A chat with Alex Monroe09 Dec 2017
1. What is the most meaningful piece of jewellery you own / have made / commissioned and why?
All the jewellery I make is meaningful to me, there’s no one piece more important than the other they all have a special place in time over the past 30 years.
2. How are you inspired?
Nature is a constant inspiration to me. I grew up in Suffolk so nature was all I had as a kid and it’s really stuck with me. I’m also inspired by modern architecture as both my parents were architects - though I think most architecture is nature inspired too – it all comes full circle.
3. What has been the defining moment of your career?
Wow – 30 years of making and there have been lots! 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the bumblebee necklace, which was a real moment for global recognition with stockists and press.
4. What has influenced you the most?
People influence me all the time - human-to-human interaction is what keeps me inspired and makes what I do, hand making fashion jewellery for people to wear and enjoy, keeps me doing what I’m doing.
5. What is your creative process?
I’ve always used sketchbooks – I have sketchbooks spanning for the past 30 years. I’m always drawing and take my sketchbooks out on long walks with me. I’ll then come back to the studio and find the things I most love drawing and take myself to the bench and start making.
6. What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
I love being out and about, seeing people wearing my pieces. I think their style is quite distinct so they’re always easy to spot. Sometimes I’ll go up to people and tell them I made it, they’re always so lovely and chatty – that’s great fun!
7. Where do your magical moments come from?
They always arrive at the bench, creating piece and using different techniques always brings magical moments.
8. What excites you most about the future of the industry?
We’re currently getting our head around our marketing department – I’m quite old school in my selling and promotional activities so it’s great to learn how things like influencer marketing is currently more influential than being in print media! Who’d have thought it?!
9. How do you create magical moments for your customers / staff / business?
We are constantly putting on events and creative experiences for our customers – our most recent of which was a brunch with 2013 GBBO winner Frances Quinn in which customers came to hear a talk on my 30th anniversary collection and then made cakes and biscuits with Frances which were inspired by the collection. It was really good fun!
We’re always trying to do the unexpected and 2017 seen our first collaboration with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It tapped into so much nostalgia for our staff and customers and created that true Disney magic.