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Ozlem M. Manness (Oz) was born and raised in Istanbul Turkey.
Her parents were big travellers and always took her everywhere they went – instilling early a deep love for travel. When she was 15, Oz spent a summer in London, England at Felsted School with students from all over Europe. Having always been interested in different cultures, this London adventure sealed the deal for her! She knew from that point on that she wanted to explore the world, and experience different continents.
In 2000 – after earning a scholarship to Saint Mary’s University - she decided to move to Canada on her own, and enrolled in Advanced Political Science and German Studies.
Fashion and jewelry were always a passion for Oz. While completing her double major, she started her jewelry business. Well truthfully it didn’t start as a business, but it quickly turned into one when all of her friends, professors and classmates started lining up in front of the jewelry booth which she set up at the university.
Her jewelry pieces were all unique and hand created. She started taking orders for custom pieces, catering to the desires of customers near and far. Motivated by her friends (turned customers), Oz saw the opportunity and decided to take this side-venture more seriously. She decided to extend her degree one more year, and added a Business minor to her existing double major.
In an effort to get her name out there and see what other local talents had to offer, Oz started attending Young Designer Showcases, local markets, and festivals. Shortly after, she started attending tradeshows, and distributing her jewelry across Canada. Just like that, her brand Moda was born! If you’re wondering where the name “Moda” came from, it actually means “fashion” in many European languages, including Oz’s mother tongue, Turkish.
Oz’s statement pieces were noticed by many celebrities including: Alicia Silverstone, Keisha Chante, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sophia Myles, Lisa Rinna and Mary Zilba. Moda was worn to the Oscars, Emmys and Canadian Screen Guild Awards.
The biggest moment (thus far) for Oz came when Beyoncé fell in love with her designs, and wore Moda to the ‘Beyoncé Experience World Tour’, in one of her music videos, and her live DVD. Beyoncé wore three different pieces from the Moda collection, and that year Oz was featured on People, US Weekly, Lou Lou Magazine, Toronto Star and the Chronicle Herald, as well as on ETalk, a Canadian entertainment show.
In 2011, Oz opened her flagship store ‘House of Moda’ in her town of Halifax, NS. With the grand opening, she introduced her dainty silver collection - adding then, what is now considered a signature line - to her existing line of unique statement jewelry pieces. House of Moda was quickly creating a jewellery culture of mix-and-match pieces, and was showing people how to be uniquely different in expressing themselves through fashion.
With the birth of her baby girl Chiara Su in 2018, she launched her new Kismet Charm Collection in Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil. Since its launch, the Kismet Collection has been the hottest thing at House of Moda, with custom orders being created every day.
House of Moda continues to grow daily; her pieces can be found in boutiques across Canada, they are also available online and in store at House of Moda.
Jenn Alderman was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In 2010 she moved to the UK to be an au pair. Following her European adventure, she decided to return to Halifax, NS and was accepted into the Business Program at Dalhousie University.
“I love working in the fashion industry, it’s experiencing so much growth and it’s exciting to be a part of. Working in a small team allows you to really get involved with all aspects of the business. I’ve learned so much from Ozlem, she’s an amazing business woman.”