retired now, live outside of Atlanta.
As a full-time hairdresser, Lou certainly knows about scissors, so making scissor fobs and chatelaines has been a natural evolution when coupled with his sense of color and style. But it doesn't stop there: He also designs needlepoint patterns and stitches (and how could he not, having been around Tony Minieri for so long!). Perhaps someday he will share these as well.
All of Ka-Tzu Unique Beads' product line can be found in the electronic store at http://paprikapi.storenvy.com. There you will find all of the gorgeous designs currently available from Ka-Tzu. If you don't see the color or style you want, please use the "Contact Us" button and send a message. Lou will be happy to work with you to design a perfect piece of needlepoint jewelry, just for you.
When asked for the provenance of the name of his business, Ka-Tzu Unique Beads, Lou smiles, "The third member of our family is a perfectly wonderful little fellow whose name is Kazoo. Don't call him a dog, as he doesn't know he is one."