New friends in Florida

Two weeks away in the Sunshine State!… OK… Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me… it’s a magical place. (No, not just Disney World… All of Florida!)

I’ve always loved Florida. It was our annual family holiday destination for most of the late 70’s and early 80’s. (Memories of Miami Vice 1984 anyone?) I have the fondest memories of swimming in the ocean with my brother, our Oma giving us change for Orange Crush and Mountain Dew from the hotel pop machines, Flamingos and Pelicans. When I was growing up, my Mom and Dad both (more…)

Wedding Traditions

It’s that exciting time of year again, where many brides are out and about at Wedding Shows and Bridal shops searching for all of the perfect details to make their special day extra magical.

I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the traditions that most of us follow and tell you about where they came from.

Spring Colour Trends

Spring is in the air! Even though most of us are still cocooning at home with fuzzy slippers and a hot chocolate, we are also counting the days to the sun and fun that is right around the corner.  I’ve been spending many of these cold days in my toasty cozy studio creating a collection that is sure to warm you glam girls up for spring.

Fashion Trends are moving towards brighter hues mixing with their soft pastel counterparts.   We’re seeing it everywhere, even (more…)

A Great Reason to visit Fenlon Falls

I’m sure there are some of you that spend the summer months cottaging in the beautiful Kawartha’s, perhaps you live there, or maybe you have enjoyed the area as a day trip, as it is only a 2 hour drive from Toronto. If you haven’t been, it’s time to go… and I’ll tell you why! (more…)

Why is red the colour of love?

I know that I’ve always been attracted to red. A piece of red furniture in a room looks sophisticated, a red door on a house always looks welcoming, a red sweater makes me feel confident and red high heeled shoes make me look powerful. So what is it about red that gets us all hot ‘n’ bothered for Valentines day? Here are some fun facts (more…)

The Bib Necklace

What is this uber-fashionable necklace that is hitting all the runways this season?  Why are they calling it “the bib“? Just makes me think that I’m wearing something that’s going to be a food catcher.  My Husband, Wayne has something like that, and he calls it A Beard!

Believe it or not, the Bib style Necklace dates back to Egyptian times.  A style that both Nefertiti and Cleopatra adorned themselves in.  These necklaces were absolutely stunning and sparkled beautifully against their linen gowns and sun kissed skin.  They were hand made from hammered metals and set with precious Stones. The Egyptian Royalty were even buried with their jewels because they believed they could use them in the after life.
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Quebec has Style

As many of you may already know, because of my many Facebook and twitter updates, I’ve been spending most of January traveling throughout our beautiful province of Ontario and also venturing over into Quebec!

Quebec is fairly new territory for me as a jewelry designer. I’ve heard mixed opinions about doing business with our French neighbours and have even had a few negative experiences myself.  My first crack at it was a three day trade show in Montreal. 100 stores came through and I ended up with a whopping 0 orders (yup, that’s right… zero, zilch, nada!), and that scared me!  That’s when the road down negative lane began.  How could this have happened?  Why me? I’ve NEVER had an experience like this before.   I asked everyone for their opinion! Here were some of the answers that I got.  “Quebec people stick with their own designers”, “If you can’t speak French just forget it”, “Your colours are too bright”, “They like metal, not beads.”  Writing these reasons out now makes me realize how ridiculous they are.  For some reason I wasn’t processing these opinions, I was just letting them validate the reason why I was being rejected by Quebec!

You know when they say, NEVER let your ego guide you through life, ummmm I think this is one example of what they’re talking about.

I kept those stories about Quebec in my head for 3 years!  Then one day I was speaking with a good friend, Brenda Beddome, who is an incredible clothing designer!  We were discussing our retail accounts and giving each other leads.  Brenda then said to me, “Why aren’t you in Quebec?”. I opened my mouth and out came the “stories”…. blah blah blah…. It sounded terrible just to repeat what I had heard.  Brenda said, “I don’t speak French and we have some great accounts there, here are some names, go visit them”…. WHAT????? REALLY???? I was sure that Brenda must know of some secret formula that I didn’t have. I phoned those stores to make appointments… and they all said, YES!

First appointment was in Montreal; they loved the julz and placed an order!  Second Appointment in Montreal, they loved the julz and placed an order!  Then over to Saint Lambert, you guessed it, LOVED glamjulz!!!!!!!!!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!! I was thrilled and relieved, and my love for Quebec was reinvigorated!

It’s been such a pleasure visiting with them all over the last week and showing them the 2012 spring collection.  They all mentioned that they especially love the julz because they dress up any outfit. Walking through Montreal I had noticed how “together” the women and men look.  There are no track pants and hoodies, 80% of the people are “dressed” when they leave the house.  Stylish, coordinated, and proud of the way they look.  I think that’s one of the reasons why the boutiques here do so well, the staff is trained to “style” their customers and give them lots of attention. Customer service is always the first priority in any business.  It’s wonderful to see, and the French language makes the whole experience even more romantic.

By the way, if you want to do business in Quebec and, like me, you barely passed French because you were too busy chasing boys or passing notes back and forth in high school, don’t worry about it!  Just smile!  Say “bonjour” and try your best!  Vive le Canada!

Curling with August Moon

Last weekend I was invited by Ashley Waye, Owner of August Moon to sell glamjulz at the Royal Canadian Curling Club in Toronto.  She and her team mates were participating in a “Bonspiel” and wanted to have some great exhibitors there so they could shop between games. Ashley is not only the owner of two beautiful locations in Rosseau and Port Carling but also a lawyer and curling since the age of 6!  This 20 something entrepreneur is a real firecracker!

