Melanie Auld follows jewellery design dreams

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      Melanie Auld knows what it’s like to be a nomad. Her husband, Alex Auld, played professional hockey for more than a decade, and during that time he was traded a dizzying 10 or so times in 10 years before hanging up his skates for good in 2013. Throughout that whirlwind tour, Auld was able to take comfort in one constant (aside from her hubby and two children, of course): her jewellery line, Melanie Auld Designs.

      “When you’re being placed in a new city with new people and new surroundings, other than family, having something of your own really helps keep everything grounded and level,” says Auld, who recently sat down with the Straight at her Cambie Village studio. “So for me, it was like a slice of home wherever we were.

      “And I don’t know—I always wanted success, too,” she continues. “I didn’t want to just watch Alex live his dream and not have anything for me. So I decided this was something I really wanted to work at.”

      That said, between kids and the never-ending moving, she wasn’t able to give her designing dreams 100 percent. But all that changed when Alex retired. Since then, she’s renamed her label Melanie Auld Jewelry and dropped the price point considerably by switching from vermeil to gold-plated brass. Consequently, she seems to have found a sweet spot in the accessories market between fast and luxury fashion. In fact, sales have tripled in the last six months, and now it’s her husband’s turn to support her passion.

      “He’s come onboard and taken over the business end of it,” Auld says. “It was getting a bit much for me to handle by myself, and I don’t love the business end of it anyway. So he kind of deals with most of that—the store orders, the customer orders, the accounting and whatnot.”

      With Alex keeping the books in order, Auld has time to get even more creative with her designs. Her stunning spring collection, for example, boasts bright, beautiful, and ingenious pieces such as the adjustable three-tier pavé triangle necklace ($185). Here we have a trio of semiprecious stones, surrounded with micro cubic zirconia and suspended from gold-plated faceted ball chains 16, 17, and 18 inches long. This layered standout comes in labradorite, turquoise, lavender jade, and coral.

      She’s also got a juicy selection of pavé stone drop earrings in bold, tropically inspired colour combos, little hits of sunshine that scream summer vacation ($180 to $198). But her signature design has to be her adjustable open-ended cuffs ($98 to $135)—the layering possibilities are endless with these edgy little numbers.

      She’s also got some simple staples for daywear like her pavé stone studs ($98) in pink opal, turquoise, and labradorite—great if you want a tasteful pop of sparkle.

      Auld’s collection is carried in close to 100 stores in North America. Ironically, her current (and hopefully permanent) home base was one of the toughest markets to crack. But she did it—as of this week, you can find Melanie Auld Jewelry at the Cross Decor & Design (1198 Homer Street), which is a bit of a personal milestone.

      “I’ve been in love with that store since Alex played here, like, eight or nine years ago,” she says of the Yaletown lifestyle boutique, which has expanded quite a bit since those days. “They have a huge jewellery space within the store now, and I was dying to get in there, so it’s really exciting.”