Canadian jewelry brand Suetables, which has gained international attention with its product worn by Meghan Markle, is launching its latest retail location in Vancouver’s South Granville area at 2715 Granville Street.
It is the company’s fourth store in Canada with two other locations in Toronto and one in Montreal as well as a strong online presence.
“We are grateful to be expanding and growing our little Canadian business during one of the world’s toughest retail periods. In a world of technology, machines and mass production, we create smaller design runs and hand-stamped jewelry, in person for those who choose to visit us, working with customers to create something unique. We are the only ones in Canada, and maybe even North America, personalizing on site, such high-quality pendants,” said Sue Henderson, the retailer’s owner and designer.
“We were the first to do this in Canada in 2004 as I was looking for a necklace to celebrate my own children. Suetables started as a basement hobby and with a lot of love and hard work it has grown into what it is today. We are grateful for our communities and team. We are excited to bring this to Vancouver. Now more than ever – people are looking for meaningful ways to mark moments. The West Coast has always beckoned – my father was born in Vancouver and grandfather lived in Vancouver once upon a time.
“If you don’t throw it out there, it won’t come back to you. No one will give us the life we really want; we have to ask for it.”
“I can see us opening more stores but given what’s in front of us right now we’re focused on opening the Vancouver store.”
Suetables Known for Personalizing Jewelry on the Spot
She said the retailer differentiates itself from the rest of the market because it personalizes jewelry right on the spot. It doesn’t carry any costume jewelry.
Henderson said the first store opened in 2016 in Toronto. That Mount Pleasant store was turned into a flagship store at 2525 Yonge Street in October 2018. Suetables also operates stores at 363 Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto and at 1314 Greene Avenue in Westmount/Montreal.
“We don’t know for sure but as far as we know we’re the only ones in Canada personalizing such high-quality pendants,” said Henderson.
“Part of it is nobody wants to hit a $200 pendant and spell something wrong or put it in a wrong spot. Then it’s garbage. That’s part of it. The other part of it is we’ve just been doing this for a long time so we’ve got a skill set where we train people to do it.”
Henderson said the company launched a new website recently after the first lockdown. It realized that many of its customers did move online. That made the retailer realize that it needed an even better, more intuitive website.
Suetables offers modern crafted jewelry with unique stories, much of which is hand stamped on the spot. Jewelry pieces range from solid gold and sterling silver to gold filled and rose gold vermeil. In a trend that marries old-age crafting techniques with modern shapes, their affordable, accessible and high-quality jewelry embodies ‘modern craft’ – old artisan sensibilities with contemporary graphic shapes and designs.
The four retail shops – which have new products weekly – include a “design bar” which enables customers to mix and match charms, letters and words of their choice. Suetables’ trained staff letter presses onto sterling silver, gold vermeil or 10K gold charms while clients browse both the Suetables line and curated good-vibe collaborations. The company ships world wide at www.suetables.com.
“We’re not Tiffany’s. We’re affordable luxury so we actually fit in well to people who want something quality that’s going to last forever. So we fit in well to their pocketbooks and into their hearts because our jewelry tells stories and has a lot of meaning. I think there’s room for brands like that right now,” said Henderson.
“Our customer base has definitely evolved over the years but it’s pretty clear right now what it is and it’s sort of 16 to 29 and they find us online or through social media and they bring their moms in the store or send their moms to the store to buy something and then the moms come into the store and say oh wow I’d like something for myself too. We do have something for everyone but we target a more youthful demographic which brings in an older demographic.”
Meghan Markle’s wearing of the company’s jewelry has helped the retailer’s online sales dramatically.
“When Meghan Markle wears something, people worldwide start clicking on our site and suddenly you’re on the world stage for your 15 minutes of fame but if you do a good job those customers come back,” added Henderson.
“So we found that we’re building a community that’s worldwide versus locally where the stores are located.
“How to build a community around a brand keeps evolving. It’s what I think about all the time. Years ago it was the market bazaar hundreds of years ago, then it was the printed word and then radio and TV and people today talk about everything being digital like the campfire gathering but it’s online. But I think that’s even changing too. The digital landscape has become so crowded and for a small company like me the cost per click becomes harder to gain in such a flooded environment so that’s sort of our logic behind continuing to open stores and certainly the Vancouver store to find that West Coast customer that we currently don’t have in any big way.”