New crown is handiwork of first Miss Cebu titlist

Posted on January 15, 2011

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The crown worn Wednesday night by Miss Cebu 2011 is a lustrous new piece fashioned by the pageant's first title holder, Janice Bañez Minor.

Twenty seven years after she was judged Cebu City's loveliest, the former Janice Bañez, still a regal figure with waist-length dark hair, is a global exporter of home and furniture accessories.

But this was the first time she ever made a crown.

The headpiece glittering with rhinestones and high-grade Swarovski crystals was produced by Minor's team in her factory in Lapu-Lapu City.

“I have never made a crown in my life. In fact, I was hesitant to take the job because I have never done this before. (The organizers) were right in saying it would mean something special coming from a former Miss Cebu, so I made myself do it,” Minor told Cebu Daily News.

The crown’s core is shaped by hand from brass. Rhinestones were welded in place and carefully soldered with Swarovski crystals.

Minor said she focused on creating a piece that she herself would love to wear.

“I used a lot of rhinestones and zirconium. I was very lavish with the Swarovski crystals. I wouldn't put a price on it anymore,” Minor said.

Swarovski crystals shaped as teardrops and balls, 25 millimeter in diameter, dangle on the crown.

The Cebu City Tourism Commission approached Minor shortly before Christmas. With her busy schedule, she strived to design something fit for a queenly Cebuana. Fortunately, she had materials on stock.

“I went over the design again and again until I was satisfied on paper. Then we started making it. From the day we started to forge it, it took us two weeks,” she said.

“It's very satisfying to make something that I would wear myself. If roles were reversed, and I’d put myself in the shoes of Miss Cebu, I would be very proud with that crown on my head.”

Minor would have wanted to unveil the crown herself in the pageant's Coronation Night on Wednesday at the ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel but her schedule was full as she was preparing sample designs of her furniture and jewelry for a business trip to Paris.

Minor set up Janice Minor Export Inc. in 1988. The company, which she runs with husband Paul, is a “pioneer in using mixed media” and currently exports orders to Europe, America, the Middle East and key Asian cities.