London based jewellery designer Alex Monroe has been designing and making jewellery for over 25 years.
No more apparent than in his iconic Bumblebee necklace, Alex is strongly inspired by the natural world and his jewellery carries a whimsical charm that stands him apart as wholly unique.
We grabbed five minutes with him to find out more about what makes him tick.
No, not at all – my teenage obsession with punk and safety pin DIY outfits took me from the Suffolk countryside to London, with dreams of studying Fashion. In the end though, it was my love of working with metal and figuring out how to make things that led me to jewellery. As a kid I spent my days making go-carts and guns from whatever I could find, and this eventually translated into making tiny flowers and insects from silver and gold!
My favourite piece is always the last thing I made, which at the moment would be a Suffolk Pig. Our autumn/winter collection is inspired by world travel, but I had to have something in there that reminded me of home.
The starting point for my Bumblebee was my daughters coming to me with an ailing Bee they had found in the garden. We tried nursing it back to health, but sadly the little fella didn’t make it. I decided to have a go at immortalizing him in silver, and I’d like to think I managed to do him justice – I certainly never imagined it would become what it has today.
I live in London with my wife Denise and our three daughters Verity, Connie and Libby, but we also spend a lot of time in Suffolk. Home is wherever my family is.
Buttery toast with homemade marmalade…it’s always the simple things that do it for me really!
I served an old-fashioned apprenticeship with a Silversmith, where I really learnt the value not only of hard graft, but getting involved and doing whatever you can to help the team. We started work at 5am, so in this case, it was strong cups of tea all round. This attitude has always stayed with me, and is very much part of our culture at Alex Monroe–
Everyone works hard, but still chips in, and nobody is too important not to wash up at the end of the day.