In 2017, after 10 years running Bex Rox London and selling in over 200 stores worldwide, Bex Manners decided that it was time to transition her brand. The fast-paced demands of the “fashion world” were no longer aligned with her values, and on a personal and work level she says, I was becoming more conscious about my choices in life, about social responsibility, learning about cultural sustainability and what it means in the fashion world. Bex Manners decided to go on a journey that would change how she viewed the successful jewelry brand she had spent 10 years building and found her Authentic Self.
HXNCLUB How would you describe yourself, your work and your world?
BM I would say I am deeply passionate about life and work. Innately curious, and independent. I believe that life is a journey and you learn from all experiences. The most important thing for me is to understand what I have learned from each experience with an open perspective.
HXNCLUB you had said that in 2017 you knew the “fast-paced” collections season after season was simply not right. Did anything specific happen in 2017 to shift your thinking, or was this a combination of many things?
BM I wanted to grow personally and creatively and at the speed, I was living there was never going to be a time for a change. I was running on empty and was creating collection after collection without a good work/ life balance. I was yearning for a change, for a new authentic direction. I felt detached from my world and wasn’t inspired by what I was doing anymore. I realized it was time to reconnect to me, to my creativity, which is what makes me alive, and to do that, to grow, you simply need space.
HXNCLUB Can you tell us more about what you call your “Authentic Self” – How did you come about the authentic you, and was this a revelation that knocked you off your axis for a while or..?
BM I would say over the last 2 years I have come to realize more than ever the things that make me feel alive, the things that are important to me with more clarity than ever before. I don’t think it knocked off my axis, in reverse actually it, it made me come to understand the significance of what life is. That nothing is permanent, to trust in yourself, self-compassion to believe 100% in what you do and why you do it. Have integrity, know what your core values are and above all else enjoy it and never take yourself too seriously - my 3 favorite words right now are clarity, perspective, and have a giggle.
HXNCLUB Any type of transformation changes one's outlook, practices and interactions with others, how did this transformation change you? And did it require the shedding of skin so-as-to-speak?
BM The process of letting go of a decade of my life to reevaluate it was not an easy one. It required a lot of contemplation, reflection, appreciation and time, (which is our luxury today). I trusted my intuition, looked at the bigger picture and I feel more present, connected and creative than ever before.
HXNCLUB Everyone’s journey is different, but what advice would you give to someone on finding one's Authentic Self?
BM Advice given to me from my Aunt when I first started my business was to do something every day that takes you out of your comfort zone. I have never forgotten that and when it comes to finding your Authentic Self, I feel it’s about exploration, curiosity, and diving into the unknown, you will be surprised by what you discover.
HXNCLUB Your travels seem to have taken you to wonderfully different places and cultures, where and what has made the biggest impression on you, your work and your outlook on the world?
BM Every place, every culture has a thousand stories to tell and so many more to explore. I feel the soul of each country starts with their arts and of course cuisine. You learn about the history and their influences, you see their potential and through their arts, you can engage and connect with local communities. Right now my focus is on Myanmar and Indonesia where they celebrate life through the arts. There’s a quote by Anais Nin “Life, religion, and art all converge in Bali. They have no word in their language for ‘artist’ or “art’ Everyone is an artist.”
HXNCLUB You have partnered with some heavyweights for your work in Afghan and Myanmar. What is Turquoise Mountain and how did you become part of it? What are your favorite jewelry pieces that came out of these projects?
BM I was introduced to Turquoise Mountain by Pippa Small an ethical jewelry designer and friend in London. The turquoise mountain has been spurring the craft sector in both Afghanistan and Myanmar for some years supporting local businesses in Afghanistan as well as restoring buildings to Myanmar, where we are supporting local communities and Goldsmiths to preserve traditional goldsmithing and textiles. Both projects, which are still going are very different.
HXNCLUB In Mexico, you designed bracelets with 100% profits going to provide 10 families with water, solar power, and materials for harvesting. Can you tell us about this experience, how did you come to do this. Being a good person is at your core but what does the act of being part of a project like this give back to you?
BM Mexico has always been very close to my heart and I’ve always been fascinated by the Huichol indigenous community. A dear friend Lulu Luchaire supports the Huichol community for her music and art festival in Careyes, Ondalinda. We were speaking about her festival and she wanted to give a present to her guests at the festival. I developed and designed the bracelets with Huichol references and colors. When I see the gratitude from communities and the impact we can create it fills me with joy, motivates me to do more and brings me hope. You might not be able to save the world but we can all do something, no matter how big or how small.
HXNCLUB How can all brands strive to adopt a form of consciousness into their process?
BM The first step is to recognize your current practices and where you can improve then work outwards. What your core values are, your philosophy and keep coming back to me (you). There is so much to learn but there is also so much support out there.