Tom Wood is a Norwegian lifestyle brand, established in 2013 by Founder and Creative Director Mona Jensen. Inspired by the Scandinavian functionalism and minimalism, jewels are considered as unisex. We are happy to welcome Tom Wood among our designers and for the occasion we asked Mona Jensen a few questions. Read her interview to learn more about her vision, inspirations and projects.
1. Can you introduce yourself to those who don't know your work yet?
I am the Founder and Creative Director of Tom Wood, a Norwegian lifestyle brand. I am responsible for our jewelry design, as well as our brand identity and creative direction within any projects we take on board.
2. What is your first jewelry memory?
My Grandma´s clean and classic gold bangle that she wore around her wrist daily. She never took it off, but when she passed away we found it in a cabinet with my name on it. Even as a kid I liked minimal and clean lines.
3. Which is the first piece you designed for your brand, Tom Wood?
It was not one, but three signet rings: the Cushion, Oval and Shield, each of them made into 4 variants, 12 in total. I wanted the first "product" to be three musketeers forming a small army of rings. These rings are still important styles in our jewelry sortiment and I get really happy when I see people in the streets wearing one of them with bulks and lines from daily wear and tear.
4. Several of your designs are unisex, the name of your brand is masculine. Is there any special message that you want to share being a woman designing jewelry for men?
To be able to play around a strong male figure was intriguing, and it gave me more courage to design with a masculine aesthetic. When Tom Wood was launched in 2013 jewelry were considered a lot more «fine» and feminine. I hardly saw any man with any jewels except his wedding band. I wanted to do something opposite to that. Tom Wood became my alter-ego, and is my muse when it comes to design. Tom Wood as a brand is somehow considered androgynous in the expression, or genderless. As our collections grow, we have more styles now to be looked upon as either more feminine or more masculine, but I somehow tend to favor a genderless design. I like it that way, and its also how I dress myself.
5. What are your greatest fashion and jewelry inspirations?
I have always enjoyed objects, either sculptures or architecture with a distinct shape. To me nature is also very inspiring, the organic shapes and colors are beautiful.
6. Do you have a piece of jewelry that you wear all year-round?
Normally a chunky silver ring, it has become my signature piece.
7. What your work rituals? What does a typical day look like for you?
I have quite busy days with a lot of meetings and decision making on developments throughout our collections. Normally I travel several times per month, to Thailand, Japan or Europe. I am somehow involved in all our operations as I love to understand all aspects of our business. I attend meetings with key customers, I do research on new collections and join press gatherings to talk about our vision and new collections. The full overview give me important insight to analyse and forecast our direction.
8. Is your process of creation the same when designing jewels and clothes? If not, which one do you like more?
I have to admit I prefer jewels as I like the limitations. It's challenging to make something stand out when you have less materials to choose from. It's more about the idea of shaping and sculpturing. I believe the objectification also is the reason why a lot of people look upon jewels as something valuable, even if the price sometimes is less than a jacket it's looked upon as an investment for life.
9. Do you have any specific projects or wishes to share with us?
At the moment we are working really hard to make a best possible sustainable footprint as a brand and organization. We have always worked with a philosophy to design contemporary classics that will last through seasons and maybe even generations. We will soon launch our new vision for the clothes, a directional shift I hope will fit into the new world as we now know it.