Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Monica Rich Kosann is a fine art photographer and accessory designer. Her eponymous brand produces several different collections of jewelry, home decor, image cases, frames, and evening bags.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
TELLING A STORY. My roots are in photography, and my point of view for all my commissions was to reveal a bit of a person’s story through my work. That morphed into being a jewelry designer, which is just another way for a woman to tell her story. I love inspiring women to tell their narratives through their jewelry, and feeling empowered from them. We most recently created a tennis bracelet collection based on the authentic tennis bracelet story of Chris Evert. She’s the reason we call it the tennis bracelet! Jewelry is connected to life. It is worn on our bodies all day. When it’s not, we feel like a part of us is missing. It travels with us on all the roads and paths we take.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
I was a very shy child, and creativity was my way of expressing myself. I was a violinist as a young girl, and I always painted, played guitar, did photography, and loved to get lost in a museum. My love of photography started when I was in high school, and I remember the feeling of using my head and eye to see things, and create an image from that. When I worked in the darkroom, and the photo appeared on the paper, it was pure emotional magic.
What is your biggest regret?
See my answer to the next question.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
I’m quite good at recovery. Perhaps it is because my parents had a pretty messy divorce when I was give, and I had no choice but to get through it. There was a lot of love in my family, and that of course helped, but I truly believe in moving on and not looking back. I have a collection called “Perseverance.” It is inspired by a French deco sculpture, and it’s in the form of a fish, because fish swim forward. I am a strong believer in not having regrets. It’s a waste of time.
What makes you cry?
Oh, I cry very easily… a commercial can break me. Sometimes, I peek at the gift cards our customers write, and I actually cry. They are so touching and inspiring. It makes me proud that I can create something that helps someone else inspire someone. I also spend time in our stores, and I always hear the most touching stories from our customers. By the end of our talk we are usually crying, laughing, and hugging!
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
I am forever grateful that I have always been able to do the things I love. I always told my kids the same thing. You must wake up in the morning and proceed with passion. Somehow you will figure out how to make a living from it. Passion is contagious.
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
Yes, I do! I think our spirits linger. Our body is no longer, but I believe our spirit lives in those we love.
What do you hate most about yourself?
That I have no patience. I try, but it’s just not in my DNA.
What do you love most about yourself?
Being first-generation American, from Austrian and Hungarian parents.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
Chicken and fries with white wine!