Introducing Bermuda’s very own Super Mom
Monique Stevens is something of a superhero to her sons.
She spends her work hours fighting crime. Between shifts, the police constable focuses on her fashion collection.
Until she joined three years ago, Ms Stevens had never considered a career with the service. She studied visual arts at the Bermuda College in 2011 as it suited her long-held interest in art, dance and carpentry.
“I always have things going on in my head,” the 29-year-old said. “Because of that, I cannot keep still. I always want to do better for myself, for my sons and my boyfriend. The artistic side of me was sceptical, but once I enrolled as a police officer, I could see how much I could help people and encourage others.
“It stuck. But obviously the artistic side of me has never left.”
Ms Stevens grew up watching her mother sew. Both her grandmothers were also skilled at the machine, but she took up the practice only three years ago.
Fellow designers invited her to present her work in the Bermuda Fashion Collective that opens next week at BSoA.
“Although my schedule is really tight, I really wanted to push myself. I'd been doing little things here and there with my sewing, but I really wanted to put myself out there,” she said. “Trying to get rest, getting up to make sure I'm a competent mother, making sure my sons [Xave, 8, and Xion, 7] have their homework done — it's not easy all the time. Sometimes you miss things, but for the most part they're well-rounded little boys. I thought I could be a great role model for my sons as a police officer and they love it. At the same time, I'm trying to get what I would like to do done, so that I can be fulfilled.”
Friends always ask how she does it. Ms Stevens sells loose-leaf tea through her company, Tea Queen, and also has a line of custom ceramic cups.
Although she appreciates style, she never saw herself as being particularly interested in the fashion industry.
“I like to stand out from the crowd. I've never been one to follow trends,” she said.
Ms Stevens described her collection as “very sexy”. The Victorian influences in it are adopted from her mother Valleé Stevens' love of costume. Her “showstopping” piece is a pair of tall boots made by hand.
She learnt a lot from YouTube. Mood Fabrics in New York gave her all the materials she needed.
“I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this field to check YouTube,” she said.
“Do your research. There is so much information out there for amateurs.”
“Anything is possible,” she said. “You don't have to limit yourself to a certain lifestyle.”
The Bermuda Fashion Collective opens at BSoA on Thursday at 5.30pm. General admission is $45; front row seats are $75.
Tickets available at bdatix.bm and the Bermuda Society of Arts.
Part proceeds to be donated to The Chewstick Foundation.
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