The Woman Behind the Windows

Lindsay Appotive
08 Jun , 2020

We recorded an interview together (ft. our dog Baby), since we are all isolating together.

Check out the video and transcript below to learn more about an award-winning designer, upcycler extraordinaire, animal lover, and everyone’s store Mom - the woman behind the windows.

 https://www.facebook.com/truebijoux/videos/607531153179400/

Lindsay:
You do all the store windows for both Howard’s and True Bijoux, how long have you been doing that for?

Sharron:
For many many many years, and it’s probably my favorite job that I do in this career of mine… this hodgepodge career of mine. It’s been great.

Lindsay:
Why do you say hodgepodge?

Sharron:
Because I have done literally everything in this industry!

Lindsay:
What have you done?

Sharron:
Well, I design jewelry, I make jewelry, I design windows, I design hats for windows… and it really has become an interesting career. Actually I started off as a graphic designer. So when I married your Dad,  and after I had you and Stephanie, it was a natural little dovetail entry into his world. And it’s been a wonderful world, for all of us.

Lindsay:
You’ve won a few awards for your front windows, and your advertising campaigns over the years. What inspires you? You change the windows, 7 times a year I believe.

Sharron:
Every 6-7 weeks, yes. Usually it’s Stephanie telling me, “It’s time to change the windows Mother!” (laughing) Well, seasonally, I change the windows. I get inspiration from nature, and all kinds of things. It’s really strange how things appear to you when you’re trying to do this kind of work. You can be walking down the street, and suddenly you see a woman wearing something that’s really stunning, and you say “I can do a window using that colour… I can do some fabric draped that way and it’ll look great!” So, all kinds of things. 

Lindsay:
Now, I can attest to this, because I have happily been dragged all over the world to thrift stores, to material stores, to all different random places, all looking for the next great prop. Can you share one of your favorite stories, or a favorite prop you’ve purchased?

Sharron:
Well, I have to say, the time we were in Las Vegas for the International Jewelry Convention, JCK (an annual convention that the four of us attend, it's a great time for us) and it has people from all over the world - so the inspiration is amazing. But I took this little side trip one time to a dingy little - it was actually a former gas station - and it was full of theatrical fabrics. Rolls and rolls of this exotic glittery fabric. Of course I fell into that and I was in love. The fabric was 30 or 40 years old, and because of the dry climate in Vegas, it was perfect. And it was so inexpensive, I bought the whole thing. I’m still using that fabric today.

Lindsay:
You are a re-purposer!

Sharron:
I am a re-purposer!

Lindsay:
What is your favorite tool in your war chest? 

Sharron:
My war chest! (laughing) It would have to be… spray paint for number 1, and number 2... probably duct tape


Lindsay:
As you pointed out, in your 40 years you have done almost everything in the jewelry industry. You say to Stephanie and I that you are not retiring anytime soon. 

Sharron:
That’s right. I will never retire, God willing I am able to do it, because I find it so stimulating and so rewarding.

Lindsay:
What would you say is the most interesting piece of jewelry you’ve designed? 

Sharron:
I’ve designed a lot of interesting jewelry. When people come in, they have ideas,  and it’s often a romantic idea. Sometimes I have to explain that it’s not practical, but I still try to work in their feeling and their ideas. I remember one time a young man came in, and he was insanely in love with his fiancee. He wanted to have an engagement ring designed like a shark. I said,”A shark? Hmm.” that did sit very well with me. I said to him, “You’ll have to explain more…” He said, “She’s smart, she’s sharp, she really knows what she’s doing.” I said “I get it.” 

So, I explained to him that the most important part of the shark was a dorsal fin. It’s sharp, and angled, and... not exactly jewelry friendly. He said, “Do it anyway.” I had to think about it for a while, and I created the dorsal fin, wrapping around the diamond. So it was smooth and it was elegant. He loved it - and I guarantee you, there’s lots of little sharks running around today. (laughing)

Lindsay:
What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own?

Sharron:
Well, I have to say it’s my engagement ring. My husband gave me a beautiful pear shaped diamond ring when we got married, and it still remains my favorite.


Lindsay:
You’ve always said to Stephanie and I that beautiful things will always find a home.

Sharron:
It’s true - if it's beautiful, it will be cherished. It will be wanted.

Lindsay:
The other thing you’ve always said to us is: when you have a problem, there is always a solution. 

Sharron:
That’s always right!

Lindsay:
How do you come up with those solutions, if you can tell some of our viewers.

Sharron:
Well, my favorite thing is: if you have a problem, identify the problem, create the solution, get the materials, and get it done. And that works. I have that on my desk at work. That pretty much is how I do things.

Lindsay: 
I have to say, the third generation, my sister’s three kids, hear this advice from their dear Bubbie all the time.

Sharron:
Whether they want to or not! (laughing)

Lindsay:
I just want to thank everybody for taking the time and listening to stories from quite a legend here in the Ottawa jewelry industry. Mother’s day is here - pick up the phone, and spend a few moments speaking to your loved ones.

Hope you enjoyed our Mother-Daughter interview! Hope to see you all soon, we are open for curb-side pickup starting this Monday, May 11.

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