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Meet the Maker Month: Joanna of Maison Bondoux

I am an artist that started creating high-end AAA-grade Semiprecious crystal bracelets. I believe in the healing energy and vibrations that these stones and crystals emit. If you are going to wear jewelry wear something you can energetically connect with. After I create a bracelet, I saje it to cleanse its energy then place it on a selenite plate for 24hrs to recharge its energy. The final step is holding it in my hands and giving it a new positive intention. This process for me is essential. Whatever your needs are Maison Bondoux can help create the highest quality and strongest energetically charged semiprecious bracelets custom made for your needs.

What sets you apart from other bracelet brands? I only use AAA-grade stones and crystals from different parts of the world. Knowing where they come from is very important for me.

What is your why for having started making these bracelets? My background as an artist is 3 fold. I am a painter, I am an art teacher and I studied interior design. I was always interested in wellness, feng shui, how crystals can influence our environment and wellbeing. I then became a wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils and decided to combine my passions. Frustratingly I could never find crystal bracelets that fit my wrist so I decided to make my own. Eventually, through lots of research, my passion for crystals grew even more! My bracelets are like a collection for me. I'm always excited about the new stones and crystals I find. From the research to the creation every step for me is a passionate one. Eventually, people started noticing my bracelets on me and bought them right off my wrist! Maison Bondoux has just celebrated its first year and it is still in its growing stages and I'm very excited about where it is headed.

Where does the name Bondoux come from? My mother's maiden name is Bondoux. It s a French name from France. If you find a Bondoux in the Quebec directory chances are 100% we are closely related lol

What does being a Maker mean to you? The word create is an important word for me. It is an expression of my soul. It is a way for me to share and to help others. The world needs creators and makers and as an art educator, it has always been important for me to help others connect and feel free to express themselves in whatever creative outlet they choose.

What motivates you to create? It's always been easy for me. It's always been my strength. I have always been a creative person since I was a child. I always knew that this was my path. You often hear athletic people say they don't feel good if they haven't worked out or trained in a few days, well I'm the same when it comes to being creative. I need to go into my studio on a regular basis otherwise I feel off. If I'm not in my studio I'm creating something somewhere else for someone else or helping someone be more creative.

How have you developed your skills? Years and years of art school, art activities, past employments, and self-development. We never stop learning and growing that's what I love about life.

Where are you from and how does that influence your work? I am from Montreal. I always loved how Montreal is such a hugely creative city and how it embraces its artists. It's a circle really, Montrealers support local artists by purchasing our work and that love helps motivate me to keep creating. Love, understanding, and helping others are my main influences for what I do.

How have your life experiences shaped your art? Being positively supported for being an artist has had a big impact on my life. It allowed me to embrace who I am as an artist in all mediums I chose to use to express myself during different stages of my life.

How has the pandemic impacted your creativity? I have been a homestay host for international students since 2008. During the pandemic, I was not able to host students so I decided to convert my smallest bedroom into my new studio space. I never would have done that had it not been for the pandemic. I realized having my own space was essential and I'm so glad I did it.

How do you apply your creativity to other aspects of your life? I have helped curate art exhibitions at Galerie 203 in old Montréal as well as helped with events the gallery was having. I paint, I refinish furniture, I do home staging and home organization, I teach, I love to cook, and being creative has helped me problem solve any of life's issues that are thrown my way.

What themes do you pursue in your work? Nature influences everything for me. I find peace in nature. We are all vibrational beings and are connected to nature. I believe that's why I love working with crystals so much. I feel the energy and that feeds my creativity.

What is your favorite thing you've created and why? I don't have a favorite but my first big memory of creating something special was when I was 5yrs old. I created a watercolor painting of a tree landscape reflecting on a river's edge. That moment in my life was transitional. I realized then that I wanted to be an artist.

What is your dream project? Currently, I am working on it! I am developing and growing my Maison Bondoux online business. 2022 will be another big year.

Do you accept commissions? Absolutely! That is what I love the most! It makes it unique and personal. Every stack of bracelets you collect is a reflection of you. It is with great pride and passion that I get the pleasure to help someone create their own personal wellness stack!

How do your interests shift from one project to the next? Usually, by the stones and crystals, I find. It's like collecting for me so I try and find cool shapes but of course, the benefits of stones are essential. This is what helps shape the intention behind each stack.

Describe your latest project I am currently planning for the next 3 months and the first thing people look for is their zodiac or birth month stone. So, Garnet, Amethyst, and Aquamarine will be featured soon. Valentine's day is coming up so I will introduce love stacks. Spring will bring a garden-themed stack.

How do you know when you've finished a project? Intuition. That's the only measure I have. I just know when I know. It's not an exact science. The feeling is a big part of what I do so being connected to my intuitive feelings is key.

What are your long-term goals? To be able to continue creating beautiful crystal jewelry full-time. To see Maison Bondoux expand beyond Canada. To continue bringing smiles and wellness to those who wear my bracelets.

What steps are you taking to ensure your growth as a maker? Baby steps. I just recently purchased my Shopify and will have my online shop launch very soon.

What inspires you? Everything, nature, my family and friends, living in the moment. Taking the time to see the beauty in everything.

What initially drew you to your craft? The beauty of crystals, the fascination behind how they are formed and how they vibrate, what they are beneficial for?

What three adjectives would you use to describe your work? Healing, beautiful, unique.

What story do you want to tell with your work? I want them to be personal and curated for each person wearing a stack.

Why are humans creative?

It's part of our DNA it's important for humans to express in one form or another. We always have and always will.

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