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This article was published 26/8/2021 (195 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.
This is a golden opportunity that came straight out of the blue.
Nominees for the upcoming Emmy and Golden Globe awards will walk the red carpet in handmade necklaces from Winnipeg-based Jillian Leigh Jewelry, but the exact way awards show organizers discovered the local jewelry brand in but remains a mystery.
“We still don’t know how they found us, but we’re really glad they did,” says co-founder and jeweler Velia Amador. “It means a lot to us to be able to participate in such a prestigious event, as it will help us gain some international visibility.”
“And if one of the celebrities liked our pieces and ordered something from us, I think I’d die,” says Jillian Sheedy, the company’s other half and a self-proclaimed celebrity enthusiast. Before being business partners, women were co-workers in a corporate office. They started Jillian Leigh together in 2018 after Amador — who had been forging jewelry as a hobby for more than a decade — offered to make custom bracelets for Sheedy’s wedding.
“We decided this could be a good partnership because we really enjoyed working together,” says Amador, who makes the jewelry while Sheedy handles the designs, photography and marketing. “I don’t have any formal training, it’s just self taught… I’ve really improved my skill level and challenged myself to learn more so we can run some of our collections .”
Together they specialize in delicate and minimalist gold filled earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and anklets.
“It has the same properties as solid gold; it’s just a bit more affordable,” says Sheedy, who decided last year to focus on adventure and his full-time photography career.
“I’m so excited to see who’s going to wear pieces that are handmade by us – it’s pretty crazy,” Sheedy said. “I never thought this opportunity would arise, especially for a few local manufacturers in a small town in Winnipeg.”