From the time I could hold a crayon, I knew I would be an artist. Art has always been a part of my life. Art is the thing I would do in my spare time, for fun, and a way to express myself. As a shy kid, I didn't want to talk about myself but I would definitely love to show you the new thing I just made! Spoiler alert: still the same!
Homemade cards for every occasion, yard signage for the annual family party, drawing - always drawing, handmade Christmas gifts, hand painted baskets and ornaments - you name it - I just loved making things. And I could spend hours walking around Lewis Craft and White Rose (remember those stores?!) When I was little I spent all my money on art supplies. No regrets.
As a teen, at my first retail job, I discovered visual merchandising and I was immediately hooked. It was another way to create, and I loved the combination of art and communication.
When it was time for university, I might have gone in to teaching, but instead I took my love of fashion and visual art to Ryerson Polytechnic University and earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Communication. With the skills I learned there, my natural artistic eye, and decades working in various aspects of retail, I was finally ready to seriously try my hand at making the jewellery designs that had long been dancing in my head.
"I began to make the jewellery I wanted to wear, using materials I wanted to be wearing — sterling silver. I am allergic to other metals, and I could never find stylish, interesting, fun, affordable sterling pieces. It wasn’t for lack of trying - at the time, I worked as a fashion buyer for boutiques, and saw that sterling jewellery fell into two categories: either very fine and traditional styling, or chunky, high end pieces. I wanted beautiful pieces that were classic, but with a twist, and above all, accessible, and so I began to design my own jewellery."
BellaBagu is small batch jewellery, leaning towards one, and some of a kind pieces to keep things unique and special, because let's be honest it's more fun to own something that isn't in everyone's jewellery box. Occasionally we incorporate semi precious stones, crystals and freshwater pearls in to our designs.
One thing that has been said to me over and over through the years, is "Donna, I'd love to see your jewellery box." That used to make me laugh, but I realize now, that's how I want it to be. I want you to feel like you are shopping from my personal jewellery box.
Jewellery is powerful and symbolic. We use it to mark milestones and special occasions, and to tell our stories. I've always loved that about jewellery. I think it can do so much for you - give you confidence, take you back to a special moment, connect you to loved ones past and present. And it can make you feel like the beauty you are. In terms of fashion, jewellery can easily change up a look, and change how you feel about yourself. It's the finishing touch and that extra boost of confidence.
BellaBagu Collection is carefully curated, and thoughtfully designed for effortless wear, and to bring a little shine to your everyday.
Keep shining Bella!!