Meet Kate Roxburgh & Chris Gravenor
Kate Roxburgh had worked for most of her life in the hospitality and retail industry. It was the perfect fit for her energetic, take-charge personality. “I love to connect with people,” she says, and she had many opportunities to do that over the years. The only thing that was missing was the freedom to make creative business decisions. So when Kate, who thrives on thinking outside the box, was presented with the opportunity to buy Topaz Bead Gallery in 2009, it only took her two seconds to decide a resounding “yes!”
It just so happened that Kate’s partner, Chris Gravenor, was a talented metalsmith and local metal work teacher. After taking over the business, it was only natural to add a metalwork component to the business. Together, Chris and Kate make almost all of the retail jewellery they sell in the shop, and Chris teaches classes on metal jewellery in the shop. Together, the couple has built a business that has come to be recognized as one of the premier beading and jewellery-making shops in western Canada. They’ve even started to be recognized abroad. In 2014 they were contacted by an Australian magazine and asked to prepare some jewellery samples for them.
Kate admits that she’s a bit of a workaholic, but that’s okay when your work is also your hobby. When she and Chris aren’t busy designing and creating new pieces they’re spending their time brainstorming new business ideas and planning new classes. Even their trips away from Prince George usually involve their business in some way, like buying trips to Vancouver. Both are avid outdoors lovers and they like to get away camping in the summer, but even then, says Kate, “I go with a box of wire!”
Artistic. Creative. Imaginative.
Topaz Bead Gallery is a welcoming space to shop as well as to explore the art of jewellery making. Choose from hundreds of beautiful beads from around the world. Mix and match your favourites for a one-of-a-kind project that you can do at home or at the gallery at the relaxing and inviting antique work table. Topaz Bead Gallery’s work table is open to the public during non-class/event store hours. Knowledgeable staff are there to help you with your creations and designs and to answer technical questions and recommend products and materials.
Topaz Bead Gallery is much more than beads. Inside the quaint boutique, guests will also find one of the most diverse selections of jewellery-making supplies in western Canada plus a stunning inventory of locally hand-crafted jewellery. For those who want to learn the art of beading or working with metals, gemstones, molten glass and other materials, Topaz Bead Gallery offers a wide range of classes for all ages. Jewellery lovers can even book a class or a jewellery party with a group of friends or take part in one of the gallery’s special events like Ladies Night. Birthday parties for all ages are also available. Topaz Bead Gallery is the only bead shop in BC where your canine family members are welcome to join you!
Topaz Bead Gallery was nominated for the Business of the Year Award, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Customer Service Award and the Premier’s Peoples Choice Award by Small Business BC and was the recipient of the Community Booster Award.
Topaz Bead Gallery is a member of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Community Arts Council.
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