It’s Raining Snoballs?
When the Krewe of Hyacinthians rolls today, February 16 at 2 p.m., float No. 6 will be tossing one-of-a-kind throws designed by a local artist.
Joycelyn Boudreaux, founder of Copperhead Studios, handcrafted custom, exclusive “snoball swag” specifically for the float which is celebrating Hansen’s Snobliz in New Orleans.
“They are one of my favorite throws from this year,” Boudreaux said. “I’m very fortunate as an artist that I have customers that inspire me to create really cool stuff.”
Boudreaux said she aimed to make sustainable throws after seeing plastic beads being discarded during her first time riding in a New Orleans parade two years ago. She knew she had to make something worth picking up and keeping: specialty throws that were functional, unique, eye-catching and affordable for the krewes.
So, Boudreaux got to work later that summer — first by creating ideas and sourcing materials and then making various items. That October, she bought a laser and taught herself how to use it and how to integrate graphic design to really enhance and boost her production.
That investment in the laser, materials and in herself has paid off.
The creator’s, hand-painted, distinctive wood pendants have been celebrated from the Bayou Region to New Orleans. She said she even gets orders from around the country.
Boudreaux, with some help along the way from her friend Liese Aucoin, produced 10,000 necklaces last year, a significant jump from 1,500 necklaces the year before.
The crafter has provided specialty pieces for the 610 Stompers, Companionettes and Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures, among other famous Nola groups. Her work has been featured in major events in the City, including the Running of the Bulls and Nyx, Endymion, Chewbacchus and other popular parades.
“It’s just been crazy,” Boudreaux said. “I thought I would just make stuff to sell to riders, and then it turned into more of just doing business with the krewes. I’m very excited about it. I love the direction it’s going in.”
Although Boudreaux, who has been crafting Mardi Gras items since she was about 13 years old, is becoming a go-to source for throws in New Orleans, she doesn’t forget the support she has received from the people in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
“Houma has been so good to me,” she said. “Houma was once the base of operations. I love it.”
Boudreaux also noted the current movement to change Carnival season for the better. One way is to be more conscious of the materials being used in throws.
To join in those efforts, each of her custom necklaces or keychains is wrapped in a compostable cello bag. Also, her necklaces are on cotton cords, and clasps and the keychains are both nickel and lead free. She said her company is also switching to biodegradable glitter this year.
“I truly, genuinely believe that those of us who really love Mardi Gras and really love to ride know there’s a very dirty secret: There’s trash everywhere in Houma or New Orleans after parades,” she said. “That’s been the motivation the whole time — to make an impact and a difference.”
Click the thumbnails below to get a closer look at the custom pieces: