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Get to know Mary Lee Jewellery

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Mary Lee Jewellery is an ever-evolving line, inspired by the creative whims of Mary Lee, a hobby jeweller, teacher, former ceramic artist and self-proclaimed creative. 

I carry several of her silk pendants and silk and brass/sterling silver necklaces, all hand-made previously in her studio on Prince Edward Island and now here in Ottawa. She uses primarily silk from used skirts, blouses, dresses and ties from thrift shops to put her lovely pieces together. Her necklaces and earrings are light (thanks to the silk) and truly one-of-a-kind.

What’s your background?

Most of my working years have been spent in the field of language training. I have a BA with a French Major and a B.Ed. Currently, I am working in administration for the federal government. I still volunteer in teaching to those federal employees needing to upgrade their English language skillsI started working under Mary Lee Jewellery Designs back in 2012 while living in Summerside, PE.

How would you describe your brand?
My brand is based on the values of hand-made, unique, quality products and sustainable design. I always aim for quality, affordability and originality so that the customer values the product as much as I do.

One interesting thing we might not know about you?
My dream job would’ve been as a guide dog trainer for the blind. Instead of enjoying dogs during work hours I always have a golden retriever by my side.

  • Why is it important for you to design and manufacture your line in Canada?
  • It is the nearest market and allows for the personal touch of being the point of contact for all my sales. Interacting with potential or repeat customers is a highlight of what inspires me to keep designing and growing.

  • What motivates you?
  • Working with parts of things to put them together in a unique way has always driven my participation in the art world. It is a simple approach that doesn’t involve too much studying other than experimenting with materials at hand and finding inspiration in works of like-minded artists.
  • What does your company look like down the road?
  • I want to keep it small, just myself, creating when I want to and having the benefits that come from having a hobby rather than a full-time business.

  • What’s one thing you’d change about Canada’s fashion industry?
  • I would like to see sustainable fashion become the standard rather than the exception within the fashion industry. There are nothing but advantages for the consumer, the designer and most importantly, the environment. My wish is that we come to understand and also demand quality items that last and that come from sustainable materials. Placed in the hands of local designers who are passionate about clothing, we can enjoy originality by purchasing fewer pieces and feel good about supporting our local entrepreneurs.