We Are Randox | Meet our award-winning Costume Designer, Monika!
At Randox we pride ourselves on being a global company with an international team of over 1400 people from 145 different countries.
Our dedicated workforce have a range of talents and skills that they bring with them to Randox each day. But the commitment and dedication of our hard-working workforce doesn’t end when they leave the office. Randox employees have a wide range of hobbies and interesting talents and we are delighted to be able to share some of these with you through our We Are Randox series.
Recently Monika, one of our valued Manufacturing and Despatch Operatives at Randox took the time to tell us about her passion for designing and creating unique handmade costumes for Festivals found throughout Northern Ireland.
Here is Monika’s story:
“I joined Randox in Northern Ireland roughly about 5 months ago as a Manufacturing and Despatch Operative in our Mivan site based in Crumlin. I was really happy to land a job within an international organisation that employed a wide range of people from different cultures and different backgrounds.
Back in Poland, where I am originally from, I studied full time for 6 years in the OSSP Art School. For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in arts and crafts so it came naturally to me when I first started to design costumes.
I prefer to design my own original work and not copy anyone else’s designs. My favourite type of costumes to design are ancient religious characters from past centuries and eras. As there is no proof or documentation which illustrates what they ‘should’ look like, it gives me free reign to be as creative as I want to be. Nobody is able to say whether your design is right or wrong, you can only imagine what it is supposed to look like.
There are a variety of different festivals and competitions that I am able to enter including the MCM Comic Con and the Show Master competition. The first competition that I entered here in Northern Ireland was the MCM Comic Con in 2015 which takes place every year in Belfast. It takes me roughly around 100 hours to make one costume as they are all handmade so it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. This festival attracts about 16,000 people each time so I was thrilled to win first place the first time that I entered!
The winning design I created was an old European folklore costume that the judges loved. This encouraged me to enter the summer MCM Comic competition which took place in July. I designed an Aztec God costume for this entry and ended up coming in at first place again which was a great achievement. I was presented with a trophy and money voucher when I won both of these competitions which was great.
The next competition that I hope to enter is the 2017 MCM Comic Con competition which is set to take place in March. For the March competition I am designing a Witch Doctor outfit and I am intrigued to see what way the final design will turn out.
I’m a fully qualified artist and every costume I design I can sell on under my brand name – Eliot Von Valentino – but they are all quite expensive.
Everything I create is handmade using materials such as leather which is extremely costly. I had to skin my leather sofa once to get the amount of leather that I needed to create my design!
I also use natural gem stones which are all individually sewed on. I take a lot of pride in my designs and I finance them all myself which is sometimes difficult as the materials needed to complete my designs are so expensive and hard to come by.
In the future I have high aspirations to enter the bigger competitions that take place in London. They draw in crowds of 120,000 so it would be a good opportunity to showcase my work to such a large scale audience.”
We look forward to seeing Monika’s latest design this coming March for her next competition. Good Luck Monika!
If you are interested in joining the multi-talented and passionate team we have here at Randox please visit our careers page for current vacancies.