“I enjoyed working in the bank at first. I liked the people, I liked the pay cheque,” Alice Moyan tells of her previous career as an IT Developer. When the opportunity arose to take a career break however, she didn’t hesitate. Reminiscing with excited enthusiasm, Moyan recounts her yearlong around-the-world trip. “Even ten years on I still can’t believe it actually happened. A month in Patagonia, then visiting Chile, Antarctica, Easter Island, the whole experience was a dream come true.”
Awoken by her inevitable return to the office and the confinements of her job in IT, Moyan recalls attempting to readjust to normality. “It felt wrong going back after all I had seen. I had spent a year looking at beautiful things and I needed that to continue.” These new fascinations included the works of several designers she had come across in Argentina. Wanting introduce this beauty back into her life, Moyan considered importing some of the designers’ works and selling them. This idea was soon scrapped and her business savvy brain turned creative. Despite no formal training or studying, she took on the design part herself.
“I didn’t study design, I never trained as a jeweller, I wasn’t even good at drawing but, basically, I loved colours so I started playing around with them.” Moyan next began to experiment with beads and metals. “I didn’t really know what I was doing at first, there was a lot of trial and error in that first year,” she says. That first year was one still spent in the confinements of her nine-to-five job. Though determined to regain the freedom she had so gleefully experienced abroad, she wasn’t fevered in her decision to transition from a developer to a designer. “I wasn’t reckless about it. I spent exactly one year saving up and planning before leaving my job,” she explains.
When the day arrived to leave, Moyan admits to the knot in her stomach when she realised what was actually happening. The oh shit moment kicked in. “I was sad to leave my colleagues and nervous about what was coming next, but when Monday rolled around and I could roll over in bed, things didn’t seem so bad.” It’s a fond feeling that Moyan still hasn’t exhausted. “Sometimes I still feel the way I did on that first morning Monday morning. I think of everyone on the bus or tram on their way into work and then I walk to my studio, at whatever time I want.”
Over time Moyan learnt that even the freedom of design and creativity has some boundaries. “At first I found it difficult to settle on things. I would start off designing one piece, then go on to make something completely different. It took a while to evolve the brand into what it is today.”
And what Aliquo now represents is pure understated elegance. “My designs are simple, but always with a little detail that gives them that originality. They are not something that scream who you are, but rather a quirk people notice when they pay a little bit of attention. My designs are for people who are confident, but quietly so.”
It is that very quiet confidence that Aliquo is built on. When announcing her plans to pursue design, Mayon was met with what she described as not overly supportive reactions. “A colleague told me, ‘There’s already loads of jewellery out there’. That was one of the more memorable opinions!” But Moyan states with poise that she simply didn’t care. And when she rolls over on a Monday morning in bed, we doubt she does.
Aliquo is stocked in Om Diva, 27 Drury Street, Dublin 2 and online at aliquo.ie.
Words: Sinéad O’Reilly