Designer Files: Monique Chan
Toronto has many creative jewellery designers and Monique Chan is one of them. She is the owner of Moonrox, a jewellery collection that can be found all across the country. In Toronto, her designs can be found at Over the Rainbow, Frock, Propaganda and Made You Look. I got a chance to chat with Monique recently and she answered a few questions I had.
How did you become interested in jewellery making?
I was always interested in making things. I'd make anything really. I'm one of those people that go out and say, "I can make that" to everything I see!
When did you make your first piece of jewellery?
My parents were moving last year and amongst my kindergarten junk, I found my first wire and beaded rings! Early MoonRox! My first piece of jewellery for sale was made about 8 years ago.
Do you do any formal training for jewellery making?
Not for jewellery making specifically... I studied fine art and fashion design.
What are you inspired by?
Lots of things! Sometimes a person, a story, a season, a colour -- anything!
What type of woman do you design for?
There's a MoonRox for everyone from age 4 to 104! I make casual to dressy and elegant jewellery, so every woman can find something they like.
What's your favourite material(s) to work with?
I work mostly with glass, acrylic and semi-precious beads and different types of wire. I love how wire can be so cold, yet form into such organic shapes.
What was the most difficult material you have worked with?
The stinky toxic super strength glue that I have to use outside so I don't lose my mind for the rest of the day!
What are your favourite bead shops in Toronto?
There's a few great ones on Queen West between Spadina and Augusta. My fave is Arton Beads.
How long does the average piece take to construct?
It really varies, but if I'd have to pin point and average time, I'd say about 30 minutes.
Do you have a jewellery muse?
Muse... hmmm... all the women in my life! And a man here or there!
What piece of jewellery you couldn't live without?
Probably don't have one anymore! I lost a favourite ring from my Mom a few months ago, but I'm always wearing different pieces of my own as well as some from other local designer friends.
How did your business Moonrox come about?
A little bit by accident or with a bit of luck. I was playing with a scrap piece of wire and fiddled out a ring with beads. I passed on the first few to my friends and word spread to stores and it snow-balled from there. Now it has been my full-time business since 1999.
How did you choose the name of your company?
My smarty-pants friend Terri and I were brainstorming one day. We were sitting there with the first few pieces of jewellery and she came up with MoonRox!
How important is the Internet to your business? Do many customers discover about MoonRox through the web?
The Internet is useful to me as a reference. I think people check out the website (www.moonrox.ca) for pictures and contact info. I don't currently sell online, but maybe soon!
What are your plans for the future?
I'm going to keep on making things and being creative, for sure! I might expand the business to not just jewellery and accessories for a new challenge!
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