Local Business Spotlight: Salt + Water
Elegant, hand sculpted silver inspired by the spray of the sea.
Tucked away on the rugged coastline of the Sunshine Coast is a small cottage from where silversmith Colleen Gould finds inspiration. Captivated by the fluidity of the ocean and the contours of the landscape, Colleen creates a magical array of versatile, timeless pieces. Her ability to transform what she sees in the natural world into unique works of art has made her a successful jewelry designer and creative in her own right.
The warmth of the Gibsons community, the gentle ebbing of the tide and the cheek-flushing ocean breeze; these are the sensory experiences that inspire Colleen's work. She began by designing jewelry for herself, and this hobby quickly birthed a thirst for improvement. After taking a silversmithing class to hone her skills, it became apparent that she was talented and there was a market for her pieces. At the forefront of each design is a penchant for the natural landscape of British Columbia and sourcing unique, beautiful materials. For Colleen, nothing beats the Sea to Sky for inspiration.
"After travelling around the world, its beauty still takes my breath away. Each day I get to walk on the beach and see the mountains. I will never take that for granted". - Colleen Gould
Colleen began selling her elegant designs in local shops on a consignment basis, later expanding to online and market sales. These days, she prefers a smaller scale approach, endorsing just a few local shops and markets, making small batches and one of a kind items of hierloom quality. Colleen strongly believes in community over competition, and loves the opportunity to collaborate with other artists and smiths in their trades. Her intimate approach means that won’t find her pieces on the shelves in Whistler, you’ll have to seek them out on her website.
Colleen reworks her own silver from previous designs and vintage pieces, and buys recycled silver when she is in need of new stock. Endorsing local trade, most of the trinkets and stones that she moulds into her designs have been found on the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island or Sea to Sky mainland. Her favourite collection to date is the Mila. Recognizable for its beautiful organic geometry, the Mila collection was inspired by her trips to Barcelona and the works of Gaudi.
Creating jewelry that is unique, contemporary and beautiful is no easy going, especially when you’re in business with yourself. Working in a remote studio alone can become lonely. For Colleen, social connections with other creatives are key.
To her younger self, and to young entrepreneurs now, she would advise to stay curious, and remember that the drive to learn, evolve and move forward is the key to success. To anyone thinking of starting their own jewelry business - believe in your ability, and read a book on accounting!
Do you have a vision of a unique piece you might want to have for yourself, or a hand-crafted heirloom made for your grandchildren? Contact Colleen and see your design come to life in a ripple of silver. You can purchase a piece of your own through her website, Salt + Water, on Instagram, at select Markets (Refresh, IMade Local), and in person at The Kube Studios (Gibsons), FibreWorks (Madiera Park) The Den Studios (Ucluelet), and Jipsi Tree (Cumberland).