Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Mouré Chawora.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Monique. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up skipping around the world. My father was in the Air Force and we moved every three years or so from Germany to the Azores, to Las Vegas. I had always had my hands in some sort of craft growing up, no matter where I was. I made and sold paper dolls, beaded friendship bracelets and was always puff painting someone’s Tshirt. In my 20’s I was living in Venice and started selling wire wrapped necklaces and hand-painted sunglasses off the Venice Boardwalk. I loved hanging out in the sun chatting with people and sharing my art. I had always just taught myself how to make things but I had desperately wanted to learn how to work with metal. I woke up one day and just decided it was time! I signed up for an eight week class in Santa Monica to learn the Lost Wax Method and was immediately hooked. I jumped in using stones I had been hoarding from my travels and ideas I had been storing away for years. Carving wax is definitely my happy place. I put on a little music and completely zone out.
Has it been a smooth road?
Besides the eight week course I took that introduced me to the mechanics behind making jewelry, I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing business-wise. It was difficult in the beginning for me to set prices and values on my work. I sold at local markets and fairs and always undervalued my time and little creations. I was nervous that if I priced accordingly, it would be too high and people wouldn’t buy. I also just got (and sometimes still do) very self-conscious about whether or not people would like what I make. I carve all my jewelry with intention. Every single item is one of a kind. Everything has a purpose, a daily reminder or a hidden message within it. Putting my ideas out there for judgment was hard at first. However, once I shook those fears and truly decided to go for it and believe in my own worth, it all came together. It really gives me all the feels knowing someone has connected to a piece I’ve made. They all have a little bit of my heart etched into them.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mouré story. Tell us more about the business.
Mouré is a jewelry line devoted to celebrating your uniqueness, your individual spark. I hand carve each piece myself out of wax before taking it downtown LA to be cast into metal. I primarily use Sterling Silver and 14k Gold. All of my stones have been handpicked by myself mostly while I was traveling. I like to call my style “perfectly imperfect”. Uneven but purposeful. I love things to look organic and like old treasures, you might have just found in the sand. I love being able to say I’ve touched every single piece I’ve sold. Nothing is manufactured. Nothing is ever the same, but hopefully everything inspires a little magic.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I’ve been making jewels for about ten years now and have definitely seen the shift in people wanting to connect more with what they are wearing. We are an extremely fast-paced, social media-driven society filled with fast trends and that “gimmie gimmie” anxiety. However, I do feel like people – especially after COVID hit – are trying to slow down and really invest in things that are handmade which helps bring revenue back into their immediate communities. Shopping local and shopping small has really made a difference in people’s perspectives when they are looking to buy. It’s kind of given a voice back to the little guys and I love it! It’s broken ground for smaller shops and makers to shine when normally they’d be pushed out of the picture by big name companies and brands. I really hope this vibe continues and we can all continue to celebrate and support each other. It just feels so good!
- Website: Mouredesigns.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Moure_designs
- Facebook: Mouré Designs
Moriah Ziman, Meli Padilla