Last month, Anice Jewellery owner Britt Hopkins was interviewed for, and featured on, CBC's The Goods. The new daytime television talk show, hosted by Stephen Sabados, features segments on culture, fashion, design, home decor, relationships/sexuality, and food.
Describe your current job/role.
Owner and head Jeweller of Anice Inc. (operating as Anice Jewellery)
Give us a little history on how you got there. (What were the steps? Did you take any risks?)
I was obsessed with jewellery from a young age and it was a hobby I just couldn't shake. I worked in a bead store in my teens, started learning different kinds of basic techniques and started selling in some local shops back in Edmonton, (where I am from). I then went to business school and majored in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I moved to Toronto in 2008 to go to school for Goldsmithing and Jewellery Arts at George Brown College.
While learning more advanced jewellery techniques and expanding on what I saw my own brand becoming, I sold in various shows and markets, and began honing into custom jewellery. 2 years after graduating the jewellery program, I had developed a customer base and was in need of a space to meet with them to design and consult on their custom pieces. In December 2011 I decided to make the leap to launch a shop of my own, and in June of 2012, the Anice jewel boutique opened in Kensington Market.
It was a big risk for sure to dive into my own business. I knew my concept was good and I had a huge passion for what I do, but just like anything: it was hard to know what will happen, if people would like it, and also just how much it would really take.
In the summer of 2015 I opened our second location, on Ossington. We grew really fast in the first 3 years and needed more space for our workshops, and office for back end work and an opportunity to focus on our higher end custom designs like engagement rings and wedding bands.
It's so hard to sum up the emotion of the last 5 years of business and the risk that has come with it, but it has been the most thrilling, joyous and terrifying experience and I can't wait to see what more is to come.
What ignited your interest in the industry you work in?
The love of finding old treasures with a story, the incredible variety of jewellery styles from ancient times to now, and the fact that jewellery can really be whatever you, the individual, want it to be. The industry is such a huge one and the fact that there will always be something new to learn and discover, ignited the passion for me to be part of it. It's so exciting to know that just when I think I've seen or learned it all, theres a new (old) style that I discover, or a new design never been done before is being developed.
What is your advice to other women to achieving career success and working a job they love.
Be true to you. Go after what you want, what you feel you are the best at and what really motivates you.
For me, owning my own business has been the greatest gift and greatest challenge I could have ever imagined in my life, so far. I feel it is very important to understand your window in which to make your mark, and then be willing to work as hard as it takes to get there. I also believe that if you love something and are willing to go above and beyond to see it through, success will follow that passion.
Describe your general style at the office (professional, casual, conservative, etc?)
My general style at the workplace is a blend of bohemian, "girly" and professional. I love flowy dresses and tops, big cozy knits, fun patterns and anything that offers a great canvas to showcase a whole lot of jewellery!
Do you have your own do and don'ts for office wear?
In my line of work, the balance of blending comfort with professional is very important. My work can be very physical and messy at times in the making process, but on the consultation and sales side we are dealing with clients who may be spending a fair amount and need to see we are serious about our quality and represent the brand professionally.
Do's at the workplace for me include having your own style, rocking the pieces that make you feel confident and fabulous, while being sure not fall into comfy or lazy mode. I believe that if my customers can see I take pride in myself, they will get the impression that I do the same with my work. It is worth it to make the effort! Generally, sweat pants, yoga wear or messy hair do not give off the greatest impression nor convince anyone that you are the one for the job!