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Stuller Creates Custom Piece for Louisiana Gov.

Mardi Gras Mask

Uncover the behind-the-scenes journey as Stuller teams create custom Mardi Gras bead jewelry for Louisiana's governor and first lady.

Fat Tuesday, Carnival Tuesday, or just Tuesday — wherever you are and however you celebrate, Stuller wishes everyone a warm, heartfelt, happy Mardi Gras! As the festivities reach their peak in south Louisiana, Stuller joins in the celebration, embracing that vibrant energy and spirit of Carnival season.

Beyond our location, we understand the magic, inspiration, and extraordinary talent that goes into every tradition — elaborate floats, dazzling costumes, and, of course, the iconic beads. So, when Stuller received a special custom request for Mardi Gras bead-inspired jewelry, we were more than happy to turn visions into reality.  

Let’s dive into the story of how we teamed up with our local university’s leadership to create custom Mardi Gras jewelry for Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry and first lady Sharon LeBlanc Landry, just in time for a special event.

Phase One: The Request

On January 3, 2024, Stuller received a special request from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette: custom Mardi Gras beads for Gov. Jeff Landry and first lady Sharon LeBlanc Landry, for a special event to be held in Washington, D.C. With just two weeks to fully design, manufacture, and deliver each piece, the pressure was on. However, in true Stuller fashion, we eagerly embraced the challenge, knowing that with the talent and passion of our teams, we could make it happen.

With attention to detail and a deep understanding of the significance of the request, we set out to make Mardi Gras magic happen.

Timeline: Two weeks.

Request: Two, completely custom-designed and manufactured pieces that are Mardi Gras bead-inspired.  

Plan of Action: Concept work, digital rendering, manufacturing, assessment and assembly, and delivery.

Phase Two: The Creative Process

With only two weeks until the event, there was no time to waste — as soon as the request reached us, our team sprang into action.

Leading the charge was Chris Faber, our technical CAD operations senior manager, who began producing rough conceptual mockups of each piece. These designs weren’t just ordinary; they were full of local symbolism and imagery, meticulously chosen to resonate with the governor and his wife while capturing the spirit of Louisiana.

From delicate magnolia blossoms to intricate musical notes and proud fleur-de-lis symbols, our initial designs paid homage to the state’s rich French heritage. But we didn’t stop there. Renderings of cherished landmarks like St. Martinville’s Evangeline Oak and New Iberia’s St. Peter’s Catholic Church added a personal touch, reflecting the Landrys’ upbringing. And of course, we couldn’t forget to honor the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; iconic elements like the famous “UL” hand gesture and university fight song were incorporated, along with a rendering of the Louisiana Capitol — topped with red enamel to commemorate the University’s historic R1 distinction in 2021, where the capitol used red lights to celebrate.

An early concept render for the governor's piece.
An early concept render for the first lady's piece.
Final wax for the governor's piece (back).
Final wax for the governor's piece (front).
Final wax for the first lady's piece (back).
Final wax for the first lady's piece (front).
Successful cast of the first lady's piece.
Successful cast of the governor's piece.

Each piece, meticulously crafted by our in-house Sketch Design team, was filled with significant symbolism and heartfelt surprises for the governor and his wife, ensuring that they would become treasured keepsakes long after the special event. According to senior CAD designer, Jason Vige, this is where the real magic happened.

“The whole Stuller team really came together for every single step of this project. I mean, when you think about this level of customization, on this scale and with this dedication to getting it right — there aren’t many places you can go in this industry that are willing to put in that kind of work with this kind of time."
Jason Vige
Senior CAD Designer

In just eight working days, from intricate detailing in MatrixGold®, a custom jewelry design software, to the meticulous, hand-walked manufacturing process, each piece was transformed from concept to reality. With the final renditions approved, our team took great care in every phase of the manufacturing process to ensure each detail remained intact. Finally, it was ready for the big delivery.

Fun Fact:

The iridescent inlay used for each piece is crushed pearl enameling — an extra nod to one of Louisiana’s state gemstones, the cabochon cut oyster shell.

The Big Reveal

With every bead and fleur-de-lis, we knew we were creating more than just jewelry; we were gifting a symbol of Louisiana pride and heritage that the Landry’s could appreciate for years to come. Finally, right on time for Gov. Landry’s special event, the pieces were ready to be delivered for the big reveal.

Delivered to Gov. Landry and first lady Sharon LeBlanc Landry by Dr. Geoff Stewart of ULL, the custom Mardi Gras bead-inspired pieces “blew them away,” and were immediately worn to commemorate their special event.

Reflecting on the journey from concept to creation, we were grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a meaningful project. It was a testament to the unwavering dedication of our team, the collaborative spirit of our partners at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the enduring magic of Mardi Gras itself.

Gov. Jeff Landry (middle) with wife and first lady Sharon LeBlanc Landry (right of Gov. Landry).

Let The Good Times Roll

Every bead chosen and every float painted — it’s that rich spirit of creativity and craftsmanship that hits close to home, reminding us of the dedication of our own talented Stuller teams as they design, create, and deliver each piece of jewelry with unparalleled precision and care. For more than 50 years, our mission has always been to support you in providing exceptional, high-quality, and industry-leading designs that resonate with your customers.

We are deeply honored and grateful for the incredible creativity and exceptional talent of our CAD/CAM team members and designers. Their commitment shines through in every detail. Equally, we are thankful for the support and collaboration of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, whose partnership has been instrumental in such an honoring request.

From innovative software to in-house services and solutions, you can trust Stuller to be your ultimate business partner, no matter where your craft takes you.

Where will you let customization take you next?  


Claire Lyon

Staff Writer

Claire is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in Journalism. Her advanced writing background combined with her love of staying on top of the latest trends helps her find the perfect content to bring to the jewelry industry.