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From a manager to an eco-friendly jeweler

From a manager to an eco-friendly jeweler

Today I continue once again to do what I like to do for my jewelry blog – discover and share the names from the Montreal and Quebec jewelry scene. There are two things that make me feel closer to the featured artist, TDN Creations – like me, she is eco-responsible and, like me, she had her first education and career path in management. Though, she switched to jewelry quicker – it took me more than 13 years of business degrees and work! Meet Trang Dai, the founder of the TDN Creations, a small Quebec jewelry business, which is growing with consistency and success.

When and how did you start to create jewelry?

I’ve always been a creative person, trying out all kinds of crafts from an early age (painting on silk, sewing cute felt creatures, sculpting polymer clay…). I’ve always loved to experiment with different materials and techniques. After completing a Master’s Degree in management and foreign languages, I was going to settle for an office job in the corporate world. However, my creative side never left me. And after a few years, I just couldn’t see myself working at a desk for the next 35 years. One day, a colleague asked me to make her a pendant out of polymer clay. And that’s how I started making jewelry. And I loved it!

After some time, I started making wire-wrapped jewelry with Swarovski crystals. I learned with books and videos and was happy with the results, but somehow I felt that I could do more. I researched the internet to see how I could take my technical skills to the next level. That’s when I found EMSOM, a school in Montreal that had a full-time jewelry making program of more than 1800 hours. That was perfect for me!

What inspires you? What materials and ideas?

I like jewelry with a strong symbolism.

I’ve developed my collections around love, family and the beauty of life. I believe it’s the little things that matter the most, that every woman is a gem and most of all, I believe in love. Because love creates miracles. It can change the world to make it a better place for everyone to live in.

What does your ordinary workday looks like? Do you have some rituals that you do regularly and that make you feel more productive and efficient?

I have well-structured work week. My schedule is planned at the beginning of each week and I use the Pomodoro technique to help me stay focused.

I always start the day with email management and customer service. From Monday to Thursday, I usually work in the workshop with my assistant Elodie, doing either production work or design and creation. When I’m not in the workshop, I work on marketing, photography, product listing, accounting, etc… everything that needs to be done to run a small business…  My virtual assistant Michelle helps me with PR, social media and internet marketing. Fridays are reserved for appointments, meetings and self-development.

Among the services, my business makes alternative engagement rings, family jewelry and personalized jewelry.

Tell about your sustainability principles and eco-friendly choices?

When you have children, you want the best for them. You want them to be healthy and happy.

Being environment-conscious came naturally to me: if I can do my part so that my business has less negative impact on the environment, of course, I will do it.

At TDN Creations, we use recycled metals whenever possible. Our metal supplier earned recycled content certification in an SCS audit. SCS is a global leader in verification of environmental and sustainability claims with internationally recognized standards, and their certification ensures that our supplier’s entire manufactured gold and silver products are certified 100% recycled precious metal content. On top of that, some of our designs are made of clean scrap metal that we recycle in-house.

Our gemstones are ethically sourced and conflict-free, and we give our customers the option to use lab-grown gems like Charles & Colvard moissanites and Chatham gemstones.

In our studio, we use non-toxic and eco-friendly products whenever possible, like citric acid in our pickling pot. We have an oxygen generator so we don’t have to throw away disposable oxygen bottles.

We use Kraft bubble mailers that contain post-industrial recycled plastics. Our new jewelry boxes are made from recycled paper and Kraft paper.

You can find TDN Creations jewelry at www.tdncreations.com