Get to Know
My names Monique and I make jewelry, I've always been a crafty person. I started crafting at around age 10 when my grandma taught me to crochet. I was raised under the belief of "why buy something when you can make it yourself?"
Next I learned embroidery, sewing, scrapbooking, beaded jewelry, woodworking and knitting. I've jumped back and forth over these various crafts over the years, learning as many techniques as I could.
I started making my own jewelry at age 14., I loved it and my bead collection grew over the years. Fast forward 12 years to last December, I was searching through etsy and came across a chainmaille bracelet. I loved it! It was amazing and I delved into the subject of chainmaille jewelry.
Being the planner that I am I began researching chainmaille and chainmaille jewelry. The art of chainmaille is over 2000 years old, with it being used primarily as armor. There are european, japanese and persian weaves, but the celts, romans and the Norse were the original proprieters of maille. Much later around Shakesperean times chainmaile began being used as jewelry.
In January I bought some jump rings, pliers and taught myself chainmaille. The first thing i made was a japanese 12 in 2 weave choker. It took me a couple hours to finish, and by the time it was done I had a new passion. I started weaving like crazy. I loved it more than any other craft I've done over the years.
I soon had my jewelry box overflowing with chainmaille. My friends and family got lots of chainmaille. One day my husband came home and saw me working on yet another piece and said "Why don't you try selling that stuff?" Why don't I? A few weeks later Tora Jewelry was born.
The name comes from my love of tigers and japanese art. Balancing starting a business and caring for my children, ages 2 and 5, was difficult at first, but with help from my husband I'm off to a pretty decent start. I'm mainly focusing on my internet shop for now, but I am planning on scoping out local Farmer's Markets and other local places to sell.