North Texas Daily

Alumna finds human connection via jewelry

Alumna finds human connection via jewelry

Alumna finds human connection via jewelry
March 10
13:00 2023

A forgotten jump rope strewn alongside the playground may be a vessel for fun and games, but to university alumna and artist Morgan Newsoroff Zapata, the toyish cord embodies a collection of patterns and colors she can translate into something wearable.


As the owner and artist behind M.N.Z Creations, Morgan interprets daily experiences through a jewelry-making lens. Morgan interprets daily experiences through a jewelry-making lens. Alongside her small business, she works as a full-time pre-K and kindergarten teacher, where she takes inspiration from her students’ childlike wonder and playful personalities.


“I need to be teaching, I need to be out in nature and I need to be with my little learners,” Morgan said. “I need all of that in order to be an artist. You need there to be input for there to be output. I want to live a full life and then also make art, not just make art.”


M.N.Z Creations began as a creative outlet around the spring of 2021 amidst a challenging and isolating period of her life — the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Morgan had just moved to a new city in the Dallas area and was teaching elementary art. She said she struggled in a new place, especially with very little adult interaction and being so far away from her family.


Because of teaching challenges during the pandemic and feeling generally lonely, she dug out some old beads and began brainstorming on
her kitchen counter. After a sold-out Instagram story sale, Morgan began regularly marketing handmade pieces on her social media account.


“Jewelry is close to your heart,” Morgan said. “While I was making it, all I could think about [were] all the people that were going to wear it, and someday we would be able to hug and hold each other and see each other in person, and we could see the jewelry on each other. It just felt like this connection that I had to people.”


Following an influx of sales, Morgan created a website platform to organize her business model. Her sister, Emma Newsoroff, a university fashion merchandising and digital retailing senior, also helped her hone her brand’s marketing by assisting in sales techniques, content creation planning and creating engaging captions.


“She takes her time in her creative process and designing and handmaking everything she sells,” Emma said. “Nothing is done just because. There’s a reason and a passion for every little detail.”


Upon visiting her site, customers encounter a small hand holding a yellow flower, encircled by the business’ name. The logo takes inspiration from the Buddhist symbol of purity in which Buddha cradles an open lotus flower. Introduced to the representation in a yoga class, Morgan resonated with the Buddhist understanding of purity.


“I wanted to use that imagery without appropriating it,” Morgan said. “It just evolved into my logo because I wanted everything that I make and put into the world to be pure of heart. That’s kind of how I took that word purity and viewed it within my art-making.”


Morgan began practicing yoga and meditation while she learned visual art studies at the university. She said it helped her through college and became yet another inspirational facet of her jewelry. Spiritual journeys and reconnecting with “Mother Nature” both heavily influence M.N.Z Creations.


She also includes nods to ancient jewelry and Mexican culture within her pieces. After childhood family trips to Mexico, she was entranced by Latino folk art and jewelry, and that fascination traveled alongside her into adulthood.


“She’s a very cultured and self- aware person,” said Valeria Osuna Yrízar, Morgan’s past yoga instructor and close friend. “Because of her education and upbringing, she has a unique eye and appreciation for art and spirituality across the globe. […] I think it’s also what you can see in the art itself – an appreciation of different cultures and spiritual experiences.”


Having worked in other mediums and being classically trained in painting, Morgan finds a special sense of healing and connectedness through M.N.Z Creations. She loves using her business as a creative outlet in tandem with her teaching career.


Something about jewelry is that it’s just such an intimate piece,” Morgan said. “It’s just part of our habitual day, and I like that my art is a part of someone’s day. And then sometimes you start to wear something, and it becomes part of your identity. I like that the jewelry that I make is no longer mine, but now it’s someone else’s, and it means something else to them.”

Featured Image Morgan Newsoroff Zapata shows necklaces she made at her home workstation on Feb. 26, 2023. Marco Barrera

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Sarah Hogan

Sarah Hogan

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