Anice, Brittany Hopkins’s new jewellery boutique on the periphery of Kensington Market, is a modest 310-square-foot space with a lot of natural light. The bijou shop—spangled with light-refracting gems, brass cogs and general eye candy—is named after Hopkins’s grandmother, a petite but fearless woman who made her mark through statement accessory choices. “She was absolutely adorned all the time, and I was totally fascinated—and that’s what fuelled my childhood obsession with jewellery,” explains the loose-locked Hopkins, who moved from Edmonton to Toronto four years ago to study goldsmithing at George Brown.
Almost everything in the store is handmade by Hopkins, who prior to opening the shop sold her wares online and at Hogtown boutiques such as Tabula Rasa and Risqué. Now that Hopkins has her own space, she has expanded her mandate into a four-fold operation that includes one-of-a-kind jewellery, custom work and repair, antique treasures hunted for by Hopkins and workshops. When crafting custom pieces and upcycled creations (made from salvaged antiques), Hopkins’s goal is to create jewellery that will be timeless, but also weighted with history. If nothing on the shelves entices, Hopkins is happy to sit down and tailor individual baubles to clients’ personal styles. She also encourages people to bring in their own heirlooms so that they can be updated in style while remaining anchored to the past.
Hopkins had originally planned to open her shop in September, but when the perfect nook next to Pretty Freedom (co-owned by Hopkins’s good friend Jodee Aguillon) became available, she knew the opportunity was too serendipitous to give up. Being located in the Market automatically means that the foot traffic is of the eclectic ilk, to say the least; within a week of the store’s opening, Hopkins had already been asked to work on the strangest jewellery-related project she’d ever been approached with: turning a Value Village–salvaged antique clipboard with a unicorn clip into a necklace.
Considering Hopkins only found the space a little over a month ago, she’s done a phenomenal job of creating eye-fetching displays: earrings hung on a wrought-iron fireplace screen, necklaces suspended in gilt picture frames, delicate gold chains juxtaposed against ragged barn board, amethyst pendants draped across rusted horseshoes and a hollowed-out clock shell used as a display case are just some of the whimsical touches that invite passersby to explore these fantastic one-of-a-kind wares.
167 Augusta Ave., 647-501-5526