Katye Landry Designs - Katye
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started making jewellery.
I was born and raised in Toronto and went to school for Radio and TV broadcasting – this was a great path for me at the time, because it allowed me the opportunity to tap into my creative side. I’ve also always been a bit of a DIY’er, which is how I fell into jewellery. I saw a bracelet online that I wanted to get my mom for Mother’s Day and thought, ‘I can make that!’ After one trip to Lee Valley Tools and a local jewellery supply shop, I had made it. Several people saw the work I had done and began asking me to make custom pieces. It sort of snowballed from there into the business it is today.
You have a diploma in Radio and Television Broadcast, and you’re also a real estate agent. How did jewellery fit into that picture?
I actually didn’t become a Real Estate Agent until well after I started my jewellery business. I was looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to grow professionally. Real estate had always been a curiosity of mine, so I thought, why not give it a try. Much like with my jewellery business though, real estate involves working with people and making sure you understand their needs. So while they are seemingly very different, there are actually a lot of similarities.
What are some of the unexpected similarities between jewellery and real estate?
I think that people skills is probably the number one similarity that carries over. With the evolution of online shopping and email conversations, it can be difficult to form personal relationships with people. My number one priority is to make sure my clients feel as though they are my top priority - it doesn’t matter if they are a real estate client or a jewellery client.
Your jewellery is all handmade. What goes in to making a piece of jewellery? What is the process like?
From sawing and forming metal, to soldering pieces together, every piece is made differently, and is truly one of a kind. That’s part of the charm with KLD pieces.
Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
My all around style tends to be simple. I’m not flashy with my colours, and I don’t often make bold statements, so I find that my jewellery is very reflective of my own personal style and personality. I wouldn’t tend to make a piece that I wouldn’t wear myself.
What is it about the minimalist style that speaks to you?
I love versatile pieces, ones that can get you through the day – from a day at the office to a night on the town, to brunch with friends. Something that is timeless is important to me. Being the mom of a six year old, I don’t often have time to stop and change what I’m wearing to accommodate an occasion, (a last minute swimming practice or dinner invite) so it’s important for me to have pieces that can be worn for various occasions.
Tell us about your favourite piece in your collection.
I’m always drawn back to my Wishbone necklace. It was the first custom piece I made from scratch. I had a client who wanted a giant wishbone, but at that stage, I was still in the phase where I was simply buying charms and putting them on chains. I couldn’t find a giant wishbone charm anywhere, so I thought I would make one. It really challenged me creatively to make that piece, and I was so pleased with the finished product. Every time I see it I’m reminded of how far I’ve come with my business.
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I’m not in my shop or working with my clients to help them find their dream home, I love exploring this amazing city with my son. There are so many beautiful parks, museums and ice cream shops!
What’s your favourite place in Ottawa to escape to with your son?
My son’s favourite place in Ottawa, hands down, is the Museum of Nature. I think I could draw a map of each floor by memory at this point. But he and I also love to head to Bruce Pitt Dog Park together with our dog Lola – the park is beautiful and being there feels like you’ve escaped from the city.
Cats vs. dogs?
That’s a tricky question because I had cats growing up, but have a dog now. My first cat Cleo let me dress her up in my doll clothes and push her around in my stroller, but I think she was one of a kind. I’ve had my dog Lola, a Lab/Husky/Collie mix, for eight years and she’s become a best friend. She’s great at reading people and will always go in for a snuggle in that exact moment that you need one. so although cats can be awesome, I think my answer would be that I’m a dog person.