Established in 2013 by Founder and Creative Director Mona Jensen, Norwegian lifestyle brand Tom Wood is Parlour X’s newest jewellery discovery set to launch in-boutique and online in 2018. Intrigued? Get to know the brand in our original interview below.
Describe Tom Wood in three words.
Classic, functional, quality.
What is your formal education of background, was this always your chosen career path?
I have my master’s Degree in economics and Leadership with over 15 years of experience as a strategist within marketing and branding, working with well-established Norwegian and International brands. To become a designer and to develop my own brand was never part of my initial ambitions, it just eventually ended up being a natural path. I wanted to challenge my own theories, and to test my own skills - not only preach others on what to do.
With your headquarters in Oslo, how much of an affect do your roots have on the overall ethos and philosophy of the brand?
Our brand's philosophy is definitely inspired by the way we live in Scandinavia. We live close to a rough nature with storms, snow, rain, huge mountains and deep oceans. This shapes the way we think and the way we develop products. Sometimes I believe we need a deeper reason to make the things we do, we don’t just do pretty - it should also work well. So, quality in everything we do, from the raw materials to the final craftsmanship is really important.
How would you describe Scandinavian functionalism?
It’s something to be found in Scandinavian architecture, but I would also relate it to fashion and product design. It’s when the purpose and function of a design is really important to the object. We are kind of practical and like things to both look nice and work well.
What have you learnt through owning your own business?
A lot. Its challenging, fun, frustrating, interesting, exhausting, inspiring, selfish - it’s just so many things - and you have to cope with it every day. I have chosen this myself and I cannot just give up and run away.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve received, and why?
When other people sleep, you should work.
What has been the most challenging moment of your career?
I don’t think there has been a specific moment, but I would say the balance of work and private life is sometimes challenging. In a way my work has become my hobby and it’s not often I sit down to just relax, read a book or watch a movie. I always feel I have to work because the to do-list is never ending. My head is never ‘off’.
What excites you about the future of the label?
We have high ambitions and it’s exciting to see an increased awareness of Tom Wood in new markets, and to find Tom Wood represented by the very best retailers worldwide such as Parlour X.
Where do you take inspiration from?
I am very inspired by vintage design, because then the products had a reason to be there. It was put a lot of thoughts and energy into one single product, meant to last for decades.
How are Tom Wood jewellery pieces made?
Each single piece is made mostly by hands. It takes a lot of time to produce one item, from the first casting to the final product. A lot of people are involved, each one specialists on their task, from the stone sourcing to the filing and stone setting process. We only use unique designs and custom molds, so each piece of jewelry is made specifically for Tom Wood.
How big a part does technology and social media play in your personal life?
In my personal life not too much, but I am online a lot during working hours to do research, or to stay connected between time zones with clients, influencers or suppliers. I use Pinterest a lot for inspiration, Instagram to understand the marketing world we are a part of now, e-mail and Skype to communicate to our business partners.
What is exciting you next?
Probably Paris in June . We are showcasing our new SS19 collections to buyers, and it is always exciting to receive first response to what we have been working on the past 6 months. After Paris I will travel to Thailand with my family, and I am really looking forward to some weeks offline together with my dearest. View the Tom Wood collection online here, brought to you by Parlour X, or read Mona’s personalised City Guide to Oslo here.