I'd like to introduce myself. My given name was Melanie, but shortly after I was born, my older sister had trouble pronouncing my name, so I became "Moni". The name stuck so well, that during roll call on the first day of kindergarten, I did not respond to "Melanie" when called. I remained forever "Moni" to Mrs. Moore, my kindergarten teacher, and I was "Moni" to my grandmother until the day she died. When I was a teen, I began signing my artwork, "Moni". So, naturally, when I began painting the charms, "Moni Originals" seemed the perfect name!
I have been painting these charms (thousands of them, now) since early summer of 2002. The idea actually came to me while on a morning walk with a friend. I was frustrated in trying to find charms my customers wanted and dealing with gouging by distributors. While airing these concerns to my friend, we passed a car parked along the side of the road. The "Eureka Moment", if you want to call it that, was when I said, "paint sticks to cars. Cars are metal. Why can't I paint right on the charms?"
She no doubt thought the cold morning air had short-circuited my "thinker", but I was off and running... I tried many different paints until finding the right combination for wear and durability. Then, I went for the designs. I began with the pansies. I painted several for myself and friends to wear and "test". Satisfied with the results, I began selling them online. All Moni charms had the "Moni Originals" logo on the back. Besides my own website, and many other online outlets, the charms were sold in many fine gift shops and jewelry stores across the country.
Since then, I have begun painting almost exclusively in resin and wire-wrapping. In fact, in the summer of '21, my home was lost in the Caldor Fire in northern California and all of my blank charms - as well as all of my charm inventory - were lost forever. I did escape with my inventory of wire-wrapped jewelry and continue adding to that. The wire-wrapped hand-painted art is my focus going forward.
I am very proud of my work and stand behind it. I do all of my own painting. So, you are assured consistency and quality.