Jewellery Designer Alan Anderson Opens Unique Atelier Retail Space in Historic Toronto Mansion [Interview/Photos]


Share post:

Toronto-based jewellery brand Jewels by Alan Anderson has opened a new retail space, will be launching new collections soon, and in September Anderson will be celebrating 25 years as a jeweller.

Anderson founded the jewellery business in 1997 and he is now known worldwide as Canada’s couture costume jeweller where everything is handcrafted. Since outgrowing its previous Toronto location, Anderson was delighted and grateful to be able to move into the new ‘atelier’ space located at 449 Jarvis Street and it was exactly what he was looking for.  

“We are so lucky as we are on the second floor and it is 2,000 square feet and thrilled to say we are finally here. The Atelier started many years ago in a little historic Victorian building and we had outgrown it and now we are in the Edward Blake House, it is a big gothic Victorian house and it is one of the last remaining in Toronto,” says Anderson. 

Alan Anderson Jewels (Image: Alan Anderson)
Alan Anderson Jewels (Image: Alan Anderson)

The Edward Blake House was built in the gothic revival style and was named after the original owner who was the second premier of Ontario and remained in the family until 1917. The house was built back in 1891 and is one of the last remaining heritage buildings in Toronto.

“I love that for the branding because I go back to a different era with my products I am making, I am influenced by European royalty and 1930s, 1940s, and Hollywood – there is a glamorous feeling to what I do and when I got the opportunity to take this space, we moved into it and we are so lucky.” 

The 2,000 square feet space comes with all original period details, a working fireplace, moldings, and a beautiful sweeping staircase. Costumes can find a variety of jewellery such as necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, broaches, cufflinks, pendants, and jewellery boxes. 

The new location is accessible as there is parking and customers who want to experience Anderson’s are welcome to book an appointment, come in on open house days which Anderson says will hopefully be every Wednesday, or if someone is around the conor and wants to pop in, Anderson says they can give a quick call to see if they are available or not. People can also find Anderson’s jewellery in boutiques across North America and the brand ships worldwide. 

Supporting Other Local Designers 

Alan Anderson Jewels (Image: George Pimetel)
Alan Anderson Jewels (Image: Alan Anderson)

The space is three times larger than what Anderson is used to working with and he will be using the space for not only creating his work and showcasing his pieces, but will also be used to host events to support other local designers in Toronto as Anderson said he has seen a void in the Canadian retail market for Canadian design. 

“We have big box stores, but there is not really a large retailer that focuses on local Toronto brands and there are so many amazing brands: there is menswear, womenswear, accessories, and more. I think customers are looking for something different where there is a story attached, they know the person designing it, and they know where it is made – it is not fast fashion, it is cut and sewn in the city and I think that is really important to the story of what we are doing with the new Atelier and showroom.”  

Anderson says he is mapping out the year for events and is working with designers that share common aesthetics. Over the years, Anderson said he has developed friendships and networks with around twenty-five other Toronto and Canadian brands and plans to have events also showcasing their work. For example, maybe it is an event that shows women’s fashion, handbags, or suits along with Anderson’s jewellery. 

So far, Anderson is booking an event for the space every month as he already had one this month, and has one planned for May and June. In between these two events, Anderson is also doing shows in Vancouver, Boston, and Saskatoon, “but will be trying to schedule at least one or two events a month in the space with other designers” as supporting other local designers is important. 

“It doesn’t matter what city you live in, there is always amazing talent and instead of supporting fast fashion and bix box fashion that doesn’t benefit anybody, I always love the expression of when you shop from a small retail designer, you are literally shopping from the person who had the vision to create it. And it is really exciting that we now have the space to showcase other local designers as we all share a common thread of supporting each other and it is exciting.” 

What is Next?

Alan Anderson Jewels Opening Party on March 21st, 2023 (Image: George Pimetel)

In April, Anderson will be dropping the new Spring/Summer collection and later will be launching a new handbag line in collaboration with Anavi Designs. The new handbags will be handcrafted in Toronto with a jewel detail and will be available in September. 

Anderson said he will also be celebrating his 25th anniversary as a jewellery designer and is planning a celebration for his success. 

“It is amazing to think I have been doing this for 25 years and for spending my life doing something I love, and to say I followed my passion and dream for 25 years is really an amazing thing for me. 17 years ago I quit my full time job to do this, and now I am in this amazing space and I am full of gratitude and this is my immortality. I am 56 years old, and in 50, 60, or a 100 years from now, my jewellery will still be around so it is amazing it will live past me and it blows me away.” 

Related Retail Insider Articles

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter

Related articles

The New Grocery Code of Conduct Should Benefit Both Canadians and the Food Industry [Op-Ed]

An industry expert provides an overview of what the new code should improve and supply chain management practices as consumers grapple with rapid food inflation.

Columbus Café Expands Rapidly in Canada, Opening 10th Location in Montreal and Announcing First Toronto Location [Interview]

The Parisian chain is looking to grow its presence in Canada significantly with a goal for a significant number of locations, according to its broker.

Swarovski Opens Unique One-of-a-Kind Canadian Concept Store on Bloor Street in Toronto [Photos]

Toronto is one of only a handful of cities globally to feature Swarovski’s new Instant Wonder concept store design. 

Healthy Planet Expands in Southern Ontario with 4 New Locations and Innovative Healthy Planet Kitchen [Interview]

One of Canada's fastest growing health and wellness retail chains is growing its brick-and-mortar presence while launching a new concept, says its GM.

Canadian Restaurants Facing Impending Bankruptcies as CEBA Loan Repayment Deadline Looms [Survey]

Research is showing an increase in bankruptcies with a loan repayment deadline at the end of the year potentially throwing the industry into chaos.

Louis Vuitton Opens Canada’s 2nd Men’s Ready-to-Wear Concession at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal [Photos]

The luxury superbrand is growing its ready-to-wear presence in Canada in the country’s second-largest city, which will see even more clothing when a flagship Vuitton opens at Royalmount next year.

The Body Shop North America Appoints New General Manager to Expand Business: Interview with Jordan Searle

Searle discusses plans to upgrade stores with The Body Shop's new Workshop concept as the brand continues to see consumer growth amid competition.

Canadian Consumers will Abandon Checkouts if Preferred Payment Methods Unavailable [Study/Interview]

A new report examines consumer behaviour in Canada, indicating that retailers need to invest in tech to gain shopper loyalty.

Rack Attack Continues Expansion in Canada, Adding Three New Stores and Acquiring Calgary Locations [Interview]

The retailer of car racks, bike racks, rooftop tents, overlanding, and other outdoor gear is growing its operations in Canada with plans for more locations amid consumer demand.

Pilgrim CEO Robert Hayes Discusses the Jeweller’s Expansion Plans in Canada: Video Interview

The discussion includes how Hayes brought the brand into the market, what makes it so popular, wholesale expansion, and what's in store for new locations in Canada including one at CF Toronto Eaton Centre opening in late June.

Fitness Concept elleTO Growing Business with Female-Focus [Interview]

Founder Michelle Epstein discusses the rebrand and location moves which are proving successful for the 12-year old women's gym.

Montreal-Based Gourmet Salad Brand Mandy’s Sets Ambitious Expansion Plans, Eyeing National and International Growth [Interview]

The popular salad restaurant chain is looking at opening a substantial number of locations, given success after a recent expansion.