Anzie Jewelry, Designer + CEO
Anzie Jewelry, President
Anzie and JAC + JO Jewelry, VP of Sales
Created in Montreal, Anzie’s pieces are classic, colorful expressions that highlight the natural beauty and style today’s generation. Anzie was an accomplished artist making paintings and etchings when her husband Barry was diagnosed with colon cancer. To help them cope they created a line of jewelry to help raise funds for colorectal cancer awareness. The success of their first piece, the Lifesaver Bracelet, led to the official launch of Anzie jewelry in 1999. Anzie and her daughters Jaclyn and Joanna now express their talent through the design of colourful jewelry. In May of 2018, they decided to launch JAC + JO, an accessible priced collection of fine jewelry. Handmade in Montreal, JAC+JO Jewelry is designed to make women feel strong and empowered. A portion of JAC+JO sales will be donated to women’s interest groups.
Where did the inspiration for your business stem from?
My mother taught me to enjoy art from a young age, I remember drawing with her as a 2-year-old. I always loved colour and design. When I was around 8 years old, I discovered the career of a fashion designer and wanted to pursue that. I was inspired by everything around me. This included my friend’s parent’s wardrobes; we spent a lot of time in their closets dressing up. I watched a lot of Joan Rivers and E! Channel. I loved watching fashion shows and noticing costume design in movies. From then on, I drew women and designed the clothing I wanted to wear. I started beading with my family at a young age as well. When my father got sick, we all put our heads together to create a business that would sustain our family and that we could enjoy at the same time. The first collection we created was the Lifesaver Bracelets. A colourful bracelet that would raise funds for non-profit organizations. After that, my mother and I took over the designing and decided to grow the collection to include fine jewelry. Today we have over 4000 pieces in our library and we’re very proud of the clients and retailers who carry our collection. – Jaclyn
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be shy, if you exude confidence that it is contagious. It’s important that people like you as a person and know your story as well as your product. Each piece or collection needs a story about what inspired it. – Jaclyn
What are your goals for the next five years?
Launch our new website and focus on video, high quality photography, and personalization continue to grow our business with current retailers, focus on experiences for clients in stores. personalization, trunk show events, personal appearances. Open a retail store in Canada and the US. – Jaclyn
What is your favourite component to your workspace and why?
My favorite component in our workspace is all of the incredible gemstones that we work with on a daily basis. The most exciting part of the process is coming out with a finished piece and seeing it come to life from rough to finished, beginning to end. I love seeing other people enjoying our jewelry. – Anzie
Tell us about an obstacle you faced with in your life, how did you overcome it?
My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 41 and I had three young children. My husband was and still is the most determined person I know. I learned that life is a journey and If you take one day at a time, stay positive and determined you can give yourself a chance to overcome some of the most difficult moments in your life. I knew I had to keep busy, so as an emotional outlet my husband encouraged me to collection gemstones and I began creating jewelry. To this day, I keep busy wherever I go I am always working on something creative, either in the garden or making bracelets. My daughter’s joke that if you want to find me, just look for the trail of beads behind me. – Anzie
Why is community important to you?
Community gives you a sense of belonging and reminds us where our roots are and what’s most important to us. I am blessed to have an incredible community around my family and I. – Anzie
What is the best part of what you do and why?
The best part about what I do is working with my mom and sister, Anzie and Jaclyn! They are both hard working, brilliant, creative women and I am constantly inspired by them. They launched Anzie together with my father when my sister was just 18. By working together, we can spend even more time together and be candid with each other. – Joanna
In your opinion, where is the best place to visit in your city?
The best place to visit in Montreal is Mount Royal/Beaver Lake. There is nothing like walking up the mountain with my dog early in the morning, seeing the city skyline. I used to go there every morning to walk and do my stretches at the lookout. It’s also so motivating going to the mountain and seeing people of all ages exercising. – Joanna
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Find a niche and stick to it. Specialize in a specific product, you cannot be everything to everyone. You can have a million ideas but if you focus in on a specific idea you will master it. Try to keep your specifics to a minimum. – Joanna