With the creation of this new webstore we’re hoping to offer beading and jewelry supplies online. “So many bands are contacting us for all of their beading needs. So, we’re offering a special band discount on all orders and of course, free shipping on orders over $100.”
Kate Roxburgh had worked for most of her life in the social services and helping field and Topaz was the perfect fit for her energetic, take-charge personality. “I love to connect with people,” she says, and she had many opportunities to do that over the years. The only thing that was missing was the freedom to make creative business decisions. So when Kate, who thrives on thinking outside the box, was presented with the opportunity to buy Topaz Bead Gallery in 2009, it only took her two seconds to decide a resounding “yes!”
It just so happened that Kate’s partner, Chris Gravenor, was a talented metalsmith and local metal work teacher. After taking over the business, it was only natural to add a metalwork component to the business. Together, Chris and Kate make almost all of the retail jewellery they sell in the shop, and Chris teaches classes on metal jewellery in the shop. Together, the couple has built a business that has come to be recognized as one of the premier beading and jewellery-making shops in western Canada. They’ve even started to be recognized abroad. In 2014 they were contacted by an Australian magazine and asked to prepare some jewellery samples for them.
Kate admits that she’s a bit of a workaholic, but that’s okay when your work is also your hobby. When she and Chris aren’t busy designing and creating new pieces they’re spending their time brainstorming new business ideas and planning new classes. Even their trips away from Prince George usually involve their business in some way, like buying trips to Vancouver. Both are avid outdoors lovers and they like to get away vending at music festivals and camping in the summer, but even then, says Kate, “I go with a box of wire!”