In the Studio with Blanca Monrós Gómez
The designer mom (of twins!) on bringing up kids and a coveted jewelry line
Blanca Monrós Gómez creates the delicate, vintage-inspired jewelry line found in many of the world’s most beloved boutiques, like Bird in New York, Couverture in London, and Steven Alan. A mom of almost three year-old twins, the artist is based in Brooklyn by way of Barcelona and draws inspiration from found natural objects and Victorian details scoured in antique stores. In the Gowanus studio that she shares with her architect husband, Aniket Shahane, jewelry cases are dotted with the occasional beautifully shaped seed-pod. Even her role as a mother has influenced her designs. Formerly a fan of statement pieces and dangling baubles, having twin toddlers that love to cling and pull anything that shines, has, inspired the small studs and dainty pieces found in the collection. Clusters of tiny jeweled charms, thin stackable bands, and unique natural shapes are the subtle and sophisticated manifestations of her eclectic references.
As Monrós Gómez navigates the demands of a business whose demand is ever-increasing, she and her husband are navigating the working-parenting balance, though she notes, as two self-employed creative professionals, having some control over when and where they work helps. The family rise early in their Park Slope home so their son has time to build toy train tracks and their daughter to “wake up” her dolls before pre-school. “Then,” Monrós Gómez says, “I focus on trying to be really efficient with the workday, since it is precious time missed away from the kids.” The workday is spent designing and communicating with both stone dealers and local contractors in New York’s diamond district. Though a hectic pace of life has her dreaming of the famously luxurious slower-pace of her native Spain, New York has much to offer a young family and particularly, she says, Brooklyn, with its many green spaces and non-traditional spirit.
Even as the company grows, Monrós Gomez stresses that she wouldn’t sacrifice being able to touch her pieces before they leave the studio, or the special quality it lends them. All the pieces are manufactured locally in New York city and use recycled metals. “These are not trendy jewelry pieces,” she says. “One aspect I like about wearing jewelry is that it comes to identify you.” Hers is jewelry to be worn every day, like those pieces that are almost part of our bodies. Designed to stack and pair together, this jewelry is often bought gradually, given as special gifts, or, she suggests, as “something to be passed on to a daughter.” —Artie Niederhoffer