The Story of MUN is one of passion, curiosity, frustration, sensuality, risk and love.
The year was 2017…
– when jewellery designer Thor Høy, together with his wife Marianne Poulsen and a team of highly skilled professionals, launched the men’s jewellery brand Men Up North.
Striving to build a locally rooted brand with an international scope, Men Up North represents a wide, but deeply specialized selection of classical men’s jewellery pieces and accessories – most of them with a twist, all conceived with a keen eye for even the smallest detail.
Men’s jewellery and accessories – cufflinks, bracelets, tie pins, bars and tags, collar stays, rings and necklaces – are seeing a revival. For a man to accentuate his identity and style with a keen eye for detail is no longer limited by class or status. Why not be the best-dressed guy in the room?
A brand – a vision
We love jewellery –
The joy it brings, the many stories connected to it, and the many declarations of love that were sealed with a piece of it. We’re fascinated at the properties of the metals, the radiance of the stones… we can’t not make jewellery!
There’s also some pretty noticeable contrasts in the world of jewellery, though – from people who make a modest living mining the precious metals and stones, to those able to buy a €5000 pair of cufflinks without even blinking.
How to reconcile these contrasts without going bonkers?
For us, it begins with having a real-world vision: We want to be leaders in sustainable sourcing and production of our jewellery – and we want to contribute to a greener, more responsible jewellery industry. We pledge to donate 10% of our profits to projects in sustainable, clean energy, and to source from and invest in manufacturers with a sustainable outlook. In keeping with this we strive to keep production close by us, with as much of it in Denmark as possible – currently some of it is done in Germany, with only minor input from outside the EU. It’s important to us that craftsmanship competence is supported locally, because we cherish the magic that occurs when the artist and the craftsman work closely with each other and feed off of each other’s energy and skills.
It has taken hundreds and hundreds of years to build the skills and culture of these craftspeople. If we neglect to nurture them, perhaps thinking taking the jobs elsewhere is better for our bottom line, it takes only a decade or two before the skills are gone. Perhaps forever. The input and knowledge from the craftsman or -woman is a ressource – without it, the artist’s vision may be clipped by a lack of understanding of the craft. We think it’s worth caring for.
Additionally, we aim to be able to trust our suppliers, which is certainly also helped by close, personal, frequent contact. In the current environment of the business it isn’t always easy to ascertain the origins of metals, or if the gems are truly conflict-free. We will continue to address the obstacles of supply stability, price points etc. in pursuit of a fairtrade-certified supply chain for our precious metals. It ain’t easy but we will get there.
Diamonds, however, can now be manufactured in a controlled environment anywhere in the world – this is called “Lab-Grown Diamonds”, a process that results in true diamonds that possess all of the characteristics of a stone dug out of a mine. Only they’re a little bit less expensive, eco-friendly, and 100% guaranteed conflict-free. In the coming years, MUN will replace all of our mined diamonds with genuine lab-grown stones, in a contribution to a more sustainable jewellery business.
We have a vision for ourselves, too…
MUN is a company built on openness and trust and a desire to do a proper good job on all levels. We want our work to be top-notch, our sourcing to be ethically responsible. Every employee has a right to feel valued and trusted – we want everyone to want to get MUN under their skin. We’re a young business, we want to break new paths, and the ideas for how to do things in new ways may come from anywhere; our employees, managers, the customers, our partners. We want to hold on to this dynamic reality and keep ourselves open to the value it brings.
Men Up North ApS
CVR/VAT no.: 38187767+45 2670 4312
Our founder – bio
Into the world of jewellery
The journey began when Thor Høy met a person of much warmth and openness – an expert craftsman known as Søren Silversmith. “He trusted in my ability and determination, and taught me to work with the kind of people who love what they do” – Søren, a master of wax carving and a true genius at proportioning, created the first silver Trollbead, and urged Thor to work with the company as well. This has led to many a lovely Trollbead from Thor’s hand, each with its own, unique story.
Working with (more of) the best
In 2011 Thor started working with internationally renowned brand House Georg Jensen, doing product development and design in the jewellery division. A few years later, having extensively proven his sense of form, concept development and construction, the opportunity arose for Thor to start creating his own signature collections, particularly for the revival of GJ’s men’s line – jewellery, watches and accessories.
The next few years were a time of learning, working with world-class craftsmen – gold- and silversmiths, stone setters and chasers as skilled as any on the planet. Georg Jensen manufactures silverware up to and beyond the million-kroner mark and has traditionally employed only the best. As well as gaining invaluable knowledge about the craft and design, Thor also absorbed extensive experience working in this field, getting insight into the politics of such an organisation, working the process, dealing with everything from development, sourcing and quality control to PR, visual merchandising and customer service.
– and then the time had finally come…
In the summer of 2015, the year of his 40th birthday, it was time to move on. Thor yearned to get back to the life of entrepreneurship and being his own master, and had long held a dream of a gent’s brand of jewellery and accessories all of his own. Sometimes, though, you have to catch an outfielder – out of the blue, our boy was headhunted for a position as in-house product designer by the multi-brand design house Rosendahl Group, holding such brands as Holmegaard, Kaj Bojesen etc. Another year full of learning followed, exposing the secrets of glass-making, porcelain, injection-molded plastic, and wood. During this period Thor frequently spent time in China, visiting suppliers and gaining further insight into the ins and outs of a large, diverse international organisation like this.
The dream of jewellery for men was still there, though, and the pull of it too strong to be quelled, even as new knowledge and experience poured into his head – and so it came to be that, as 2016 ran towards a close, Thor made the transition to external designer for Rosendahl, and assembled the team he needed around him to launch MEN UP NORTH.
– and the rest is history that’s still being written…
Thor Høy – Blue Book
A designer since the early 00’s, Thor is a creative at heart, originally with an emphasis on furniture and lighting, getting his first commercial breakthrough with his radiant Escher pendant.Originally a builder and carpenter by trade – and later a product developer with a speciality in design from the Copenhagen Academy for Design and Technology – he also had some career stretches where we destroyed stuff, blowing things up as a demolitions engineer in the Danish armed forces, and smashing innocent and defenseless fruits and vegetables into delicious juices and smoothies in his own juice bar by the Copenhagen lakes.