Trudy Wynans of Toodlebunny Designs is a self-confessed workaholic – but she doesn’t mind, since she loves what she does. She enjoys the freedom to travel and make her own work schedule – and particularly that she gets to create “shiny, pretty things every day.”
Why did you get into jewellery design?
I’ve always loved creating things with my hands. As a teenager I would constantly be scouring the thrift shops, or my mother’s closet, for vintage clothing to transform the mundane into something extraordinary. I was always trying to inject a bit of “fashion” into my wardrobe that boutiques in my hometown seriously lacked.
In the fall of 2005, a friend convinced me to take a course in Lost Wax Casting. I hadn’t taken a course in years and had forgotten how much I loved putting my creative side to work. From the intricate carving of the wax to manipulating the metal into a finished piece, I enjoyed every aspect of this artistic process. A few more courses in metalsmithing followed, and I felt I had discovered my true calling! After completing my courses, I experimented in my home studio using different types of materials and methods of construction of the jewellery. Honing these new techniques on my own allowed me to develop my own style, which formed the basis of my current line Toodlebunny Designs.
Tell us a bit about your company.
Toodlebunny Designs was launched in the spring of 2006. I worked a full time job during the first year of my company and was having a tough time keeping up with production, as well as all of the other tasks involved in running your own business. I made a decision to go full time with my jewellery in August of 2007 and have never looked back. I currently have one part-time employee that assists me with production of my line in my home studio. Toodlebunny is carried in over 20 locations across Canada, and I travel a few times each season to various tradeshows in Edmonton and Calgary. I have been very fortunate to acquire new retail locations by travelling to these tradeshows or by simply being found though my website. I’m hoping to head out to Toronto this year to participate in the One of a Kind Show as I had an amazing experience with the show here in Vancouver last fall. Sometimes it can be tough to wear so many hats: designer, manufacturer, bookkeeper, web designer, photographer, graphics artist, marketing, PR and sales rep – but I wouldn’t change a thing. I absolutely love what I do!
How would you characterize your style?
Toodlebunny is a meticulously handcrafted line with feminine, yet edgy pieces that definitely get noticed. My inspiration begins with the discovery of the materials themselves, often hand-picked on my travels. Having access to some of these “exclusive” materials in combination with my style of design makes Toodlebunny unique in itself.
My designs are typically asymmetrical, yet balanced. I love the challenge of designing asymmetrical necklaces as well as complimentary “mismatched” earrings using the same disparate elements. The necklace or earrings can stand out on their own but when combined with each other tell another story. The collection varies from being simple and pretty, to pieces that are complex and a bit more rock n’ roll… something for every woman.
Who are your clients?
Any woman who appreciates meticulous attention to detail, as well as the timeless beauty of a handcrafted wearable piece of art.
Supermodel Noot Seear is a fan as well as Juno-nominated Ndidi Onukwulu. Ndidi wore my “Without Sin” necklace on the red carpet at the 2009 Junos and regularly wears my pieces when she’s on tour. She was also featured as one of 30 of Canada’s Most Influential women and wore one of my cuffs for the photoshoot in the October 2009 edition of Flare Magazine. Sophie Lui picked up my classic “Viva” necklace at last year’s One of a Kind Show and has been seen sporting it on Global BC Weekend news. Kim Basinger also picked up three of my necklaces this summer from Fine Finds in Yaletown while here to film The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.
What do you think moms should know about your jewellery?
I don’t feel that I have a specific “target market” for my work. At one of my shows I had a grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter that each purchased something they loved from my collection! I use 14k goldfill for my jewellery except for some pieces from my ECOTURE collection, which is comprised of one of a kind or one of a few creations from reclaimed materials. I also combine raw brass in my jewellery, as it is naturally nickel free. 14k gold fill is hypoallergenic and safe for those who have sensitivities or allergic reactions to other metal jewellery.
Where can people buy your jewellery?
Toodlebunny is available at over 20 retail locations across Canada and available in Metro Vancouver at the following locations:
- Barefoot Contessa – 3715 Main St & 1928 Commercial Drive
- Briers – 2070 W. 4th Ave
- Favourite – 123 Carries Court, (Lonsdale Quay), North Vancouver
- Fine Finds – 1014 Mainland St
- Forsya Boutique & Gallery – 2206 Main St
- OhKuol- 2439 Granville St
- Rain Salon & Boutique – 1544 W. 2nd Ave
- Shop Cocoon – 3345 Cambie St
- Lynn Steven – 225 Carrall St
See our web site for more retailers.
Anything else to add?
In just over three years in business, Toodlebunny Designs has caught the attention of the press, and has been featured in FASHION Magazine, ION, LouLou, Vancouver Magazine, Flare, Where, ELLE Canada, TLC*, and Clin d’oeil. In 2008, my “Lucky Charms” necklace was selected by TRUNKT, a New York based look book company, to be published in their Amazing Artists Series Book – jewellery Edition. My work has also been fortunate enough to be included in newspaper publications such as the Georgia Straight and Metro, as well as online media such as Sweetspot, theStyleSpy and Daily Outfitting.