Known for repurposing "trash" and transforming it into "treasure" - electric one of a kind jewellery pieces, get to know creator and designer Monique of CreatIVPeace better as she tells us all about how music inspires her creative process and how she makes sure that her practice is sustainable.  

When did you first fall in love with designing and knew you wanted to become a designer?

Constantly taking old clothes from friends as a kid and transforming them into new looks - my friends would be so annoyed, wondering how the frumpy shirt looked cool on me - or thrift shopping, finding really eclectic items and accessorizing so that it looked cool, that's when I knew I had an eye for fashion and design.

Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?

My core values are being free and comfortable in your own skin, positive energy, kindness and giving back to your community.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Honestly, I sit and let my music play and I just GO! The energy flows through me and it's really a gift. I'll say that I see art everywhere, so I'll be in a nightclub staring at the light fixture and bam, I have a new design idea, people think I am being odd in the moment until I post a new piece.

How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?

I am constantly utilizing the resources of the Earth: stones, metals, fibres etc. I try my hardest to upcycle, which is a great part of my art. I am not letting materials ruin but instead upcycling and creating looks from them.

How are your products made?

I design and hand-make all of my wearable art pieces using various tools and techniques such as my cutting board, manual sander, pliers, adhesives etc.

Are there any specific manufacturing/crafting techniques you use?

I love to contrast, so none of my sets (or very few) will match. I also create looks based on spirituality and that is why I often use triangles, there are many symbolizations, including connection, harmony, balance, etc. I tend to do everything with purpose.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

I want everyone wearing my art to feel confident, happy and free.

Do you work with any charities?

I work with several Chicago-based organizations and also personally look out for those in need in my day-to-day. I always have the perspective of "paying it forward" and I am very blessed so I make sure to bless others as well, whether it's time, money or even through energy/engagement.

What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?

Not enough characters to answer this LOL! Afrobeats: Davido, Omah Lay, Burna Boy, WizKid, Lojay, etc. Old School R&B: Donell Jones, Mary J, Mariah. New School R&B: H.E.R., Masego, The Internet, Ojerime, Janelle Monae. Sonder Jazz: Boney James is my fav :)

If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be and why?

Africa! Nigerian is my ancestry on my dad's side, I am going to figure out which tribe soon and take a trip, it's important to understand where your bloodline stems from and the true culture.

What drew you to JewelStreet?

I was sent this really detailed email from a member of the JewelStreet Team (I knew it wasn't spam) and it was so warm that I had to inquire. I also love that JewelStreet takes the time to hand pick their designers and interview them to make sure that the designer and their brand align, that is so awesome to me in terms of loyalty.

What is your favourite quote?

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style." Maya Angelou.

Thank you for talking us with today Monique!

Discover more one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces at CreatIVPeace on JewelStreet.