Threading elastic string through the colorful beads, Junior Mei Yee begins the process of creating a new Kandi bracelet. Inspired by their favorite fandoms, interests, and identity, Yee has made dozens of bracelets since the start of quarantine.
“I think I started making bracelets during quarantine.” Yee said. “I saw a few people on TikTok and YouTube do it, and I was getting interested in rave culture and music, so that’s when I bought my supplies and got started.”
Yee started making kandi out of curiosity, not knowing how much they would grow to enjoy it. What started out as a small project soon took off into one of their favorite hobbies, making dozens of Kandi a month for both themself and their friends.
“I think what makes me enjoy this hobby is that I get to create things that are unique and colorful,” says Yee. “I get to make cool gifts for friends and people who are close to me.”
When making gifts, Yee enjoys the thought it takes to pick beads that are meaningful to their theme, such as picking beads to make elaborate bracelets based off of a friend or their particular interests. Their bracelets are important to them, and hope that it could be the same for their friends as well.
“I wear my bracelets to express myself,” Yee says. “I think it’s good to have many colorful things on hand in case I feel glum.”
Yee especially treasures the kandi gifted to them by their friends, happy that those around them support and find joy in their hobbies.
“My mom expresses her support by showing that she’s impressed by what I make,” Yee says. ”She sometimes suggests I start a business.”
Currently, Yee is hoping to sell personalized kandi to others so they can donate to their drama club.