Think new jewelry brands are a dime a dozen? Think again. Born from COVID cutbacks, Forged & Co founder Ilana Solomons makes hammered pieces with deep meaning—and she’s giving back to her community, to boot. Read our interview below, and enter to win a sparkling $200 Forged & Co prize! —Vita Daily
Hi Ilana! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I’m originally from Toronto, and moved out to Vancouver just over two years ago to chase my dream of living by the ocean. I love music (my latest obsession is my record player and hunting for albums) and am constantly listening to podcasts on my walks around the city. If I’m not admiring jewelry on Instagram, then I’m fawning over golden retriever puppies and plotting to be a dog mum.
When and why did you launch Forged & Co?
I launched Forged & Co during the summer of 2020. I had been laid off due to COVID-19 cuts and really wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I asked a few friends who had their own jewelry companies what skills they would want someone on their team to have, thinking I’d start applying to work at an existing brand, and they encouraged me to take a leap and bring my own work to the market—and it spiralled from there! I’ve always loved hand crafted jewelry and all that sparkles (my parents nicknamed me Magpie when I was a kid), so it’s been incredibly rewarding to share that passion.
What makes your designs unique?
A lot of the pieces feature a hammered texture, which is meant to symbolize that just as metal becomes harder and stronger the more you work and hammer it, so too do we become stronger the more life throws at us. This year was really difficult for everyone, but I think a lot of beauty also came from it—a shared resilience and realization that we all rely on our communities. I think jewelry has the power to reflect our values and personality, and my hope is that my pieces serve as a reminder of our inner strength. I’ve also had the chance to work on custom pieces this year, which has been really special. I love that you can take a memory or a feeling and turn it into a physical item that you can cherish for years.
Tell us about the community and charitable aspects of your business?
I think it’s really important to be a part of the community that you’re living and working in. Since this business came about during an incredibly stressful time globally, I felt that donating a portion of profits to an organization (CMHA BC) dedicated to supporting mental well-being was an invaluable cause.
Any jewelry trend forecasts for 2021? What will we be seeing more of?
Great question! I’ve been seeing more and more “non-traditional” engagement rings, which is really exciting (Ariana Grande’s diamond and pearl ring—so unique!). As opposed to opting for the classic diamond ring, it seems like coloured gem stones (especially sapphires) are really becoming ever more popular (I worked on an engagement ring with an aquamarine centre recently). It’s really about fitting the design to the individual, instead of the other way around.
What Forged & Co. pieces are you personally rocking into the new year?!
I’m always wearing my Sloan necklace (the delicate chain is just so sparkly, and it goes with literally everything) and the Avi ring in both gold and silver (I used to be a real stickler about wearing only gold or only silver, but mixing metals adds such a great and dynamic element). My personal style has always been on the dainty and understated side, so I’m also wearing the Tess studs.
Win! A $200 Forged & Co Prize!
Congratulations Tahlia A. of Delta, B.C., who will receive a $200 Forged & Co prize, including a Stella ring in 10k gold ($150) and a Lilah ring in silver ($50), both in their size!