In light of recent events involving Covid-19 outbreak, it is more important than ever to highlight, promote and help local businesses survive and thrive. As we enter April 2020, we want to share with you the journey of Sarah Dougal and her business- Made You Look Jewellery.
A Graduate of the Jewelry Arts Program at George Brown College, Sarah Dougall is the trail-blazing entrepreneur and brainchild behind Toronto’s famous Made You Look Jewellery Studio and Retail Gallery. Established in 2001 as Toronto’s first large scale jewellery collective, her unique vision and the one-of-a-kind environment she created, helped launch the Toronto Jewellery Arts community into what is now a mecca for designers and collectors alike.
What’s more? This bustling community of creativity has helped to transform Toronto’s once down-and-out neighbourhood of Parkdale, into what is now a dynamic retail strip full of unique independent businesses.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I always felt petrified of being under someone else’s control. Being responsible for my own destiny, designing change and providing exciting opportunities for other creative people, is my oxygen. Being a leader is in my blood, I did not want to wait around for someone else to create the world that I wanted to live in.
Why ‘Made You Look Jewellery’?
Made You Look Jewellery studio and gallery was established with a unique vision for creating a community for talented independent jewellery designers to thrive and shine.
At the time, in 2001, jewellery designers lacked studio space and good places to sell their work, so Made You Look was established as a venue for artists to come together to collaborate and help each other move forward in business and to be known as a central hub for customers to see a wide variety of work, all under one roof.
Over the years Made You Look has represented hundreds of award winning designers and been home to some of this cities most unique and sought after talent. Made You Look was also one of the first businesses to open up shop in Parkdale, at a time when the area was still considered undesirable. Gradually this part of Queen Street West has become one of the most interesting strips, with an abundance of unique local businesses who specialize in one-of-a-kind services and products.
What success have you enjoyed so far?
After 20 years of selling hand made jewellery to the public, it has been amazing to see people step away from shopping at the mall to choose individuality instead. The DYI movement, the 100 mile radius rule and conscious living has helped solidify why opening my business provides the public with exactly what they wanted. This kind of business makes people feel good and that feels like a big success to me!
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur means choosing the path of most resistance. I run my business like every year is year 1. The minute you think you have figured everything out, you are in trouble. You must stay curious, you must keep learning and it must always feel hard, then you know your are doing something right! To have a successful business you need 3 things: You need to have a good idea, you need to have some money and you need lots of stamina.
Website and Socials
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