Okay so let’s back it up!  What the heck is a “Bonspiel?” A 20 something girl that curls? I thought this sport was for the over 40 crowd! A glamjulz booth at the game? I’m gonna freeze!!!! Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I graciously accepted the offer.

Pulling up to the building that day actually gave me goosebumps! A gorgeous historical building tucked away at Queen and Broadview. The building was built in 1906 and originally called the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club. In addition to cycling the club also offered ice skating, hockey, curling and 5 pin bowling.  In 1953 the club changed it’s name and focused only on curling.

When I walked in I was surprised to see over 100 women out on the ice, all different ages, ranging from 20 to 60+!  It gave me such a great feeling.  Another “proud to be Canadian” moment I suppose! And it was definitely NOT freezing! This club had the best set up. A beautiful lounge that overlooked the ice that was toasty warm. The players were greeted with Bailey’s and coffee which I’m sure kept them warm on the ice too! The “Bonspiel” simply meant that this was a tournament played for fun between several different teams. Some believe that the term originated in the mid 1800’s when a French/German immigrant yelled out, “Bon Spiel” at a game, translation  “Good play”. I suppose that makes sense!

The day was filled with fun!  It was great to see Ashley out there with her teammates and I met another courageous entrepreneur Alicia Vianga who owns her own lingerie store Premiere Jour, and is also a blogger for the Huffington Post. Alicia was also thrilled when she won a glamjulz necklace from the “Bonspiel” raffle!

What a great adventure self-employment can be. Opportunity knocks all the time and you never know which door is going to lead you to something new. Making connections and having fun is what it’s all about.  I’m so happy that I ventured out and had a great time with some amazing women on a cold day in January!

Recession = Creativity = Prosperity

It seems like the last few years all we’ve been hearing on the news is how brutal the economy is and how we’re going deeper and deeper in debt as a nation.  Do you believe everything that you hear?  Do these accusations from our media keep you up at night? Or when you hear them do you choose to switch the channel and listen to something more uplifting that will help you approach your day in a positive way?

I think sometimes it is difficult to stay positive, fear is something that we will often allow to seep in.   Fear possesses our minds for a short time or a long time but at some point we need to find a new perspective.

In the fashion business I’ve noticed that colour trends have been somewhat conservative over the last few seasons, lots of grey, lots of navy, black, white and very monochromatic colour palettes featured on all the runways.  My pride in glamjulz is that we really try to keep optimism, joy and hope alive in our jewlery and the mixture of vibrant colours in a necklace can be just the right pick me up for someone that wants to express those feelings.

I’ve seen GREAT success out there with many of the retailers that are carrying glamjulz in their stores.  Despite what the media is saying.  I find that these entrepreneurial store owners all have the same thing in common.  Great service!  They take great pride in the relationships they have with each person that walks through their door and really take care to make sure customers leave the store wearing an outfit that makes them feel fantastic, whether it cost $100 or $1,000!  These women have their perspective in check!  They stand by the dream that started their business and they never waver.  That takes courage and a willingness to create a world which others may think does not exist.

I’ve noticed that some of the most successful people in the world have thrived when economic conditions were not ideal.  I heard a recent interview with Peter Gabriel where he said, “I think the worst thing you can do for any artist is give them complete freedom. If you say to an artist, you can’t do this and you can’t do that and you definitely can’t do this then by nature they are devious and they start thinking of solutions in more creative ways.”  He closed the interview by saying that “limitations are your friends”.

What an interesting perspective.  We do see in society that often it is external limitations that gives us the fire to create!  Here are some really amazing people that are doing just that today.  Take some time to listen and watch these amazing people change their worlds.

Twenty-somethings changing the city of Detroit as we know it.

A man who came to the Yukon to farm for mushrooms and created thousands of jobs when he found gold.

In the meantime enjoy your glamjulz pieces!  Show off your inner vibrancy, layer your lime green necklace with your purple one if that makes you feel good and for goodness sakes if the media is telling you stuff you don’t want to hear change the station and make a change in your life for the better!

Costume Jewelry vs. Fashion Jewelry

My husband, Wayne said something interesting yesterday.  He said, “It kinda’ bugs me when people refer to our pieces as costume jewelry. They are not for costumes. You don’t see Batman running around wearing glamjulz… Not that there would be anything wrong with that!”

Okay I could only disagree with that statement if I was making julz like these ones that our dear Elizabeth Taylor is sporting, but Wayne was absolutely right.  Then I asked myself, where did that label ever come from? So I decided to dig a little deeper.   Apparently the term costume jewelry dates back to the early 20th century.  At one time we humans used the word “costume” to refer to what is now called an “outfit”.  An example of this would be, “a gorgeous dining costume of purple silk.”  So the whole theory is that costume jewelry is meant to complement your favourite fashion garment! Hence the name “costume jewelry”.

Now I don’t know about you guys but the last time I went out to the pub with my friends in my best Jeans and new sweater, I certainly didn’t ask my husband if he liked my costume.  So I would have to agree with Wayne, costume jewelry is not the label I would put on glamjulz.  Maybe not even fashion jewelry.  What we need is for someone to create a new name that describes “Amazing custom handmade jewelry which is a vehicle for women to express their uniqueness and individuality and who cares what everyone else is wearing, jewelry“?  Now THAT would be something!