Hey there my lovelies,
Welcome back to my Blog
Pretty sure that we all love our jewellery right – I sure do. I was ecstatic to be contacted by Mia to feature her work on my blog, so this post came about in a form of an online interview. As much as I would have loved meeting Mia in person, since she looks and sounds so cool but Mia resides in the UK.
So my inquisitive mind started wondering on the things I wanted to know … and I came up with a thousand and one questions that I narrowed down to 15 … hehe …. enjoy 🙂
I am a mum of two beautiful kids, my son Jean is 14 and my daughter Sofia is only just 5. Married to a wonderful husband Manuel. Family is my life. I am 36 years old and have moved to London from Malta when I was 20.
2. What were your aspirations as a young girl?
My mum always said that whatever I wanted to do I could do. I think it was the creative in me. I love problem solving, coming up with ideas and organising. I remember asking my parents to send me to art lessons when I was four and from the age of five, every Saturday I attended a 2 hour morning class with the late Charles Cassar. As an avid learner I attended classes with a number of other well known Maltese artists, such as Harry Alden, as well as studying the subject at school. From then I moved on to create my own artwork, with a focus on abstract paintings. My aspiration has always been, and remains, that of creating unique art pieces.
3. What was your first job out of college/university?
I’ve always helped out in our family business, ‘Anastasi Panini’, creating artwork for the firm from a very young age. After graduating from the University Of Malta (BA Hons International Relations), I moved to London with my husband to pursue an MA in Publishing Production at the London College of Communication, one of the premier creative colleges in the UK. My then little boy arrived towards the end of my course so I trained to be an Art Teacher with Goldsmiths College in London, moving on to teach art in the UK for ten years.
4. How did you start your label?
Things seem to have just developed naturally, having painted for so many years. I work on large canvases and have a variety of themes. For example, the current piece I’m working on is a picture of my daughter. As I painted it I was thinking I would love to find a way to encapsulate and share it more widely. From there I started making little pendants which are individually hand painted. My Bonnymia jewellery line enables me to share my art with a wider audience.
5. What was the initial niche that started the jewelry making and what inspires you mostly?
What is definitely unique about my art pieces is the fact that they are all different and cannot be replicated. What started it was a pendant I made which my sister-in-law fell in love with. This made me realise that I had a marketable and unique product. I never started out or aimed to have a business. My aim, like most artists, is to share my art.
6. Where do your ideas evolve from?
My ideas are always linked to my day to day routine, family and heritage. I am a creative person and always have ideas pouring out of my head to the point that they sometimes keep me up at night. I have a love for the sea and my love for Malta has never subsided during the 16 years I have been away. I am always transporting myself to Riviera Bay and feel inspired by the beauty of nature. Blue is my favourite colour and you will see that a lot of my pieces will have some blue in it!
7. Take us through your “typical” day.
I am a typical mum of two, with my life revolving around my family! My morning usually starts with lots of cuddles from the kids, we get ready for the school run with breakfast, music practice and do the usual rush to get to school on time! I then get home to clean and prep for after school dinner. I am fortunate that I get to spend a few hours in my art studio everyday. The school run then begins again in the early afternoon which is usually filled with clubs, events, concerts or playdates and finishes off with homework or music practice. Once the kids are in bed I usually spend more time in my art studio until my husband gets back home.
8. Do you ever get asked to customize a piece of jewellery in which case, what do you look for to inspire you?
My jewellery is all about the custom experience. It’s like commissioning a piece of art work and working towards your clients needs and likes. I do share a few ready made pieces, however the nice thing about Bonnymia is that one can ask to match an outfit or source items for an event using specific colours or even just based on ones’ mood.
9. The most valuable lesson you have learned in this business?
I believe the key lesson for me is to be confident in sharing my work. I have always been a shy person by nature and have so many paintings from since I was little that are in storage. For a reason still unknown to me, I feel more able to share my jewellery, and I hope that my confidence grows over time.
10. How big is the accessory business today from when you started?
I see Bonnymia as a platform where I can showcase what I create. Each piece takes time since it is all crafted individually, hand painted and hand finished. Bonnymia is about handmade art pieces – my ambition is to create a boutique style offering.
11. Any particular techniques you prefer?
I use a lot of resin in my pieces as it’s a liquid that I find very easy to mold as a basis for my art pieces. However I do also really enjoy creating pieces out of clay as it can be hand shaped to anything I like.
12. Do you have a favorite accessory designer that you admire?
My favourite designer is definitely Vivienne Westwood! I love her creative pieces of both clothing and jewellery. However I am also a Tiffany fan and I tend to purchase a few classic pieces from there.
13. Where do you wish your business to be in 5 and 10 years?
I see myself developing Bonnymia to be a flexible choice of jewellery. I want it to be synonymous with the idea of personalisation.
14. Anyone famous you would love to wear your designs?
It is always nice to have someone wear your work. It is then really an honour when someone famous chooses your artwork to wear. So yes, I definitely have no preference as to who I would like to wear it but anyone who has an appreciation of art would be ideal!
15. What’s next? What’s your vision for the future of your brand?
Bonnymia is still a new concept. In the near future I will keep working at developing the image of Bonnymia as a boutique brand. I have had many custom orders come in, with a few going all the way to Christmas! My vision is for people to realise that with Bonnymia your jewellery is truly unique and personal.
So there you have it my lovelies, are you loving them or ARE YOU LOVING THEM? I am obsessed with them:) To anyone interested to buy (locally) any of the items these are currently available at Movida Beach Lido Boutique in Tigne, Sliema. Otherwise to all my international friends please feel free to contact Mia via her social that are all linked above.
Until next time,