We are always down for expanding our look so when we met the lovely mother-daughter duo behind Monbouquette we were thrilled to discover their gorgeous jewelry line that really "pops." With a gentle tug, Monbouquette's earrings and necklaces elongate with a delicate chain and go from minimal to mesmerizing. It's functional for everyday life yet offers a unique bold option wherever the day (or night) may take you.
Melissa: Tell us about the background of your brand? How did you decide to work together?
Lily: It is quite a story. I think something that is hilarious that has made this all destined to do this together. Last Mother’s Day my mom called me in a panic. She was like, “Lily I was reading through your baby journal, and we had had a conversation when we were 5, we were talking about how we were going to work together one day and have a design company.” We joke that we are destined for this!
Jenny: I read her baby book because everything she said was hilarious. So that is where it all started. My husband is a professor and a scientist, so he is on the other side of the brain. Both of our kids have said, “I want to follow our passion,” it made me happy when she said that she wanted to follow what she wanted to do. My dad always said to me Jenny, you should maybe think of doing something that will support you, so I said okay I will double major in art history.
Lily: Growing up in a house where there is art on every inch of the wall–everything is so eclectic –objects from all over the world. I feel like it is in my blood to have an appreciation for those things. My dad as a scientist is on the total end of the spectrum but he has an appreciation for it all as well. So, my brother and I have this interesting blend of both sides. It has made me want to pursue my passion. It ended up being something that I share with my mom.
Melissa: How did you come designing? Your aesthetic is very different. I’ve never seen anything like this.
Lily: My mom had been taking a wax class and she was exploding with designs. I was her biggest fan. While I was living in NYC working in fashion, we would take jewelry and would collaborate on pieces. I would give her my feedback, I am very vocal. We had a conversation one day after work, and I was telling my mom that the company I worked for was developing clothes that were as versatile, flexible and technical. We had an aha moment on the phone about inserted that idea into jewelry–making it functional, simple, and fun. Jewelry you can wear day and night
Jenny: We want our generation and her generation to wear it. She had all the terminology – the hero product…etc., but now it has grown into something where we don’t know who’s idea it was, or where it started, we just go for it.
Melissa: Walk us through the process and how sustainability is factored into your jewelry.
Jenny: We start drawing designs and pushing them out. I start them in wax and then we send them to our designer who casts the pieces of our very rough samples. We then talk to him for hours and talk about dimensions and textures. The rings we are launching have a functional aspect to them. We are trying to add in more colorful stones.
Lily: Post pandemic life…naturally we want colorful, bigger and shinier. We started with the earrings. This notebook is our bible. My mom is an idea person and it so inspiring. My new favorite part of our process that we have started to embrace. When we are working with our designer, she puts together the mechanical elements of the piece and once these are 3D printed, they are molded. My mom goes in and adds texture by hand on in wax on top of a 3D printed mold. It’s a mix of a hand-es touch and a computer-generated process.
Melissa: How did you come up with the name Monbouquette?
Jenny: I married it.
We put in love notes, sweet sayings—you carry it with you.
Melissa: What are some pieces that you never take off? What are your favorite pieces in the collection?
Jenny: I wear silver every day, and if I am stepping out or dressing up, I love the mantra message. We put in love notes, sweet sayings—you carry it with you. This is my latest favorite. I am a ring person, and we haven’t made rings until just now.
Lily: They’ve been so fun to develop, and it reminds me why we launched with just earrings. Rings are really hard to develop, which is why no one launches with just rings. They are very difficult to get the mechanics down. We chat for hours about what the purpose of the function is for our pieces.
Jenny: With Covid and all those zoom calls you focus on your earrings. In an unlucky situation, that was lucky. We were fortunate that we didn’t start with the rings and that we did earrings first. The rings are super fun.
Lily: The hatch was the name that my mom came up with – it hatches like an egg. We were having a conversation with one of our friends – about how designs can relate to this mother-daughter in the womb. For necklaces, we wanted them to be unique and build off the drop aspect and make the chain again something that people haven’t seen before. Laying that isn’t too obvious. We layered the chain so that they are sitting together, and I think it adds the chunkiness to the beads while also being subtle–like a built-in layer.
Melissa: What are your summer plans?
Jenny: We are going east. My husband’s favorite longitude and latitude is Nantucket. He is from the east coast, and that is his happy place. We take turns going to different places.
Melissa: When will you launch the rings?
Lily: In the fall–we are going to make it happen. Things are picking back up again, so I am feeling confident.
Jenny: It took a long time with a ton of iterations to get it down to where we want it. We have some kinks to work out, but we feel like we have learned something over the last year.