We have worked with Jana (the woman behind Silas & Ivy) for a few years now and have always loved her unique designs, price point and her sweet, personable attitude. She has evolved her line in the last year and has always taken great care to make a quality product women love. We feel very privileged to work with Jana and can’t wait to see
what she creates next!
Come see us at either location (1002 Macleod Tr SE / 11, 1013 17th Ave SW)
for necklaces, earrings, rings & bracelets!
1) What inspired you to start your own jewelry line?
I took fashion studies in high school and LOVED it. I considered studying design in post-secondary but played it safe and took business. It was in the final stages of my course of study that I pulled out some jewelry supplies I had stashed away and started making clay stud earrings. It just exploded from there. I had always been a DIY and maker from a young age but I felt that if I started a business I could justify buying more supplies; plus I had a lot of stock.
2) Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m inspired by colors and textures around me. I personally wear a lot of neutrals wardrobe-wise so I’m always looking for fun, quirky pieces that dress up my somewhat monochromatic attire. I spend time online sourcing supplies and the ideas come to me 7/10 times as I put them in my basket. Sometimes I will order materials and they sit for months. I know I love them; I think they’re great and then suddenly an idea comes to me on how to incorporate them in a new piece.
3) How long have you been doing this, and how has your line evolved since you started?
I officially started making jewelry for others in April 2014. I did a lot of little giveaways and attended my first market in Fall 2014. I’ve rebranded once, changed my style twice and I think right now I’m where I’m meant to be design wise. I enjoy and love every piece I make and get that little exciting feeling in the bottom of my stomach.
4) What keeps you motivated?
My daughter is so motivating (she’s 2). She grabs pliers and she ‘helps’ with the ‘new ones’ – it’s something we do on nights when my hubby works late. I love teaching her and instilling the value of handmade and creating. I also get a lot of joy seeing someone wearing one of my pieces. Again, small little exciting feeling in my stomach. It’s a mix of maker pride and satisfaction. My husband is also an entrepreneur and runs 2 successful Calgary based companies. We chat a lot about brand, social media and what’s up in our day to day. Seeing the hard work and how we reward our family drives both of us.
5) How do you find balance in your life when you’re so busy?
I don’t. I spend a lot of nights up too late working on stock. I get an idea in my mind and I run with it. I survive on a lot of coffee. I recently started following a Ketogenic lifestyle and I’m finding I have a lot more energy on a better daily diet. I’ve cut sugars out as well as most carbs and it’s really helped. I strive to plan time to get a bunch of designs out, restocked and ready. My organization skills have improved so much this year. I finally decided it was something I needed to do if I wanted to continue to build my brand.
6) What advice would you give someone who also wants to follow their passion and needs a push?
Go for it. It’s not easy. But it’s so worth it. I can’t even describe the feeling of accomplishment you get when you’re building a business and brand and people say ‘you’re Silas&Ivy, Jana is Silas&Ivy – I saw your stuff at…’
7) What do you love about your business being in YYC?
YYC is growing in entrepreneurship. I think with the drastic economic downturn pushed that but it’s really cool to see. It’s a growing and vibrant city for the arts.
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Somewhere warmer in the winter! Sorry Calgary!!! I really want to see my online business continue to grow and evolve with the changes and challenges in e commerce and social media. I would love the ability to go down to part-time in my full-time hustle. I would love to have more time with my family (even if it’s over a table full of jewel supplies). I also hope to one day open a storefront collective or at minimum a mobile shop.