Made You Look
By YP Contributor

Jeweller Ambitions

When Sarah Dougall purchased a building in Parkdale over a decade ago, she could only hope that the neighbourhood would turn out to be the hotbed of creativity it is today. Made You Look Jewellery acts as the anchor to the west end Toronto ‘hood that is currently having its time in the sun.

Before graduating from George Brown College with a jewellery arts diploma tucked under her arm, Sarah was convinced that she would be a creating with the best of them. “I went into it thinking I would like to make jewellery for a living,” she says. However, after completing the three-year program, she realized that what Toronto had in jewellers, it lacked in retail spaces. “It occurred to me that there were no studio venues and no means of selling jewellery for grads,” Sarah notes. Other than trade shows such as the One of a Kind Show, pickings were pretty slim. So Sarah took matters into her own hands.

It’s turned into the ultimate hub for creativity…People will note that all the jewellery is Canadian and I’ll have to clarify: No, it’s all Toronto. - Sarah Dougall, owner
Made You Look Jewellery - Handmade unique Jewellery, custom designs, costume jewellery
Each piece of jewellery sold at the store-slash-studio is made in Toronto

Change of Pace

A mere 23 years old at the time (“I was a baby!” she exclaims), Sarah was determined that her shop-cum-studio be somewhere on Queen Street West — “a brand onto itself,” as she puts it. The westernmost reaches of the legendary street were the only affordable option for the young entrepreneur; she figured it was only a matter of time before the area was on the upswing. After landing on a suitable space, Sarah opened shop and populated it mostly with former classmates at first.

Made You Look Jewellery - Handmade unique Jewellery, custom designs, costume jewellery
Everything from gold to concrete and, yes, tape measures is used to manufacture baubles

Something for everyone

Up front, the boutique twinkles from all corners, with endless permutations of Toronto-designed jewellery delighting the eye. Slightly out of view, up to 20 of the in-house goldsmiths toil away in the back workspace, which is open 24-7. With wares ranging from a bargain $12 up to a more Gatsby-esque $12,000, the phrase ‘something for everyone’ has never been more on point. What began as an operation secured by a handful of jewellers has blossomed into a space that represents over a hundred Hogtown artists. Shelves and display cases boast a wide array of grab ’n’ go pieces; designer portfolios await customers’ eager fingers, showcasing the breadth of custom design-work from the city’s top jewellers.

“We make custom jewellery all day long,” notes Sarah. “Bridal is big.” Other than creating one-of-a-kind wedding bands for the almost-hitched, designers have crafted everything from a custom silver guitar pick to a gothic bronze goblet complete with a crimson drop of ‘blood’ (aka a glass bead). Designers work with the entire gold family in addition to non-traditional materials such as concrete, wood and meteorite. “There’s a contest among the designers to see who can make the most unusual work,” laughs Sarah. Kelly Blair has treated string like papier mache and turned it into bold necklaces that are featherweight; colourful tape measures have been transformed into playful brooches by the hand of Michelle Hishmeh.

“It’s turned into this ultimate hub for creativity,” says Sarah of her successful enterprise. “People will note that all the jewellery is Canadian and I’ll have to clarify: No, it’s all Toronto.”

Made You Look Jewellery - Handmade unique Jewellery, custom designs, costume jewellery
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