Bcouture’s jewellery is vibrant, sophisticated and stylish – just like the women who wear it.
by Janine Druery
We’ve all heard the old adage “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but Ani Hovanessian and Salpi Sayadian beg to differ. The duo behind Toronto-based Bcouture think semi-precious gemstones and luxurious 14k gold make splendid pals – and their customers concur.
“Our jewellery is for fun-loving, confident, sophisticated women,” says Hovanessian, the company’s vice-president. “It’s for women who are not afraid to express themselves.”
The Bcouture line is a hand-made jewellery collection designed and manufactured in Canada. The jewellery launched at the JCK show in Las Vegas in 2012 and has since been receiving praise for its luxurious, yet laid-back vibe.
“The collection was designed to complement any outfit or satisfy any mood. From office to cocktail or casual to elegant, the transformation of every piece is effortless,” says Hovanessian, who calls the brand “everyday sexy.”
The line is made up of 14k gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings with a wide variety of gemstones. Customers can choose from pieces that run the spectrum of coloured stones or tailor a piece for their own “colour story.” According to Sayadian, Bcouture’s creative director, one of the best features of the brand is that “every piece is customizable. You are not limited to only what you see.”
Bcouture was conceived by the two women (best friends since age nine) while Hovanessian was working at her father’s gold wholesaling business – Shiny Jewellers of Toronto. They tested the jewellery for five years at retail via Shiny, and when it started generating big demand, they branched out to create Bcouture.
While the “couture” part of the moniker is apparent, Hovanessian says the “B” in Bcouture’s name and logo represents a bee – of the buzzing variety.
“The honey bee is one of the most productive and nurturing of all living things,” she says. “Yet crossed in the wrong way or while feeling threatened to protect its home, the honey bee can have a vicious sting. As females, we found great symbolism in the honey bee. Women are, by nature, nurturing and will go to great lengths to protect their families.”
Flying insects aside, Hovanessian and Sayadian find inspiration in many of life’s pleasures – fashion shows, nature’s colours, exotic locales – and, of course, their families. Hovanessian says her 14-month-old daughter, Lea, is a big inspiration. As is her father.
“My biggest inspiration has been the confidence and belief that my father put in me,” she says. He gave me carte blanche – let me fly free.”
Bcouture is created exclusively in Canada; of this, both women are particularly proud. “We stand behind the quality. We do our own repairs and we service the line fully,” says Hovanessian. She notes that in an era where everything has turned to mass production and is sourced outside of North America, they have made it a priority to keep a hands-on approach.
Greg Buzbuzian of Guelph-based Knar Jewellery is one of the retailers carrying the line. He is enthusiastic about the company’s approach, the jewellery’s affordability (prices start at $145) and Bcouture’s image. “We are impressed with the marketing material and feel it is building the image in a very positive way,” says Buzbuzian. “It is impressive to see a new brand provide supportive marketing material in a truly professional and creative manner.”
He says that there has been an encouraging customer response: “Our clients are intrigued by this line and they have taken note that it is suitable for all ages – young girls, teenagers, young professionals, all women alike.”
Things are getting even more exciting as Bcouture prepares for a jewellery reveal at the 2013 JCK show. In a departure from the exclusively gold line, they will unveil the “Everyday Keepsake,” a silver necklace people can customize with semi-precious stones (for example, the birthstones of their children). “It is contemporary and cute, and will fit into any showcase,” says Hovanessian.
But the foray into silver for this one piece doesn’t mean the company is abandoning its golden past, which Hovanessian says differentiates them in the marketplace. “Everything has shifted to silver – and at a high price point,” she says. “But even when the price of gold went way up, we never neglected our roots as a gold wholesaler. We stuck to our guns and we stuck to our gold.”
This has proved to be a successful strategy with their customers who are making the chic, savvy line a success.
“Beauty is a state of mind and all women have it,” says Hovanessian. “We hope our jewellery is part of the mindset which reflects it.” CJ