March ‘15
Insight Interview

March ‘15
Mona Siag (Jewellery Designer)
Mona Siag (Jewellery Designer)


    


Cairo-based designer Mona Siag has been making jewellery for more than 20 years, creating some of the finest custom pieces in the industry. Her works have been displayed in many exhibitions in Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai and Cairo-Egypt'¦ Mrs. Siag was kind enough to do a Q&A with us, talking about her work, trends in jewellery and design, and much more.

Please tell us about yourself & what you do.

My name is Mona Siag. I graduated from Pharmacy School in 1980. I have been in the jewellery business for more than 20 years. I actually started back in 1985, focusing mainly on home decorative items, where I came up with my own style and designs and became one of the top leaders in my field. Later I emerged in the jewellery business using gold, sterling silver and semi-precious stones. I also came out with a different style, mixing the old, classic and the new to make high end beautiful jewellery.


How did you find your current path in life? Was there a turning point or 'Ah-Ha' moment for you?

Definitely, there was a turning point, I have always loved Jewellery, but that was not what brought me into this field. It was the Silver ware & the table services that brought me into a complete different path from my studies. I knew a small factory that used to do table services and some decorative hand made items, where you could customize your own table set according to your taste. This was the unexpected beginning. I customized two different tables for my brothers as group wedding gifts for them, and then I did a set for myself... It was so beautiful to my eyes. At that time there was no ready sets in the market, so I decided to use my set as a showpiece that people can order as gifts or for themselves. After that I started my quest for unusual pieces & reproduced them. Then I met a Master Artisan who taught me how to create and design my own ideas. That was my real beginning in the Metal Handcrafts field. I started to use accessories in my creations, and I started to search for importers of beautiful accessories. By time, due o my innate love for women accessories; I entered the field of Fashion Jewellery. It was an explosive success at that time through 'Salon de la Femme' with American Express, where I exhibited with them 9 very successful exhibitions that exposed my work magnificently'¦ I also co-operated with Fashion shows, doing special designs that match their outfits'¦ It was success all the way at that time, Thank God.


Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration usually comes from the materials I have in front of my eyes.


Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique in the industry?


What's it like to see someone on the street wearing one of your creations?

Nothing makes me happier than seeing clients or friends wearing my jewellery.


Could you describe a day in your shoes? As a business owner, mother, wife and artist, is there a normal day?

Now that my kids are all grown & married, it is much easier. Back in time where my kids were still young, I would wake up at 5am, and try to catch up with any resume of their studies before they go to school. Then wake them up at 6am, send them to school at 7am, start my workday after that. I was lucky enough to have help at home and to have my business in the same building. Even if I was not home all the time I was still close.


Who are your favorite designers?

My favorite Designers are Chopard & Channel.


What is your favorite piece you've ever created - and what made it so special?

I don't have one favorite piece that I created.. I may have a special favorite piece in a collection, that after putting it to sell, I take it for myself & keep it for me . I may just wear it once. At the beginning, what was funny about it, that when I loved a piece very much, it wouldn't sell. it was like I was keep it protected from being sold. I remember one time, I loved a necklace so much that every time it was sold, it was returned & exchanged.. that happened 3 times, it was at d complete beginning in 1988 or 1990. My assistant at that time told me: Mona, please please, let it gooooo... so it could sold & not come back again...I learned by time to get detached from what I create.. You can't keep everything you create & you love...hhhhh.... What can make it so special..??? Actually it doesn't have to be so special ... It is just an invisible attraction, I think.: A special stone, a special model. It is never the same thing. It is always beyond what eyes can see. The attraction comes from within... It looks so special with no real explanation sometimes.


What are some of your favorite materials to work with and create with?

Gem beads... All gem beads ... & Sterling silver beads, caps & findings..


What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewelry?

What I love the most is the sense I enjoy when a design is completely created. I always try on the necklaces made before we do the final closure to see how it looks like, what needs to be adjusted, how it feels when it is wore... I love enjoy the feelings that the beauty of a piece of jewelry brings out in me...


Everyone has insecurities and doubts and We know that having your own boss can be a blessing and a curse! How do you encourage yourself to stay positive and keep moving forward?

Actually I don't encourage myself. I think you learn to let go with certain things, to be patient, to go with the flow sometimes. You learn to be gentle with urself & accept the fact that you cant do everything & you cant have always control on everything, specially when certain things that happens are out of ur control. I learned in my life to place targets, visualize them... do my best to achieve my goals & keep on walking even if I cant sometimes. I learned that even if I stand still for a while, that means either I ran too fast or I need to slow down. I learned that all I can do is work hard, do my best, look for the best & God will do the rest.


What are some new pieces you are working on, What are your plans for the coming future?

I have new collections I am working on. If you follow me on Face Book, you will see them little by little. My plans for the coming future is to concentrate on the 'coming soon website', Mother's day Gifts & the Spring Collection which is already starting out with Mother's day Collection next month.