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Q&A | KULT

J.  /  Jessie Bonne

  1. What do you do?
I design timeless jewelry that accompany people every day and become part of their story. 
How did you get into doing what you do?
I have always been a jewelry lover. As a kid, I would always ask my mom to show me all her jewelry and tell me the story of each piece. Later on, I started collecting vintage and antique pieces, but never thought about making my own jewelry though. It happened organically.  While living in México, I would not find the kind of pieces that I liked, so I simply started to make them for myself. 
People around would ask me for bracelets, and my friends motivated me to show my work. I found an incredible artisan that helped me materialize my vision and everything started. We are still working together.
What are the best things about what you do? What are the challenges?
The best part of it is definitely the human factor. To get to know people along the way, to collaborate with incredible persons, nourishing both myself and the brand. 
Also, there is that special feeling when someone falls in love with your work, and an interesting connection. It´s like without really knowing each other, we just recognize each other.
The challenges are multiple. This was not my world at all, so I had to learn everything. I am still learning, actually. 
Describe a perfect day:
It starts with a good coffee and almond croissant at home. Museum or architecture visit. Flea Market.
Nice lunch with friends. Big table, mezze, everybody sharing the dishes, good laughs. The kind that starts at 3pm and finishes at 8pm or just transition into dinner. 
  1. List your 3 passions in life:
Traveling. I love to discover new places, observe how people live, learn from them.  
Treasure hunting. You name it: furniture, home accessories, jewelry. I love vintage and antique pieces and enjoy the whole process:  hunting, spotting, and, of course, getting back home with a piece that has its story. 
Jewelry: I am hooked. I love to create beauty and love the idea that you can take it with you everywhere, anytime. 
  1. If I could transport you, where would you want to be right now?
The last months really confirmed that for me it is not about where, but rather with whom.  So, if you can also transport my closest friends and family, I would like to go to El Escondido, in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Just regroup, take time to reconnect and create new memories together. 
Travel bucket list/Next travel destination:
My top 3: Greece. A safari in Botswana. New Mexico. 
Had to put at least one option that is realistic on the short term. Lol. Seriously, I am curious to get to know that region, and I really want to visit Georgia O´Keeffe´s Ghost Ranch.
Alter ego:
That´s a tough one. I think my alter ego is a colorful character from the 70´s. 
I have the hair, I guess that´s a start. lol
  1. What’s on your turntable/Spotify?
Lately I have been listening a lot to H.E.R, Rhye and to Malavoi (an amazing band from Martinique that instantly takes me back home).
Favorite color combo:
Black with beige or camel. Simple, elegant, always accurate. 
Top food memory:
I still remember the first time I ate a salt baked fish. Such a simple, minimalist dish. It just felt so faithful to the flavor of fish. I love sea urchins. In Martinique, it is considered the ultimate treat. 
The best one I ever had was with my mom and a friend on his boat. He disappeared in the water for like 15 minutes and came back with some urchins that we opened right there and ate raw, with lemon. I cannot get over it. 
While in Tokyo a few years ago, I had my first omakase experience with a young sushi chef. The ritual was amazing. Every bite was a surprise. Simple, but precise and sophisticated. All in the ingredients. 
And the fact that there are only 8 people seating makes it very special. 
  1. What’s your go-to specialty dish/cocktail?
I finally learned to cook the salt baked fish last year. It´s my go-to. The cocktail would be an Aperol spritz. Easy, fresh, feels like summer. 
Last meal on death row:
That raw sea urchin with the full experience of being home with the people I love, enjoying the sea. No need for fancy food or setting. Just need a knife and some lemon to enjoy the sea urchin. 
  1. Favorite Mandolin moment:
  2. Every moment at Mandolin is an experience, but there was a time, when my mom was visiting, and we just went for a Turkish coffee. It just felt like home. Sitting in the backyard, sipping coffee and talking. Now… If the Mrs. Mandolin moments count, my favorite moment is any meeting with the team. It feels more like a friends’ reunion. There is always a good matcha and good conversation with ideas for new jewelry coming up.  
Favorite Mandolin dish:
I´m definitely a fish lover and I enjoy simplicity. For me the grilled branzino is the best. 
What is your definition of simple pleasures?
Spending time with the people you love.