In conversation with the stylish, imaginative, and always elegant Manon Crespi- former contributing editor for Éclat International and Elite Traveler magazines. Manon is a Model, who then turned her attention from writing for magazines to rare and fine jewelry some years ago. She is now a content producer for Manon Crespi Rare & Beautiful, YouTube channel & a micro-influencer but is simultaneously always modelling. Manon has a balanced approach to her life in the fast lane. She is a career focused women, a dedicated wife, mother of four, and has the ability to remain graceful at all times. Manon shares her journey on motherhood, various professional endeavours, favourite jewelry designers, places to visit in Boulder, Colorado and her favourite vegetarian dish.
Tell us about your professional background?
I modelled in the metro Phoenix area and worked as a concierge at Marriott Camel back Inn resort in Scottsdale, AZ while attending Arizona State University. I graduated from there with a BA degree from Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, and worked at a non-profit production company until I married.
I was a stay-at-home mother for 15 years before working outside my home again while our children were in school all day. At 40 years old, I returned to part-time work as a model and also worked in sales/marketing for a start-up jewelry company in Boulder, Colorado. I went on to freelance my marketing expertise for jewelry companies while continuing modelling. I have been modelling since 2006 and have worked with many agencies in New York, London, Paris, Milan and Hamburg. I ultimately came full circle with my college degree by landing jobs writing for two luxury consumer publications, Éclat International and Elite Traveler magazine’s website, and ultimately launching my own YouTube video magazine called, Manon Crespi Rare & Beautiful and continuing to take modelling assignments.
You wear so many different hats in your professional life. How do you manage it all?
I do wear a lot of hats! I guess being a stay-at-home mother of four children for most of my adult life has somehow trained me to juggle well!
How do you manage your style in cohesion with clients vision?
When I was designing trade show booths (from my marketing days), I was tasked to create booths that purely reflect the brand’s image. For example, I had a specific set of guidelines, such as brand story, brand voice, color pallet, target consumer, specific brand graphics, etc. that were the framework for me to design within. The choices I made within that framework are how my style merged with the essence of the brand.
Your favourite jewelry brands and why?
I have so many favourite jewelry brands! I think it depends on context. If you were asking what my favorite haute couture jewelry brands are, I would say Lydia Courteille and Alessio Boschi for their incredibly imaginative, and in Lydia’s case, fantastical qualities. I’ve just never seen anything like their jewelry pieces. I love Ray Griffiths fine jewelry for his marriage of the past (with it’s element of the Crownwork pattern found in the under girding of royal headpieces) to today’s clean, modern sensibilities. I fancy Erica Courtney for her beautiful, feminine pieces that always feature swoon-worthy rare gems. I love Wendy Brandes and Amedeo jewelry brands for the “cheekiness” they bring to their collections. I’m also smitten by Erika Winters bridal collection – again, for its ultra feminine vibe, and I love the Fana bridal collection for its simple, elegant approach to engagement rings.
Where do you get inspirations?
My singular source of inspiration, whether as an editor or a content producer, is people. I really love people, and I’m sure my love affair with the jewelry industry is 100% due to the fact that the people within it are from every part of the world. I’m fascinated by peoples’ life stories and how those stories impact the “how” and “why” behind the things they do, and the things they create.
What’s been the toughest challenge in balancing family and career so far?
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve truly felt the challenge of balancing family and career, because my children were always my primary concern and focus until they were nearly out of high school. When my husband and I were married we made the decision together to live on one income so that I could stay home with our children. Neither my husband nor I had the luxury of having any parent home after school when we grew up, and it was high on our priority lists to give that to our kids. That said, my husband was much more aware of the challenge of work/family balance than I was. I’m very grateful for the gift he gave me in being able to be home with our kids, to go to their school/sporting/music events, volunteer in their classrooms, etc.
Most rewarding thing about being a mom?
The most rewarding thing for me as a mom is seeing all the things I poured into our kids coming to fruition in their lives as adults – their values, their appreciation of others, their kindness, work ethic, their talents, etc. Ok, their father had a lot to do with all of that, too! After the reward of receiving their unconditional love, I would say these things are pretty darn rewarding!
What is your favourite healthy snack?
My favourite healthy snack is avocado.
Do you follow any specific diet to stay fit and healthy?
I try my best to intermittent fast (stop eating at night by 8:00PM until the following morning at 10:00AM-12:00PM) and eat mostly vegetarian through the weekdays, and then will add fish/meat on the weekends. I try to avoid sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates, but definitely don’t always stick to that plan.
What is your favourite vegetarian dish you like to cook or eat? Please share the recipe or link.
One of my favourite vegetarian dishes is the Spaghetti Squash & Zucchini Parmesan casserole from True Foods restaurant.
Best places to visit in Boulder, Colorado?
- Chautauqua Park (for the mountain views & hiking)
- Pearl Street Mall (for the “Boulder” experience & fun shops & restaurants)
- Boulder Farmer’s Market & walk along the creek
- NCAR – National Center For Atmospheric Research (for the science types)
- Colorado Shakespeare Festival summer outdoor theater under the stars (that seem so close you feel as if you could touch them) at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on CU campus.
Your top five favourite restaurants?
My top five favourite restaurants in Boulder, all of which offer amazing vegetarian dishes: