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Adele - Zadel Jewellery Studio

I'm originally from South Africa, and I've been in the jewellery industry for 30 years. We immigrated to Canada in 2010, and in 2012, we started Zadel Jewellery Studio which is a partnership between myself and my husband. My husband is a master goldsmith—54 years in the industry. We honestly just wanted to bring our expertise, our love and passion for jewellery to the Canadian market. We’re also a bit different from everyone else in our approach; we're very much a mom-and-pop store, with the finer touch. People like that because it's approachable. You don't feel intimidated in our shop.

I was a law student dropout, oops. I always wanted to be a geologist, unfortunately my mom always said to me, “No daughter of mine will ever dust rocks.” She wanted me to become a lawyer or doctor or something in a higher profession. And so, I went to try and study law—it was amazing, but just wasn’t for me. At that time, a friend of mine told me that their father's company was looking for an intern in the jewellery industry, so I signed up for the job and started learning to do it. I was the first of three jewellery CAD designers to qualify in South Africa in 2002.

My favourite part about my job is the people: meeting people from different walks of life. My intention in our jewellery business is jewellery should be affordable and accessible to everybody. Whether you have $5 to spend, or you have $500,000 to spend, I want to be able to make everybody feel special, while educating them and bringing that little bit of sparkle to their life. And so, my favourite part of the job is the people, listening to them and being perceptive of what their needs are and then guiding and educating them to where they feel their desire have been met. It’s why I like doing what I do.

As a business owner, time is very limited for other hobbies. Being on Granville Island, you're meeting such diverse people from every walk of life, from a different country all the time and you're sharing in their stories. I think interaction should be a hobby because you're learning so much from different cultures, and you’re understanding and showing respect to what people bring into your store as well. So if interaction could be classified as a hobby, I would say that's probably my passion.

COVID did a lot of damage to Granville Island in the sense that a lot of the artists and vendors have left the island. New ones have come back in, and thankfully there are more tourists coming back on the island now, so it's starting to become a bit more productive as we're trying to find the new groove. A good thing is the vendors that are on the island work well together, and we try to make it a safe community for all of us so we can put our best foot forward for the public. It's been hard though because the governing bodies at Granville Island change all the time, and then they sometimes lose touch with their tenants and their needs to be supported, grow and be successful. A huge shoutout to our local community that supported us throughout Covid, without you we would not be here, and our doors would not still be open.

As small business owners, we still love each other and support each other. Instead of buying off-island, us vendors buy from each other as well. We're trying to keep it a really cool community and collaborate between different stores.

My store is slightly different from traditional jewellery stores. So, when you come into my store, I think the first thing you're going to sense is I have kind of like a West Coast African flair going on. I've tried to merge the West Coast with my African roots, hence the giraffe logo.I think it’s quite special because it's got the two giraffes standing back to back, which is actually my husband and myself. I always like to explain it as we have each others backs because if were head-to-head, we’d butt heads. I have a very warm feeling in my store with wood accents. I also showcase 11 very talented Canadian artists in my gallery because I advocate for Canadian artists. We showcase their work free of charge and then they get their commission from sales on that.

I wouldn't say my style of jewellery has a particular theme or brand per say, but I do have a presence of very clean-lined easy on the eye—well handmade structured one-of-a-kind pieces. I only ever buy one gemstone. I never buy two or three to make a run of it. So, when you purchase a piece of jewellery from me, that's the only piece on the entire planet that you have. Our main focus is on custom design, engagement & wedding ring design, but we specialize in heirloom redesign, where we take old gold, old diamonds and gemstones and rework them into new pieces that can be treasured for the next generation.

The thing that has been amazing about having a jewellery business here in Canada is that it’s afforded us the opportunity to be seen on the world stage and be included in so many international competitions. I don't know if you saw on our website—for the third year running, we were selected the best custom design jewellery house in British Columbia, Canada by LUXLife Magazine. We were finalists in Made in Vancouver 2020/2021 and we are currently finalists in the Western Living Designer of the Year competition.

A heartfelt huge thank you to everybody that support us, comes down to our little store and enjoys it. And, you know, what's a cool experience? If you guys come down to visit, our workshops are right next door to our store. You can see the services that we offer, and interact with our goldsmiths. We want people to feel safe. We want people to feel informed. We want people to know that every dollar that they're absolutely saving their butts off for is accounted for in every way. I love people, I love making them happy and I love creating.


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