We’d like you to meet Iris Mondelaers, 47-year old mother, passionate jewelry designer, and gallery owner. We got to know Iris as a real Power Woman – trust your gut and go for it!
‘’Pursue every opportunity, focus on your personal goals – and don’t get distracted by other people’s paths or opinions.’’
In addition to the permanence of her own jewelry collection, Iris uses her gallery to showcase work by other artists and young designers. Focusing on cross-pollination creates interesting exhibitions in a beautiful setting.
Life can be busy for working moms, which is something Iris knows all too well.
Every day she starts with breakfast and the newspaper after taking the youngest of her three children to school. Since she’s not a morning person, she always catches up on emails before doing anything else.
She then spends the rest of her day in the studio, and still has customers come by in the evening – even on Saturdays. Sunday mornings are spent with her children and reserved for some quality time for herself.
In her everyday life, Iris is inspired by strong women from all branches of life, such as artists, actresses, designers, and even politicians. All of them have some things in common: strong women that followed their dream, with a story to tell and an inexhaustible focus.
Iris had numerous wonderful moments in her career so far.
In 1995, even before she graduated from the Sint-Lucas Institute in Antwerp, she received the second prize in a competition for young jewelry designers organized by the magazine Weekend-Knack and the National Committee of Jewelers.
As a result, she gained national exposure and won an internship, which later became her workplace.
”Because of this, I received a lot of media attention. My career took off at that point.”
Another moment of great significance happened in 2018, when her work was showcased at Milan Fashion Week alongside celebrities such as Pol Bury and Yoko Ono.
”This exhibition is one of the most beautiful moments in my career and the result of more than 20 years of hard work. It gave me a great sense of recognition as an artist. To be put on the map internationally is very special.”
How about plans for the future?
Iris is currently working on many assignments and I wants to grow the gallery in a slow, but good way.
”I am very pleased to have clients from all over the country, but also from abroad. I think I am on the right track. As Johan Verminnen so nicely sings: “Slow is beautiful”.”
Fashion and Life Advice
Success doesn’t just happen. In Iris’ perspective, one of the most important things is to keep your focus and go straight for your goal. Every person you meet on your path leads to other people and contacts and you need to use them if you need them.
”When I graduated, my teacher said I would never get anywhere, I turned out all right after all. Trust your gut and use your contacts well.”
How does Marylene Madou impact Iris’ everyday fashion choices?
”Because I wear a lot of black in everyday life, MM brings color to my life.”