Monday, February 9, 2009

Shop Local Series: Designed by RJ of Toronto, Ontario

Nicole R.J. is the designer behind Designed by RJ and RJ Charms jewelry shops. RJ has been living in the GTA (greater Toronto area) practically all her life. She currently lives a hop, skip and a jump away from Lake Ontario and right beside one of Toronto’s largest parks in the west end of Toronto.

Sunnyside Pavilion on Lake Ontario, near where RJ currently lives and grew-up.

Living in an area that used to be the village of Swansea, RJ is fascinated by the history that has come through Toronto (former Swansea residents include: Lucy Maud Montgomery). Founded in 1783, as you can imagine there is a lot of history within the city boundaries, including old Fort York, a castle, and a Victorian distillery district-turned arts and culture district, just to name a few!

The Distillery District - where once whiskey brewed, now a great place to shop for contemporary art and enjoy artisan made chocolate, beer and bread!

From the large outdoor art shows in the summer, to the indie shops scattered throughout the city, Toronto has a fabulous and connected arts and crafts community. And even before earning her Fine Arts degree in 2002, RJ thrilled in what the city has to offer. “It seems like there is always something going on, whether you want commercial arts or indie crafts.”

Inspired by the sights and sounds of Toronto – with dozens of cultures represented, a fashion district almost on her doorstep and nature in the backyard (which most recently included a deer!) there is always something new to look at and experience in the city. You’ll see the different inspirations come out in the various lines offered at Designed by RJ.

An upcycled necklace from RJ's "My Secret Garden" line.

“While I absolutely consider myself a Torontonian, I also love exploring the surrounding area – I think that’s one of Toronto’s best features!” A short drive west and there are a handful of fabulous little artisan communities, or head around the lake and support local farmers and wineries. You can see a little more of the national pride shining through at RJ Charms.

"You don't get much more Canadian than curling!"

You can visit RJ’s jewelry shops on Etsy:
Designed by RJ
RJ Charms


minouette said...

Nice photos!
Cheers to my fellow Torontonian! :)


Rhonda said...

great feature, rj!

Crafty Ash said...

wow sounds like a pretty interesting & inspiring place to live!
great article, thanks for sharing!

laurabucci said...

Love the photos of where you're from! Nice to see what inspires you.

O C Baby said...

Toronto is fabulous! No other city has quite the same feeling and character as Toronto....everywhere you look there is artistic expression. Great feature!

Morgen said...

Nicely done RJ and so interesting to hear about the rich history of the area you live in.

jacjewelry said...

These pictures are lovely! I'd love to visit some day.

Pinkfire Designs Jewelry said...

Great feature! Love your ""My Secret Garden" line!!!!


Melanie L said...

I've never been to that part of Toronto before. I'll definitely have to schedule a visit!

Crysto said...

LOVE the curling Rock!!!!!