My name is Monique and I have been collecting vintage jewelry for over 25 years. My best friend Katy introduced me to the joys of vintage costume jewelry back in the early 80’s. At the time, vintage had not really become ‘hip’ and there were scores of little boutiques in southern California that offered fabulous vintage jewels. It would hurt your eyes walking into some of these stores as they would be completely carpeted in rhinestone jewelry. Katy and I called it ‘trash flash’ and we couldn’t get enough of it. I am a little ashamed of the term (it still pops into my head every time I spy a gorgeous piece). There was nothing trashy about the quality of the pieces we amassed. Maybe it was a reflection of the general lack of respect (at that time) for the artistry of costume jewelry. Or maybe it reflected how society thought of us - because proper, young girls should never exhibit the excessive bling we enjoyed. We collected solely by aesthetics, never really caring if a piece was signed or not. And of course we were heavily influenced by our involvement in films and theater - you need an awful lot of flash to register in the last row of a crowded house.
Katy went on to a career in the fashion industry, and I pursued a career in software engineering which took me from southern California to the Midwest and eventually to New England. All these years I’ve haunted auctions, estate sales and thrift shops from coast to coast. I was always thrilled to land jobs that required lots of travel because they provided terrific opportunities to find treasures in new places.
Katy is still my best friend, as well as my muse and west coast consultant. Seven years ago I became the proud owner of a vintage clothing shop in Boston. And now I am excited to open an on-line store dedicated to the vintage costume jewelry I love.