Name: Gillian Batcher
What’s a typical day like for you?
I have a few different types of days set up each week. One day a week I pick up supplies for my store or gemstones for my custom work all with my infant daughter in tow.
Another type of day consists of working in the store helping customers and making my own jewellery in between.
I try for one day per week to focus on my daughter and playdates with other moms and babies. And there are the day(s) where my husband and I spend family time with our daughter and dog amidst household errands.
What in your life is really important to you?
Everything in my life is important to me. I love my family dearly but I am also proud of my career and what I have been able to achieve as both an independent artist and as the owner of a larger business entity.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as someone who created the environment around them that they wanted to exist. I wanted to work in a collaborative community in the arts that supported artistic development as well business development.
After completing a residency in the metal studio at Harbourfront Center I realized my vision wasn’t quite represented in the for profit business models I found, so I worked to turn my vision into a reality.
What role does fashion play in your life?
Fashion allows me to express my creative identity in a highly visible way. I love all colours and am not shy about trying new and unusual things.
What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
I love to support Canadian designers and wear clothing that is ethically made. Supporting Canadian-made plays an important role in both sustaining and strengthening the creative economy at home.
How did Jewel Envy come to be?
Jewel Envy was established in 2006 as a studio/boutique store located at Spadina and Adelaide.
After six years in this location it was at capacity for membership, classes, and had outgrown the retail space.
In the summer of 2012 I purchased this rundown rooming house that filled me with excitement, even though no one else wanted it, and began restoring the historical design elements while incorporating a modern aesthetic to the space.
After an intense three month renovation Jewel Envy relocated to Roncesvalles with over 2000 square feet of retail and studio space.
Jewel Envy is the only private studio in the city that has long term bench rental for professional goldsmiths, short term rentals, classes taught exclusively by the resident jewellers, and sells only work made by the resident goldsmiths.
It is also the best equipped private studio for goldsmiths in Toronto!
What is your favorite part about being a Goldsmith?
I love using jewellery as the medium for expressing my ideas. Just as a painter uses a canvas, my work is about more than an accessory you wear- it is meant to tell a story. Some of those stories are about the human condition and are both personal and universal, while others are the personal stories of those that commission the pieces. I enjoy designing my own art pieces just as much as collaborating with others as jewellery is a wonderful medium to capture and convey emotion.
What do you have that you want to promote?
Jewel Envy is launching some exciting features this spring.
The first to launch is our online shop which is live now.
The shop will feature special jewellery from our in-house goldsmiths that will be available for purchase online for a limited time.
These features will rotate and last for 1-2 months at a time. Our online shop is new and we are really excited about providing our customers with the opportunity to shop special collections from home.
The second launch will take place in May with specially curated exhibitions of work in the picture windows along Roncesvalles.
This exhibition space will change every couple months and will give the resident goldsmiths the opportunity to think beyond their work and incorporate their unique aesthetic into creative displays that highlight their amazing work.
Where can people find you on social media?
Gillian Batcher/PASH Jewellery Design