How Jewelry designer Myles Mindham is celebrating his silver anniversary

The well-heeled clientele of jeweller Myles Mindham possess the luxury of shopping the world, but if it comes to dreaming up particular items to last a life, these connoisseurs return home to cooperate with him. Without a formal design training, Mindham, 57, has catered to celebrities and socialites alike. Initially situated in the seventh floor of Toronto’s Park Hyatt hotel, Mindham’s company has surfaced since 1991, and now boasts an amazing Yorkville address. His maison on Hazelton Avenue is an oasis, complete with a massive salon upstairs and a bustling studio workshop in the basement. To indicate his company’s 25th anniversary this season, Mindham has created a 35-piece limited-edition group entitled Magical Woodlands, designed to appeal even the most discerning collector. I seen Mindham in his tasteful emporium to talk about the youth dreams that fuel his imagination, why his customers feel secure with him, and also the function a part of fine jewellery can play in our  lives.

Mindham describes himself as a magpie: ‘Anything that sparkles draws me in.’

Mindham describes himself as a magpie: ‘Anything which sparkles draws me  in.’

When did you first fall in love with the craft of style and jewelry specifically?

As a kid I had been highly dyslexic, so like me personally, visual arts had been a massive relief since all I had to do was lure — and that I could always draw. I also had an remarkable grandma who had been very much engaged with the arts. She had been a pianist and a painter. She worked on Paisley Shop here in Yorkville, that offered antiques, and she would always teach me on marquetry or fine silver, therefore there was always a character of detail in whatever I did. Among my earliest memories was being five years old and also among my grandmother’s friends invited her friend to a celebration at Christmas time; that this woman arrived in a 1964 Cadillac stretch limousine, which to get a five-year-old boy was the most magical thing. And this lady was wearing a gorgeous bib diamond necklace and probably a three-carat diamond solitaire. I watched that necklace glimmer and the ring glow and I walked up to her and stared at her and she said, “Oh are not you sweet little boy!” And I recall saying, “Is that real?” Needless to say, my parents have been  unthinkable.

And now, 25 years after being in the company of fine jewellery design, you’re celebrating with a collection that pays homage to a  youth.

I always had this kind of fascination with light and glow. I’m like a magpie, a crow. Anything that sparkles draws me in. So I chose for the anniversary we would concentrate on fantasy, miniaturization as well as the refraction of light, along with each of my subjects are derived from a youth story. I thought I would indulge myself a little and reflect how I made here. And just how I got here was using design, imagination, creativity and hard job, since you have to be able to manage to do those things. My own childhood was contested by my mother’s health and before my mom got ill, among the most astonishing, reassuring parts of my life was reading at night time. I just wanted to make all the elements of these youth books of  fantasy.

There is a flying bunny in this collection that’s amazing to me because there is such a childlike innocence into it, yet we are talking about really serious jewellery here.

The wings are plique-à-jour — they’re liquid glass in platinum and diamond.

I find it interesting that as a creative artist, then you’re able to walk that line between keeping in touch with your inner kid when executing something that’s so enormous — a severe bit that is worth tens of thousands of bucks. How can you figure out how to straddle both those sensibilities?

To be honest, it’s a bit of a risk. We’ve created three characteristic pieces: A strikingly detailed amulet, the bunny, and the star bracelet. And it’s a bit of a risk because who’s going to work with a $32,000 bunny? However, I’ve met folks in my career that are so inspirational and magical to me personally and I’ve managed to create those heirlooms on them. My customers can store anywhere on the planet, however they decide to shop   here.

Pieces from Myles Mindham’s limited-edition Magical Woodlands collection include the Moon Fairies statement pendant, the Wings statement brooch and the Mushroom Wishes brooch.

Pieces in Myles Mindham’s limited-edition Magical Woodlands collection include the Moon Fairies statement pendant, the Wings statement brooch as well as the Mushroom Wishes brooch.

Why would you suppose it is that they decide to return home to Canada to work with   you personally?

It harkens back into dating. They feel secure with me. They are feeling comfortable, and they all understand I’m attempting to do beautiful things and that I can do them. We’ve got an incredible workshop here that is really unparalleled in this country. The tradesmen I have already been 20- to 40-year specialists in terms of producing those things. We push them all the time. The fact is we have to become a tiny bit better. The point of [this] relationship is that folks love to look at the world and store locally. At least my customers do, because using jewelry, you have to have someone that is going to back you up. I’ve heard unfortunate stories where matters that came back were not as good as they should have been. But individuals have a sense of security; they have a confidence in me, and they understand that we are making beautiful   things.

What part does one bit of fine jewellery perform now?

History. Emotion. I’m blessed to be able to create things that people will take their whole lives. I have customers who I inform, “Please use it!” And occasionally when they get to a certain age, they say, “When am I going to wear that?” And I say, “Well if you do not wear it, your children or grandchildren will not see you wearing it, and it will not be particular.” However, these pieces become heirlooms. They take memories. I have a fantastic belief in the power of crystals. They take an energy. There are families that left Russia with a single stone that maintained their loved ones alive, built into the hem in the own dresses, and after that maintained tucked into floorboards. There is history there. There is emotion. There are all kinds of strong energies which are carried in  jewelry.

Many people think from the mysticism of jewelry. Psychics often say there is something irresistible concerning those precious pieces. Is that the wavelength you’re   on?

I’m completely on that wavelength. Sometimes I’ll sun soak a stone before I start to design. I’ll take it and then leave it sitting in sunlight, and after that I’ll come up with something in terms of design, because I really believe that there is a universal energy which goes into a stone. Now the man who possesses the stone is the overriding thing for me personally; they will select a bit because that stone spoke to them. I have a customer who can manage any gem in the world, however she sees that a 33-carat green peridot and she says, “I have to own this stone!” Why? Since that stone speaks to that person. There are several dark things which happen, and I believe jewelry is one of those really bright places. There is so much darkness and dread and doubt, that there are definite beautiful things that speak to our  spirits.

Developing a company in this country is not an easy thing to do, however producing a powerful brand with high visibility 25 years after is a particularly tough feat. What would you say has frees you to this particular place and time, where your brand actually does mean something to so lots of  individuals?

Diligent hard work, ethics, honesty and the fact that I grew quite slowly. There are a whole lot of individuals who want everything immediately. However, I started my company using 362 square feet of distance at which I met my customers, and that I handled them with a great deal of respect and dignity. And that I took each repair job, each restringing job. And folks recall loyalty, they recall experiences. Service, integrity and honesty are all important. All you have is your reputation in this organization. A happy customer tells two people, an unhappy one tells 10. Every customer must leave joyful. People expect that if they’re spending, they want to be cared for. We have 19 people on staff here. We look after our customers. We’re manufacturing, we are advertising, we are retailing, and we are growing the corporation. The amusing thing is that I keep thinking I’m just getting started.

This meeting has been condensed and edited.

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