Local Spotlight: Willow and Fox
Tell us a little about why you started the company
I originally started making jewelry 8 years ago on a whim to do something fun with my 10 year old daughter. We bought an earring kit to make 10 pairs of earrings and my daughter lost interest after about the sixth. But not me, it ignited a fire in my soul and I’ve never looked back! My family and friends got a lot of free jewelry in the beginning. After a couple of years practising techniques and learning about supplies, I started selling in a friend’s hair salon.
I make jewelry for the pure joy of being lost in the process. When I am in the zone I have no worries, and not a care in the world. I am always on the lookout for fashion trends, watching social media for the components and supplies I need to create. You can find ideas are often drawn or scribbled on pieces of paper in my pocket. It is my strong belief that jewelry should be unique and affordable for everyone. Based on that principle, I make different lines of jewelry using materials that range in price from the less expensive base metals to high quality sterling silver and gemstones.
Tell us about your business journey so far
It has taken several years for my business to evolve to where it is now. I started by giving away jewelry to family and friends, then I started selling in two stores in my town. Those ladies loved my jewelry and never took a penny from sales, but they did get free bling. Then I met a wonderful woman that makes essential oils and locally had grown to 5 retail stores. The demand for essential oil diffusing jewelry is ever increasing and I am very proud to say that I am one of her suppliers.
What is the biggest success you’re proud of?
The biggest success I am proud of is working with the wonderful people that retail my jewelry in their specialty stores throughout Canada. Often we put our ideas together to come up with interesting unique jewelry that satisfies their customers needs. I have built friendships with these retailers as well as their customers. I love that I get calls, text and emails from people who love my jewelry. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of many important moments in their lives, such as the greatest pleasure of making silver necklaces for groups of bridesmaids.
What have been the biggest challenges and what have you learned?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is patience. I would sometimes get ahead of myself waiting for big things to happen and always end up disappointed when it didn’t happen fast enough. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was: “when it’s meant to happen, it will”.
Shopping local means you are supporting your neighbour and their family, appreciating and respecting their time and talent. It’s so wonderful to know that you are buying a “one of a kind” piece handmade with love right here in Canada. I’d way rather see the money go to the local artist as opposed to the big corporations that mass produce the same item by hundreds of thousands.