What does a man do when he goes on a forced retirement, but with boredom setting in, decides he needs to do something that will keep him busy and out of the Houston heat? He takes up quilting, of course.
That’s what Ricky Frazier of Porter did along with his wife, Karen. When Ricky went on disability from a back injury, aneurysm and stroke in 2008, he started making quilts as a hobby to keep himself busy. At that time, his wife Karen had a small embroidery machine that she played around with when she wasn’t working as a full-time insurance adjuster.
Once Karen retired, Ricky taught her all he’d learned, and she now has a full-blown embroidery and quilting business, “Bee Creative.” Her equipment includes two embroidery machines, two quilting machines, and two long-arm machines also used for quilting. The company’s logo is a bee, which was born from their involvement as members of The Gold Wing Road Riders Association, Chapter N2, in Humble.
According to the association’s website, it is “the world’s largest single-marque social organization for owners and riders of Honda Gold Wing/Valkyrie motorcycles, and some would say, the world’s largest family.” Their motto is “Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge” and they are a not-for-profit, non-religious and non-political organization founded in 1977. The local chapter, known as N2, has a bee as its logo and that’s where the Fraziers came up with the name and logo for their business.
Ricky and Karen began by giving their quilts away as gifts and donations, and now after having created more than 150 quilts, they have a waiting list and huge demand for their beautiful products. Currently, the average time it takes to make a twin-size quilt is about one week. A queen-size quilt takes about three weeks and a king-size quilt, six weeks. Although the Fraziers specialize in T-shirt and baby quilts, the selection of items they can create is vast.
Ricky was born in Longview, but says he came to Houston as quickly as he could. Karen was born in Houston but raised in New Caney.
They met in church when Karen’s uncles set up a blind date for them. Ricky said, “Every time I see her uncles, I tell them, it’s your d--- fault I’m here!,” He joked and looked lovingly at his wife.
Bee Creative is known for quality workmanship, using top-of-the-line materials for the quilts. The Fraziers stand by their creations and do quality testing on all materials before they’re used in any of their products.
People can bring their old T-shirts and any specialty materials they want included, and customizations such as embroidered mementos or features can be specially designed and added to the quilts by request.
A 40 x 48-inch baby quilt or lap quilt with embroidery included is normally $60 and can be completed very quickly. However, pricing for quilts can range anywhere from $100-$1,000 and can take as long as three months for completion.
“We preserve your memories” is the business tagline and is oh, so beautifully true.