Imagine an upscale craft store, only messier: Waist-high stacks of tissue paper in every conceivable color line the walls, a worktable is buried beneath scraps of Mylar and rope, and overhead, unfinished diamond-shaped cardboard piñatas in dreamy pastels swing from the ceiling. Amid this happy clutter, Julie Ho meticulously measures, cuts, fringes and glues craft materials to create geometric sculptures and whimsical objects for her Brooklyn-based company, Confetti System, which she cofounded in 2008 with fellow designer Nicholas Andersen.

Before Confetti System, Ho, 35, held a number of jobs that spoke to her knack for playfully reimagining spaces: sculptor's assistant, photo shoot stylist, window display designer. Then, six years ago, Ho and Andersen started crafting fantastical decorations—including their now-signature tassel garlands made from fringed Mylar and tissue paper braided onto metallic cord—for their artist friends' parties and performances. "It was conceptual," she says, "but also about creating memories and having fun." After their work caught on with design bloggers, the side project gradually morphed into a full-on business—and their first commission: building the set for indie fashion label United Bamboo's runway show.

Since then, Ho has designed a 60-foot-tall art deco–style chandelier for a theater premiere in Australia, a trellis of intricately wrought paper flowers for a Solange Knowles performance (her sister, Beyoncé, has also tapped the company for custom confetti) and a life-size London taxicab and phone booth for the windows of J.Crew's flagship store in the UK. "Something as simple as an old pile of paper in a 99-cents store inspires me," Ho says. "But there's a fine line between simply being crafty and elevating these materials. They could so easily look like a school project."


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