I was only six years old at the time growing up in the small town of Peoria IL, south of Chicago, when I announced to the kids in the neighborhood, family and friends the name of my new store…Monek’s Unique Boutique! Little did I know back then, there was not a demand for hand-made mud pies which were only available after rainy days. Nevertheless, I have always possessed a naturally creative spirit as long as I can remember and have tapped into it ever since.
As I outgrew playing with mud my creativity matured as did I and blossomed into my love of creating stunningly beautiful hand-made jewelry using quality semi-precious stones and sterling silver components that light up the room. I met a local news anchor in Atlanta GA at an event after she noticed my turquoise, coral, and sterling silver necklace I had on. When she introduced herself she exclaimed she was mesmerized by my necklace from across the room. Next thing I knew, I was watching her wearing my jewelry on the 10 o’clock news!
Like the creative fire first sparked as a little girl playing in the mud, the fire took new meaning when I signed up for a metalsmithing class in 2015 at a local art museum in St. Petersburg FL. I learned how to fabricate metal from a flat sheet of copper or sterling silver using a torch, specialty hammers, and various other metalsmithing techniques turning the sheet into a beautiful work of art. I was hooked! I snapped up every book, classes, and tools I could get my hands on.
Monek’s Unique Boutique is real and now features unique hand-made metals from my Black Girl On Fire line along with my hand-made beaded jewels. I love the process of connecting from my heart extending through my hands to the final product and the delight of clients wearing each unique work of art.
During my travels around the world and to gem and jewelry shows nationally, I scour the world for beautiful semi-precious stones from local area bead shops, nationwide jewelry and gem trade shows, as well as during my domestic and international travels from the most recent trip to the Tucson Gem Show in Arizona, the Pearl Market in Beijing China, Chatachuk Weekend Market in Bangkok Thailand, markets in India, Senegal and South Africa.