Style Talk With: Monéh Haslett of Monéh Brisel Jewelry

The Costa Mesa-based jewelry brand began in the Dominican Republic.
Photographs by Emily J. Davis

Monéh Haslett launched her namesake jewelry line in 2021. The handmade items consist of metal rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, which she sells online as well as at boutiques including Seed People’s Market in Costa Mesa. “My style is very simple but also has an organic touch,” Haslett says. “It’s an ode to the beauty of the natural world around us.” Customers can also find her at Dana Point’s Redo Market, Costa Mesa’s Less Is More Market, and at pop-ups held at Work in Progress coffee in Costa Mesa and Vacancy Coffee in Newport Beach. 

How did you begin making jewelry?

I had uprooted my life in Portland, Ore., and moved to a small beach town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic in 2017 to be with my partner. As you can imagine, the lifestyle there is much slower. It gave me the space to start making my first pieces, which were made from brass that I cut with my saw and paired with some sea glass I found along the shore. From there, I devoted my time to developing my skills as a metalsmith. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, so I just started researching what the basic toolkit would be and watching videos.

Why did you start this business?

My partner and his family have a really cute coffee shop (in the Dominican Republic). One day, they approached me and asked if I’d want to have my pieces in the shop. It’s a very touristy area so I slowly started to have an inventory and come out with collections. When we moved to Costa Mesa in 2021, I decided to put all my energy toward growing this business. 

The pieces at Monéh Brisel Jewelry are inspired by the ocean.

What’s your process?

I work with solid metals—brass and silver. I’m slowly starting to bring in gold, too. (Those metals) can last for a long time, and I also really like how they age. There’s a ton of different techniques you can use. I’ll have a piece of wire, and I’ll use my torch to soften it, bend it, or solder. I have my hammer if I want to add more texture or firm it up. The other technique is where I have a piece of wax and I carve it by hand and then it goes through a process where (metal is cast from the wax mold). The really cool thing about jewelry is that because there are so many techniques, there’s always something you can learn. 

What inspires you when creating new pieces?

All of my work is inspired by nature, specifically the ocean. It goes back to my time in the Dominican Republic—it’s such raw natural beauty. I started spending a lot of time at the beach and building my own connection with the ocean. Whenever you’re outdoors, there are certain things that captivate you. I try to be very mindful of what’s drawing my attention and letting myself sit in that and then using that as inspiration.