The moonstone bracelet is cool on my wrist, the beads smooth and almost glowing. I’m wearing a piece of jewellery created by Miranda Reid, owner of the new local business Violet & Jade. Reid uses high quality gemstones and commercial strength cord to create beaded bracelets and Mala necklaces.
“I’ve always been drawn to gemstones,” says Reid. In fact, she is a Certified Gemmologist Appraiser, with The American Gem Society “There are actually a few gemmologists in town,” Reid laughs. She worked for several years at a family owned jewellery store in London, Ontario, along with a few years at the Calgary jewellery store, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, where she authenticated and appraised jewellery, from modern to vintage; diamonds to pocket watches. “Pocket watches can actually take weeks to value,” she says. “You have to assess them layer by layer.”
Her progression into creating seems an organic one. Reid and her husband, like so many of us, moved to Revelstoke for the community and the outdoor pursuits. “This is the kind of place we wanted to raise our daughter,” she explains. “There is so much here for little kids.” In Revelstoke, she knew working as a Gemmologist wasn’t a viable career option. “But I was happy to come to Revelstoke and figure out what I could do when my daughter got a bit older.”
“I’m enjoying working with gem beads and creating, but I don’t work with silver or gold, unless they’re accent beads,” she says.
Wrapped around Reid’s own wrist is a Jade bracelet. Her company name is a combination of both her favourite stone and the name of her young daughter.
“In metaphysical healing, Jade supports the renal system, which affected my grandmother, so I wear it for her,” says Reid.
I settle into my seat near Reid’s workspace as she unpackages skeins of gems that have arrived in the mail. There is black onyx and turquoise, sandalwood and silver beads. I spy what turns out to be howlite, a beautiful veined white gem. “It’s often dyed to mimic turquoise, which looks cheap and terrible,” says Reid. “It’s one reason why sourcing high quality beads was important to me.” Being dyed seems unnecessary. The stone looks lovely in its natural colour, rather than pretending to be something else.
There are several bracelets ready to be mailed. They are both single and double strand.
Reid is working on a custom order mala. She counts and lays out her beads before she starts stringing them, knotting between each bead in a rather time consuming process. Her beading is different to other artists in town; there are no lava beads for essential oils in her work (though she does do lava bead bracelets). On some of her pieces she strings sandalwood; the rich smell being released as it warms against its wearers skin.
When Reid first started beading, she created various sizes of a single wrap bracelet. After approaching Kidz on Main, Reid made a selection of bracelets for parents and their kids. Customers can select matching or different bracelets, and the sizing is for about three years plus.
“I’ve definitely kid tested them,” she says. “My own daughter has been wearing them and, in full hulk tantrum, only ever managed to break one.” If on the off chance someone else manages to break a bracelet, they can bring the gem beads back and Reid will restring them.
Violet & Jade have been selling well at Kidz on Main, and Reid would like to expand to a couple of stores out of town and takes many custom orders.
“I’m loving being back at work, and I love working with stones again,” she says. “I’m so happy that the community has been positive and receptive of my work.”
To view Miranda’s work, check out her instagram @violetandjadeco or head down to Kidz on Main in Revelstoke.