eL jewelry: From a hobby to a full-time business

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Lisa Goudy
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elizabeth Lyn jewelry sold by retailers after taking off last summer

Megan Hammond never imagined her hobby would expand to her jewelry being sold by retailers in three provinces.

“I still get really surprised when I see people I don’t know wearing my stuff. It’s pretty amazing, but it’s all happened pretty quickly,” she said. “At the same time I’m trying to be conscious of it growing at a steady pace instead of getting in over my head.”

Born and raised in Moose Jaw, the 31-year-old owner and designer of elizabeth Lyn (eL) jewelry started playing around with it when she owned a retail store in Saskatoon. She’s been in Saskatoon for 10 years.

“I just kind of taught myself how to make a few things and I did a little bit of a test run by putting it in the store and people really took to it,” said Hammond. “So I continued and kept playing around. My style’s completely different from when I started, but it just kind of went from there.”

She closed her business a few years ago and, with her jewelry continually being picked up by retailers, eL took off last summer. Next month, she will go full-time with her jewelry line.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Hammond. “I design and manufacture everything. Some pieces I contract out and order in large quantities and then some pieces I order from independents in Canada or in the States.”

Right now 15 retailers sell her jewelry, including retailers in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Regina, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Vancouver, Red Deer, Humboldt and Lumsden. Her jewelry is sold at the Guys ‘n’ Dawls stores in Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.

Soon she’s going to launch her online store and website at www.elizabethlyn.ca. She also has a Facebook page and Instagram account called elizabeth.lyn where people can place orders.

Her jewelry line consists of three categories: bold, lovely and elegant. Her bold line consists of lots of brass colouring and “strong pieces” with “kind of a Bohemian feel.”

The lovely line is a simpler, more delicate and more feminine line with shorter and longer chains.

“The bold and lovely lines stand well on their own, but they actually work well together as well,” said Hammond. “So if you wanted to do the layering with necklaces, you can use some of the more delicate pieces from the lovely for your shorter necklaces and then maybe one of the pieces from the bold for the longer ones.”

Her third line, elegant, is a bridal line with lots of glass pearls and vintage set stones.

“People just kind of started approaching me so I started doing it for fun, then for friends of friends and now I’ve added a bridal special event line to the collections as well,” said Hammond. “I actually had a new wedding dress store here in the city pick it up right away as well. So that’s exciting.”

Pieces in the elegant line also work well for fancy parties or dressy accessories.

“It’s kind of interesting to see what different retailers will choose from each line. So there’s definitely something for everybody in there,” said Hammond. “Depending on what your tastes are, people gravitate more towards one line or the other I find.”

She decided to name her line elizabeth Lyn because Elizabeth is her middle name and Lyn is her older sister’s middle name.

“I just wanted it to be simple and pretty,” she said. “Each piece is named after a woman’s name and most pieces are named after a woman in my life, whether it be a friend or a family member or a niece or my friend’s daughters or somebody who’s just inspired me in some way.”

She said her favourite part about designing and selling her own jewelry is to express her creativity.

“I get to be creative for a living and I have always had a creative side to me,” said Hammond. “I’ve expressed myself with it through certain ways before. I did hair for a little while and when I had the retail store, I got to have fun with merchandising and stuff like that, but I actually get to make things and design things now.

“I see people wearing the things that I made and I just hope that feeling of excitement never goes away when I see that.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Canada Medicine Hat Calgary Vancouver Red Deer

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