I recently had the honour of meeting Gloria Bass at her event celebrating 40 successful years in the jewelry industry. This elegant event organized by Rev Communication at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal displayed fine handcrafted jewelry and celebrated humble jewelry designer, Ms. Bass. I sat with Ms. Bass to find out a little bit more about her and the secret to keeping her business fruitful for 40 years in the Westmount community.
CB: Each piece on display here is so different from one another. What inspires you? GB: My environment especially nature and architecture. Sometimes I will look at a gemstone and if it’s really different, it will inspire me.
CB: What or who motivates you to follow your passion of jewelry designing? GB: Well I absolutely love what I do. My mother is also such a great supporter of all my endeavours. Without her and my husband I wouldn’t be where I am.
CB: Ms. Bass, as an expert goldsmith, what do you think about so many of the newer jewellers who do not have this level of technical training? GB: Being a goldsmith is a lost art. Nowadays a lot of the new designs are digital. There’s a lot of computer assisted drawings and that’s fine, but sometimes I feel like that type of jewelry lacks soul.
CB: Throughout the years, online shopping has become just as popular as walking into stores. How has this affected your business? GB: Not much actually. I think because my jewelries are high end, people still prefer to come buy them face to face. They want to see and feel the quality before investing a significant amount of money.
CB: I think it’s great that you still get more purchases in your store instead of from your website. What is the most requested piece when people come in the store? In other words, what is your trademark design? GB: I am well known for stacking rings. I have about 100 different model and I’ve been making them since 1985. People start with one or two and they slowly add on to their collection. With the starting rate at 650$ people fall in love with these rings and they start collecting them.
CB: Do you follow jewelry trends in the fashion world? GB: I sort of follow trends but to a minimum. There are certain things I will always love like long earrings whether or not they are in style. Whether or not something is in style, I’ll create it if I love it. I love creating classic pieces that will always look good despite any trends.
CB: Any tips for people looking to invest in an expensive piece? GB: You don’t have to wear what everyone else is wearing; you just have to have confidence. Your jewelry should represent your personality.
CB: Did you notice I say investment instead of buying? When it’s something that’s supposed to last, I like to think of it as an investment. At least that’s what I tell my husband!
CB: Speaking of husbands, do you get a lot of men in your store? GB: I get a few and I love it because they’re so much easier. Give me 5 minutes and they’ll purchase something!
CB: Ok so any tips for our your entrepreneurs? GB: Don’t overstretch your limit. For me it was a slow climb in terms of growing my business. I never spent more than what I had. So the key is slow and steady.
CB: What can we expect in the upcoming years? GB: A lot of the same! Consistency in quality is key.
With those last few words of wisdom, Ms Bass changed into her high heels and began to work the room. The event was a success with a nice crowd of media and bloggers invited by Rev Communication and a marketing campaign designed by DTK media.
When you’re ready to invest in a classic luxurious piece of jewelry, make sure to stop by Gloria Bass Designs on 1361-1 Greene Avenue in Westmount Montreal or visit her online at http://gloriabassdesign.com/
ps: Thank you to Jimmy Hamelin for some of the beautiful pictures