Monarca started in Popayán, a small city in the south west of Colombia, and now continues with a satellite studio in Stanford, California.
My sister (Olga) and I (Amanda) worked for about three years to find the best way to preserve butterfly wings, flowers and feathers. It was a long process of trial and error until we developed the perfect technique. We learned how to preserve our fragile materials, protecting them and enhancing their colors, while also creating a very resistant piece that was lightweight and delicate. Our mother (Aurora) is an essential part of our production process, she loves plants and has become an expert at selecting, pressing and dying the flowers for our jewelry.
As our business grew, we had several requests to wholesale our products, so we decided to add more people to our team. Mary and Ximena are two strong and creative single mothers who have become an integral part of our team. They joined us and learned our techniques, and now they create beautiful pieces with us every day.
I recently moved from Chicago where I started working on our business in the US, to California while I fulfill one of my biggest dreams: doing my PhD in biology. I love designing new products, selecting different stones, beads, metals, and imagining how they could be combined with our pieces. I design and assemble all of the products for the lines offered in the US, creating some of the products with my favorite pieces created in our main workshop, and many others with pieces I make myself in my studio in California. I enjoy working with different butterfly species and combine our handmade pieces with stones, beads and metals that we do not have in Colombia, creating an exclusive line of products that are found only in my new home.
Olga, Aurora, Mary, Ximena, Amanda