What is EVStenroos and what do you do?
Stenroos: EVStenroos is not only my first two initials and last name, but also what I named my brand and company. My business and brand logo is EVS, and my work is marked with the initials EVS – as per British hallmarking standards – so I wanted the name of my business to convey the reason why, clearly.
I predominantly design and create contemporary, custom fine jewelry and silverware, but also fashion jewelry and accessories. The majority of my work tends to be engagement rings and wedding rings, but also a lot of beautiful anniversary jewelry and silver sculptures – to signify a special occasion or milestone in someone’s life.
What’s your background in this area?
Stenroos: I was born and raised on a farm in rural, Swedish-speaking Finland. I always had a fascination with sparkly things and loved crafting jewelry to wear myself; mostly as a solution to something that was very much considered a luxury that there wasn’t all that much of a budget for.
After having spent my childhood restringing and rearranging every necklace that had ever come my way, and tried most of the hobby evening courses and classes available in the rural area where I grew up, I decided to go into the arts as a 20-year-old. After a year of general art studies, but with a focus on metalsmithing, I moved to the U.K. to study silversmithing, goldsmithing and jewelry design full time, for three years, at Kent Institute of Art and Design (a college under the University of Canterbury).
When I was graduating, there was a job posting for a designer/goldsmith position in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I had always had a dream of moving to Canada so I of course applied for the job. I got the job and moved to Calgary sight unseen in August 2005.
After a little bit over four years working elsewhere, outside circumstances put me at a crossroads and I decided to start my own business, and develop and really refine my own design brand.
What sets you apart from other jewellers?
Stenroos: Being from Finland, I would say that my aesthetic is very much that of Scandinavian design. “Less is more” is an ideology I apply to. I fell in love with very architectural and mechanical jewelry in college, so there are of course some of those influences in my work. I love the juxtaposition of industrial design and luxury materials.
Because I design jewelry that’s going to be worn every day, I make sure that the jewelry isn’t just beautiful to look at, but functional and problem-free. Being trained as a maker as well as a designer, I have an excellent comprehension of what works and how jewelry will wear over time – to ensure the client can enjoy their jewelry without problems and worry.
Why are you passionate about this profession?
Stenroos: I love creating things that make people smile – and it’s a wonderful business to be in; it’s rare that I make pieces that signify anything but a very happy occasion in someone’s life. It’s an incredibly rewarding job and I see tears of joy on a regular basis.
I feel like I get to be part of so many beautiful stories and timelines, by capturing something so special, unique and personal to the client/end-wearer. Every story is so individual, and by listening to it and getting to know the client/clients, I get to translate that into a beautiful piece of art in the form of jewelry (or silverware) that ultimately turn into family treasures.
What’s your future vision for the company?
Stenroos: I’ve been busy building my brand and business over the past nine and a half years and I’m excited about hitting the 10-year mark at the end of this year.
I’m of course doing lots of visual refreshers to the brand, as I think it’s especially important at 10 years – even if just symbolically! In terms of the jewelry, silverware and art I create, I am definitely going bolder! Because I create custom jewelry, I will always create what’s right for the client, but I’m planning to also create more of a product line and stock pieces that can inspire and influence.
Even fine jewelry is very trend driven so as a custom jeweller, I will always need to stay on top of that. But I strive to always have better solutions and construction standards than the general mass produced.
As for personal development as an artist, I have a couple of ideas that have been maturing over the past couple of years that I would like to take to fruition with perhaps another art show of conceptual jewelry art pieces or silver sculptures.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.