My name is Mona Baltazar, the face behind the That's Mona! brand. Originally from the Philippines, I live and work in New York as a designer. KWNTAS represents my debut jewelry collection. I also design clothes (including the garments featured in the KWNTAS galleries) and am a hair stylist at Alibi Salon NYC.
This collection, the first ever line of jewelry produced by That’s Mona!, is called KWNTAS, The Ilokano word for necklace. My native language from the Philippines lends a name to the collection as a whole and to each piece in it. Each necklace is named after the Ilokano word that inspired it, from Caada (existence) to Dayo (foreign). The collection’s inspiration comes from the convergence of two worlds—the one in which I live and the one I left behind. With roots in my native tribe of Ilokano and branches in one of the most metropolitan cities in the world, I can relate to the split identity of the KWNTAS collection. This collection mixes the feathers, wood, and fabrics of tribal motifs with hardware pieces, spikes, and studs. Two cultures that are worlds apart have come together in these KWNTAS to create beautiful pieces.