French General began as a retail store on Crosby Street in New York City's Soho district. Filled with apothecary jars brimming with vintage notions, Kaari Meng and her sister Molly began selling a French-inspired lifestyle that included textiles, notions, ephemera, and household items found only in France. In 2003, Kaari and her family moved to Los Angeles and set up French General in an old Spanish style warehouse, on the edge of town and opened up one day a week for people to come in and browse their ever-changing collections that they collected on yearly trips to the South of France.
Offering a variety of vintage craft workshops and kits, French General began teaching workshops using their vintage craft materials, including jewelry making, stitching, paper crafts, sewing, shibori, indigo dyeing, and weaving. French General has become a well recognized craft workshop which now features talented teachers from around the world who visit to share their techniques and inspiration.Over the past ten years, Kaari, and her husband, JZ, have written, photographed and designed six books highlighting all of the elements of the French General lifestyle. Books include: The French Inspired Home, French Inspired Jewelry, Home Sewn, Handmade Soirees, Treasured Notions and A Year of Jewelry.
French General designs quilting fabric and patterns for Moda which are sold in quilting shops around the world. French General also designs scrapbooking materials, including paper, notions and dies for Sizzix; as well as a line of home decorating fabric, trim and wallpaper for Fabricut.