Fanm Mon is a unique brand of statement neckpieces, headwear and other accessories created by a Haitian-born artist who lives and works in Turkey. The brand offers intricate hand-crafted one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the cultures of Haiti and Africa. The brand, which has been in existence for just over a year represents a rich cultural history and legacy for black woman of the diaspora.
SS: What does Fanm Mon mean? Why did you chose it as a name?
A “Fanm Mon/Neg Mon” Fanm=woman neg=man village man/woman who lives way up the mountains, and do not have access to the things of a developed city. In Haiti they are looked down on for their lack of exposure, and education known to the more developed city. I chose the name Fanm Mon to pay homage to these people particularly the woman for they are the hardest workers, and bear the most sacrifices to push their families forward. The will work tirelessly as a maids only to return home to work even more for their family. From farm work to breeding animals, to selling produce by the road side, and weaving one thing or the other… I mean they do it all. Yet they hold no value in our culture, their daily sacrifices go unnoticed, until a person get ill, when an effective herbal remedy is needed, all is put aside. They know the earth, and all that nature provides to heal us, they know the weather just by the smell of the air, behaviors of animals and so on. Though they are considered non educated, they are doctors in their field, they help women bare children, create potion to heal deep wounds fast. you name it. In my soul and spirit I can identify with the nomads of the world, for their knowledge are pure they are the most givers, and the healers of the world.
SS: What cultures inspire you?
My inspiration is first and foremost of African and Haitian origin, the similarities of the Continent and the Island are so parallel it is a wonderful experience to look at a finished piece and be able to identify the two places who birth my soul and spirit. Other inspirations are of course of the arts! I am particularly drawn to the 60s and 70s, because of the color and livelihood of both eras. But it doesn’t stop there, I am also very much in tune with the present, and the internet absolutely keeps my creativity ever expanding.
SS: Can you tell us a little bit about your design process? How long does it take to make a piece?
When I first started I was in a rush… I mean literally rushing in my head and physically rushing to get things done, I did not make any sketches, so everything was flowing fresh out of my head, even though i enjoyed the process. I rushed it out of excitement, and wanting to just make one after the other. So now my process has changed a lot. I now have some post-its, (laughs). I pencil designs that come to mind and number them. Also I now let the design in my mind be around me a lot longer, so I can start on a piece and go to the next and the next and the next, before i return to a previous one. I am enjoying this style of creating better, cause I feel more in tune, and more related to the piece.
[In terms of time required to make a piece] It all depends I have pieces that take me up to a month to go back to, and others are done in a day or hours, all is determined by the flow of energy between me and the piece, some are much easier to put together in my head, and for my spirit to accept, hence why it is done quicker than another. I have two jewelry types that i design, one with natural stones, and the other are ropes with other usable material and it can include natural stones glass beads brass and so on…
SS: Have any celebrities worn pieces from Fanm Mon? Do you have a celebrity who you’d love to see wearing your creations?
I am about to send off a piece to TK Wonder for her upcoming tour in Brazil. Lauryn Hill, is the top celeb I would love to create something for, all of my designs are one of a kind, but I have such high regards for her, I would love to see what I extra from within to present to her!
What do you love most about running Fanm Mon?
The self lessons… I am a very forward person, and the designs allow me to be even more so.
SS: What do you want for Fanm Mon in the future?
I am building a brand, so absolutely more to come. I have introduced the footwear and handbag collection, and fingers cress production will be wrapped in a week or so. In addition, I am a fan of comfort living and items for the home, I hope to have a line of exotic hand woven bold printed pillows and hand carved metal lamps for Fanm Mon home Decor in the very near future.
SS: What do you like to do in your downtime, when you are not creating or designing?
I live in the Mediterranean so my family and I are on the beach or boating a lot.
Fanm Mon is also open to working with any boutiques and stores and is currently taking requests for orders. For more information contact Fanm at FanmMon(at)gmail.com. For shop updates and sales, follow Fanm Mon on Instagram, Facebook, and of course, visit her Etsy store.