“Whatever is out there in the world, there’s someone in Canada making similar things at a high level of quality,” she says. “They’re coming out of schools like the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, they’re doing things as environmentally friendly as possible and they’re so talented.”
Topping the class is local designer Chayle Cook, whose elegant-meets-edgy hammered pieces made from reclaimed silver and copper have been gaining an increasingly enthusiastic following. The story is the same with custom jeweller Caelen Ellis, one of few regional designers who insist on using fair-mined gold in their pieces.
Also included in the buy-local list is Lissa Bowie — now living in Mexico — who once worked at Magpie, where fellow Arnprior designer Dianne Rodger is still employed. Rodger, a trained gemologist, started creating jewelry in 2002 as a way to showcase her love of stones.
Co-owner Martin Wright says he sees a big uptick in Christmas purchases that support artists like Rodger.
“To support someone in your city who also supports the city, especially as we go into the festive season, creates a positive cycle,” he says.
In the bigger picture, the market for Canadian designers like Toronto’s Anne Sportun, Montreal’s Anne-Marie Chagnon and Wade and Danielle Papin, the husband and wife team behind popular Vancouver brand Pyrrha, isn’t just a buy Canadian decision, it’s economical, adds Stone.
“The way the dollar is now, it just makes sense. There are designers out there, so why reach out to the United States or China when you can get something better made at home?”
Published on: November 30, 2015 in the Ottawa Citizen