Anzie, Jaclyn and Joanna Stein
Anzie Jewellery is one of our most favourite things and not just because it makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift. So it’s no wonder we were super excited to sit down with its founder, Anzie Stein and her daughters for this mother-daughter interview. Nature and colour popped up a lot – they constantly inspire this creative team. Business was discussed – they launched a sister company, Jac+Jo, last year and would love to branch out into homeware. But the one thing they kept circling back to: family. And with good reason. Read on!
The genesis of Anzie was based on a very real and upsetting life event. Can you share that with us?
Anzie: My husband Barry was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer at age 41. There was no history of it in his family. At the time, I had three young children: Joanna, 8, Robert, 10, and Jaclyn, 14. Barry said I had to think seriously about doing something to support the family. It began with the original Lifesaver Bracelet, a multi-colour piece made to raise funds for colorectal cancer awareness. It led to us launching Anzie Jewellery in 1999. Today Barry is turning 65... 24 years later! He wasn’t given much hope but was persistent in trying many experimental therapies and having many operations to prolong his life.
Family is obviously important to you and to your brand.
Anzie: My family is my priority and Anzie Jewellery IS my family. I would not have my company without Barry, Jaclyn, Robert and Joanna.
Jaclyn, what’s it like working with your mom and your sister?
Jaclyn: Living in different cities, it helps connect us by getting to speak every day. Sometimes there are different opinions because we’re all passionate about what we do, but at the end of the day we love our work.
Tell us about the Anzie tagline, “La Vie en Couleur.”
Anzie: We have always aimed to create pieces that brighten people’s mood to give them confidence each and every day, by living “Life in Colour.” Colour has always played a role in our collections for the past 20 years.
Does Montreal influence the designs?
Joanna: We’re inspired by Montreal style, where women wear feminine, understated pieces every day. Our collection names and lightheartedness are a wink to the culture. Every piece is handmade in Montreal, by the most talented local artisans.
How would you describe Anzie to someone who hasn’t seen it?
Jaclyn: Whimsical, everyday luxury. The pieces can be dressed up, yet they are simple enough to be enjoyed every day.
What’s your favourite current piece?
Jaclyn: My Love Letter necklace with my children’s initials, I wear mine every day – and Anzie and Joanna wear theirs every day.
Tell us more.
Jaclyn: Our Love Letter Collection is a personalized keepsake, to celebrate the special people in your life, like your children. It’s a collection of pieces that can be worn every day, and it is made for layering.
Is there one item you think every woman should own?
Joanna: An Evil Eye piece! It’s a good luck charm that transcends generations to ward off the evil eye.
You have so many gorgeous different collections and a variety of materials – is there a constant or signature that screams, “That’s Anzie!”
Joanna: I’d say our playful pieces inspired by nature. We’re definitely most recognized for our Dew Drop details and Aztec starbursts.
You’re also well-known for your charitable work. Why is corporate responsibility so important to you?
Anzie: After Barry’s first operation, he felt he had to give back to the hospital that operated on him and saved his life. It was his priority to raise $250,000 to purchase a very important machine for the hospital that they did not have at the time. He did this in three months’ time, as he was also working on saving his life. He taught our family to pay it forward. We developed our Lifesaver Collection to give back – 10% of the sales from this collection are donated to Colorectal Cancer Canada to raise awareness about the disease and support the fight against it. He is a practicing lawyer and became the president of the Colon Cancer Association of Canada. He helps patients all over the world. He is my hero and a hero to many others giving them hope.