Street Chic was there on Weds Oct 25th 2017 when Raymi Lauren met Karen MacRae and Sabrina A Melendez inside On the Other Hand Jewellery at 1015 Queen St E. in Toronto. It was epic afternoon as the OTOH jewellery designers spent their lunch hour laughing and playing dress-up with their jewellery. Together all three got in the act of Show and Tell with their own creations and pieces from other artists for sale on consignment in the store. The impromptu dress-up party was conceived with the intention of giving away pieces that Raymi the super blogger can wear in photos and at parties forevermore.
Yes it was a gift show, but not really, as Raymi the Minx was signed up to promote the store and that’s worth something. Raymi is a name brand blogger in Toronto with thousands of Instagram followers and a huge active audience that both loves and hates her blog antics. Raymi’s portal and online persona has opened many doors but closed a few too in her personal life. When she decides to write about a business it does help the website get found by more people; the site performs a little better on the web because of her witty prose and her legacy somehow ennobles the pictures and expands the presence of the business.
Just like each piece of high fashion jewellery in the store, Raymi’s blog posts also last forever. Her photos and contextual anecdotes are stored in many places online and her personal brand has many channels inc Instagram Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of course, but also Pinterest, Tumblr and Ello.
Laughter erupts! Put three charismatic ladies in a room full of jewellery and just watch the fun happen. This author and photographer should have rolled video.
When they did get serious about matching Raymi’s different looks with various OTOH luxurious accessories it was intense; despite being a small shop, there’s too much to look at and learn about in an hour long lunchtime visit. And there was a lesson taught about matching clothes with colourful bling.
Jewellery has a purpose, and it goes to work every hour its worn in public
What is jewellery and what ‘work’ does it do? Karen and Sabrina believe that jewellery goes to work on your behalf the moment you walk outside the door of your home. Every minute you spend outside you’re making a statement about who you are and it should be a fashion statement. Owning and wearing a good wardrobe and being able to coordinate clothing is the key to success for many cutthroat professions. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do (think lawyer, business executive, college teacher), looking sharp will improve how others perceive you and TRUST you with more responsibility.
While most good jewelry does not require coordination, if you really want to dress to impress, you must be pickier with your gemstone jewelry. OTOH offers an array of beautiful jewelry with vibrant colors.
Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrines and amethyst gemstones have a distinguished flavor and appeal that can be easily added to everyday fashion clothing styles. For best results, the red to gold jewellery always looks best when worn next to cool colors such as blue jeans and powder blue, light green or light purple blouses, or white T shirts.
Gold jewelry and onyx work beautifully with with black or white dresses. Show me a lady that doesn’t own a black dress, and most Canadian women today have white dresses in storage for special occasions in the summertime too. These are classic looks that never go out of style and their timeless appeal can always be accentuated with the right jewellery.
Gemstones can be seasonal? This is an interesting idea as they are of course minerals and as such they know no seasons, but all the same colorful gemstones can mirror the seasons. Light green emerald earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings can set off a spring dress, while darker emeralds represent a more mature summer season. Rubies, topaz, amber and even garnet look great with fall coloured clothes and lastly cold blue sapphires and icy diamonds in silver settings can really celebrate winter.
Sabrina A Melendez gave Raymi a silver ring inlaid with Bocote (wood)
Some of the most recent works of art to be created at OTOH in Leslieville are Sabrina’s silver rings with Bocote wood inserts. Bocote is a hard, dark wood from South America that’s often used for making knife handles and musical instruments. Sabrina uses it to make jewellery and has written an informative OTOH blog post about using unconventional materials like wood to make jewellery and that includes ‘breaking the mold’ by using semi-precious Bocote.
Sabrina is a Swiss trained metal worker who has somehow perfected the art of cutting the very hard and brittle Bocote wood into perfect circles to fit inside silver rings which are then seamlessly folded in such a way as to hold the attractive black wooden insert into place.
It is quite a remarkable ring, and neither Raymi nor this author could figure out exactly how Sabrina gets the Bocote wood into the ring’s interior. It remains a Sabrina Melendez trade secret.
And then at the end of her lunch hour adventure, life got even better for Raymi as Sabrina doubled down and gave the blogger a special silver tube necklace on a thick Japanese cord and clasp.
There are a lot of places in Toronto that offer custom jewellery, businesses like the Devil’s Workshop, Anice Jewellery, Courage My Love, Strada Jewellery, Made You Look Jewellery, Fair Trade and Zarla all have unique qualities, but On the Other Hand Jewellery is the whole package when it comes to designing and making custom jewellery to suit your personal brand.