Designer 1-2-1: Monika Rau

Oct 19 2021. views 184

A fascination with gemstones and how they interacted with light led Monica Rau to forge a career in designing and making jewellery. Launching her brand Svelte in 2013 Monica has built a steady stream of loyal clients who love to sport her statement pieces with pride.

What made you take jewellery more seriously and make a career out of it?
After I moved to Sri Lanka from London, I decided to pursue my passion.

Are you self-taught or did you study jewellery design? 
I studied Jewellery Manufacturing, Jewellery Designing, Gem Cutting and I am a qualified gemologist.

How has your work evolved since you began your own label? 
With time I have explored different styles and, as I built confidence, my designs have become bolder.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I don’t find myself searching for inspiration. I usually find it in my day-to-day life; in nature, buildings or art. Something catches my eye and ideas evolve from there.

Describe your latest collection? 
The Tambapani Collection pays homage to Sri Lanka’s rich local culture, ancient kingdoms and historical sites. Each piece is an exploration of a special part of our history and architecture.

What are your sustainability credentials? 
From the sourcing of gemstones to the actual manufacturing, my operations are 100% Sri Lankan to support a strong and sustainable local industry.

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work? 
I’m a new mom and this has opened up some brand-new avenues of thinking. I’m now exploring a new collection for the Mama and Baby.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company? 
Believe in yourself and keep going. It’s great to listen to advice but ultimately you have to forge your path and own everything that comes with it, good and bad.

What’s your motto? 
Be the author of your story.

Which international or local designers are you inspired by? 
There are so many but my favourites are definitely Lorraine Schwartz, Cartier and Hemmerle.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion today? 
Fashion is no longer owned by the mega brands. Social media has created an avenue for individuals and small brands to reach millions of people and make their own impact on fashion trends. Consumers have a wide variety of choices at their fingertips.

What is your favourite part about being a designer? 
To experience the journey of each jewellery piece. From conception to design to manufacturing and then the most rewarding of all - seeing a customer wearing that very piece.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your jewellery pieces? 
Confident and bold.



Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Features Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno [email protected]



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