April 30, 2014
Based in London, designer Jacqueline Cullen incorporates a unique and interesting material into her designs: Whitby jet, 182 million-year-old fossilized wood found only in Whitby, England.
April 30, 2014
Woolly mammoths and walruses and dinosaurs, oh my! Jewelry designer Monique Pean has carved out an interesting niche, literally -- she digs in the dirt for unique fossils -- in the accessories market.
Marissa Collections sat down with the seasoned globetrotter about her passion for prehistoric treasures and philanthropy.
A retailer of fine jewelry and high fashion in Naples, Fla., Marissa Collections has begun conducting Q&As with new designers as the store adds them, and shares these with National Jeweler exclusively before posting the interviews on its jewelry blog at MarissaCollections.com.
Marissa Collections: Describe your transition from finance to jewelry design.
Monique Pean: While working in finance, my younger sister Vanessa passed away in a car accident at the age of 16. At that moment, I realized it was necessary to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to pursue a career that allowed me to combine my passions for design, art, travel and philanthropy.
MC: Did any of your former skills apply to the next phase?
MP: Very much so. I was able to use my financial skills to pursue an entrepreneurial path and properly establish and grow my brand.
MC: What’s a typical day like?
MP: Between designing, traveling for personal appearances and all of the other aspects that go into running a business, I find that each day is completely different. I love that I get to meet people with different backgrounds and experience so many new places.
MC: Which came first, your love of travel or jewelry design?
MP: I’ve loved both from a young age. My grandmother has an incredible Art Deco jewelry collection, and she always encouraged me to explore her jewelry box as a child and experiment with wearing multiple rings and bracelets at once. My father worked in economic development, so I was lucky enough to accompany him to over 40 countries, which got me hooked on travel.
MC: Since travel is such a major component of your work, how does it affect your design process?
MP: Each year I take a trip to a new destination to find sustainable materials and partner with local artisans to develop new collections. The geography and indigenous art of these areas are my core inspirations along with modern artistic movements and architecture. I’m working with artisans in the Arctic Circle, French Polynesia, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia and the Philippines.
MC: What are some of your favorite destinations?
MP: I keep returning to Japan, where I’ve collected many comfortable, sculptural pieces over the years. Others are Brazil, Egypt, Antarctica, Guatemala and South Africa.
Pean's 18-karat recycled yellow gold fossilized walrus ivory Norske oval ring ($10,530)
April 28, 2014
Woolly mammoths and walruses and dinosaurs, oh my! Jewelry designer Monique Pean has carved out an interesting niche, literally -- she digs in the dirt for unique fossils--in the accessories market.
April 25, 2014
I am writing this blog post from the sunny lanai (fancy Florida word for what we just called a porch when I lived in Pittsburgh) of my parents’ house in Florida.
April 24, 2014
This past winter, one of my esteemed industry colleagues included a saying in one of his blogs that I had never heard before: If you really want to be wary of the mass media, read an article on a topic about which you are particularly well informed.
April 17, 2014
We know that consumers are using their mobile devices to shop at levels never seen before. Whether it’s on a tablet or smartphone, they’re using mobile to shop, review peer feedback and opinions on products and services, and get social about their experiences and interactions with brands.
April 17, 2014
I ran a half-marathon Sunday and I did OK, considering the confluence of severe snowstorms and the flu that deterred my training.
April 9, 2014
I would like to clear up any confusion about a not-really-breaking news story that seems to have gotten new life lately following an article by The New York Times and the almighty online news machine, where stories get picked up and re-posted ad nauseam.
April 9, 2014
Last week I attended Circa’s “Scotches & Watches” event, which gave attendees a glimpse of what both a great scotch and watch collection look like, from entry-level purchases to the top-of-the-line product.
April 7, 2014
Having a Google alert set for the general term “jewelry” can turn up a lot of results. While not always relevant, it’s good to at least sift through the alerts to make sure we’re not missing any important news stories, and it can be a great resource for interesting tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise find.
Not too long ago, one of my alerts turned me on to a really interesting story about Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and his project to eliminate smog with a new device he’s creating.
Roosegaarde and his team of experts at the Studio Roosegaarde, which has locations in the Netherlands and Shanghai, are developing a safe, energy-friendly installation to capture smog and create clean air. The Smog project uses patented ion technology in an “electronic vacuum cleaner” to create large holes of clean air, and they’re aiming to create the largest smog-free park in Beijing, according to Studio Roosegaarde.
The project’s timing is aligned with the recent vow by Beijing’s municipal government to lower the concentration of fine particulate matter by 25 percent by 2017.
A mock-up is currently being tested in the studio, and the first park is slated to open in early summer of next year.
What’s more, Roosegaarde is using the smog captured from the machine and turning it into fine jewelry. “I like the notion that you take something high-end and combine it with the problematic,” Roosegaarde told The New York Times.
April 4, 2014
It’s been a long couple of weeks. I am exhausted from Basel and still in the midst of my not-very-well-thought-out decision to give up alcohol for Lent. What I wouldn’t give for a beer at dinner tonight or even right now; but I digress.