Frances Carlaw may be better known to you as Frances Benton – ‘The Pearl Lady’!
Having toured the UK for over 10 years since 2009, visiting and giving talks to ladies' groups, WIs and interested Societies, Frances made a name for herself with her extensive knowledge of and passion for, pearls. Having given talks to over 40,000 people on her travels, she has now retired from travelling but has not retired from pearls and jewellery.
Her work has now expanded from just pearls to new designs, incorporating the treasures from the past. Using vintage and Art Deco buckles combined with pearls and antique beads to create necklaces and statement pieces that are stunning to wear and show that re-fashioning old items is yet another way to save our precious resources.
Frances originally went to University to study English Literature and the Dramatic Arts, but followed her heart into teaching and later her head, into business. Winning the Young Career Woman of the Year award, when she was 30, set her off on many worldwide trips developing her business skills and eventually reaching director level in one of Scotland’s largest and most profitable companies.
She took a turn towards charitable work and became a head of fundraising for a large children’s charity and later became self-employed, starting several successful small businesses, which were sold on and developed.
Never too far from her craft hobbies and passion for jewellery and past times, she set up her own jewellery business known as ‘Tears of the Dragon’, which specialised in her favourite pearls. Having retired from the exhausting touring and presentations, Frances and her husband George retired to Burgundy in France, where they have renovated a beautiful farm complex.
It has a separate cottage and many converted barn spaces, where Frances now works on her jewellery designs. She opens her house to paying guests who also learn how to make jewellery and knot pearls and partake in her other craft passions of spinning and fine crochet work.
Her latest venture ‘Pearls Before Wine’ offers a personal holiday experience in her home.
Click on the Holidays tab for photos and more information or email Frances now