Jewelry is deeply personal, yet still moves with the time and trends. Finding the balance between the unique and the timeless is key to longevity, as well as creating a universe that is specific, so as not to get lost in the oversaturation of brands. With beautiful, minimalist pieces rendered in sterling silver and bronze, Canadian brand Wolf Circus has found a sweet spot between statement and subdued.
Fiona Morrison, owner of Wolf Circus Jewelry in Vancouver, shares how she created a brand that straddles the worlds of timeless and trendy, and draws inspiration from her time spent in Stockholm, Sweden.
Tell us the story of Wolf Circus. When and why were you founded, and what your vision?
I started Wolf Circus in 2010 while working on my business degree at the University of Victoria. I think that is when I realized there was a gap in the market for modern, affordable jewelry. I felt inspired to create a line that would bring the wearer confidence and help him/her feel empowered during the daily hustle.
Where does the name Wolf Circus come from?
At the time of conceiving the line I was very into wolves; they are such strong, independent animals. My parents jokingly added that if I did anything in life it would turn into a circus. The uniqueness of our name has been a topic of many discussions. Luckily it stands out and is usually remembered!
You design “classic and contemporary” jewelry. What does this mean to you? What are the elements of classic jewelry that overlap with the contemporary?
I think so much contemporary design is overlapping with the classic. With the recent shift towards quality and sustainability, having those long-wearing, subtle statement pieces is so important. So many recent trends, such as signet rings and the use of pearls, have been inspired by classic jewelry.
To us, “classic and contemporary” is creating those wearable statement pieces which can be worn, understood, and loved for seasons to come. What I love about jewelry is how it is timeless and pieces from our collection a few seasons ago are still relevant today.
Your jewelry is handmade. Tell us about your jewelrs! Is there a separate design process, or is production tied to design?
Our jewelers are an incredible group of six women who are all highly-trained. They are a fun, passionate group of ladies, some even have their own lines. Everything is made here in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
For production, we use a process called lost wax casting, where each piece is initially carved in wax and then cast into bronze or sterling silver. Some pieces are hand-fabricated, which means they are made using metal wire or sheet metal. We usually start with an initial design and from here decide on the best way to create that style to ensure both its quality and affordability. The design and production process are tied together, as each style becomes slightly unique during the casting process.
What does jewelry mean to you as an accessory? Is it merely decorative, or is there something deeper to the way people wear it?
Each piece of jewelry tells a story for the wearer, whether it be a gift from Grandma or a symbol of importance. Jewelry, unlike clothes or other accessories, is usually worn every day, slept in, showered in. It’s intimate to the wearer. I always love seeing how our customers layer their favorite rings or mix our pendants with flea market finds.
Where do you source your silver? Is sourcing a difficult practice for you? Why or why not?
We source our sterling silver from a Canadian refinery, which usually means that parts of it are recycled. I think mindfulness and sustainability are so important during the production process. Ensuring that we are supporting companies whose practices align with ours and recycling scraps as often as possible is paramount. Our goal is to use all recycled bronze and silver.
What is your perception of Scandinavian design? What is your perception of Scandinavian jewelry, specifically?
I lived in Stockholm for a semester at school and loved everything about Sweden. To this day I am still so inspired and enamoured by Scandinavian style and design. There are so many amazing Scandinavian jewelry brands such as All Blues and Sophie Billie Brahe. What I love about Scandinavian brands is the level of quality and incredible design. The pieces have such a simple look yet make such an incredible statement.
What is the next step for Wolf Circus?
We will be launching a fine jewelry line in 14k gold come fall and will hopefully be available in some European stores! Keep an eye out.
Find out more about Wolf Circus.