Spark Jewelry designer Christina Hidalgo started her business just before she was about to embark on the biggest change of her life – having her son Diego. A small baby in tow didn’t slow Christina down though – when Diego was only a couple of months old she started selling in stores, art galleries and markets. Three years later her business is still growing and developing. Born and raised in North Vancouver, she constantly strives to create unique, imaginative, and economical pieces of wearable art. She loves using her hands in what is her artistic outlet away from her high school teaching position. Argentium sterling silver and 14kt gold fill wire is simply a medium for her to get out her inner artist.
Why did you get into jewellery design?
I started tinkering around with jewellery design about four years ago, making beaded accessories with some of my girlfriends. Very quickly those same girlfriends started asking me to make them pieces. Soon I entered the limitless bounds of wirework and I haven’t looked back. I absolutely love the light, organic look that you can achieve by simply using your hands and a spool of wire.
Tell us a bit about your company.
Spark officially was born about six months before my first baby Diego, back in the summer of 2008. Before that I was simply making jewellery for family, friends and as requests. But those requests started getting more and more frequent and I was ready to take my work out into the world! After humble beginnings in art galleries and local gift shops, I began doing shows, fairs, and artisan markets like Portobello West. As a full time high school Chemistry teacher, this artistic outlet is exactly what I need.
How would you characterize your style?
Versatile. Like most women, I want to be able to wear my jewellery with jeans, or with that perfect dress. By showcasing the beauty of the silver and gold on their own, with only the occasional splash of coloured crystals or gemstones, it allows my pieces to be worn with your entire wardrobe. By being simple, yet eye-catching in their intricacy, it allows the versatility that I require.
Who are your clients?
My clients range from senior high school students looking for the perfect custom-made grad jewellery, to brides looking for the perfect spark to add to their day, all the way up to a 93 year old fan who loves the simplicity of many of my pieces. I have fans that are extremely casual and ones that have never even worn a pair of jeans.
What do you think moms should know about your jewellery?
As a mompreneur, I’ve put lots of thought into what I use and how I use it. From using Argentium sterling silver which is anti-tarnish but without chemical coatings, to making my own clasps instead of using the hard-to-handle lobster claw clasps, I want to make my jewelleryeasy for people like myself to enjoy. That means they need to be easy to put on and not require any cleaning. It also means that my pieces are economically priced. I work hard to find the best prices for my materials, and make my own clasps and earwires so that I can allow Spark to enter the hearts and homes of women in all walks of life.
Where can people buy your jewellery?
Online at www.sparkjewelry.ca and I am often at Portobello West Fashion market, as well as other artisan markets around town.