True Bijoux

At some point almost two weeks ago, my friend Janelle had a +1 to go to a PR event for Kinki Sushi’s 11th Anniversary. While I was reluctantly going to try and sandwich the event between my two jobs, I figured what better way to network with Ottawa’s likeminded fashionistas and partygoers than this invite. I had just bought an emerald green Diane Von Furstenberg dress at Holts the week before, and I was dying for a solid occasion to wear it; you know, where it would be appreciated…

The event was definitely very segregated at first; the hairstylists stayed together, the pole dancers put on a show, and the store managers from each of Kinki’s sponsors were keen on amping up their products to the rest of us. So, as Janelle and I were diving into what seemed like endless amounts of sushi and Asian-inspired appetizers (and complimentary drinks of all sorts), I noticed a lady in the crowd that I had once met at Michael Kors. I immediately engaged in a conversation with her, and suddenly, Mandy, Janelle, and I were chatting like we had known each other for years. Mandy had moved on from Michael Kors to a fairly new store that she told us so passionately about: True Bijoux.

So firstly, what’s my stance as the writer of this blog? My mantra is to find people something different, something out of the box, and to link others to stores they might not have found on their own. So when Mandy was telling me about True Bijoux, a jewelry store I had only vaguely heard of, I was immediately intrigued by what possibilities would come of my visit to a store whose platform is to deliver Ottawa something different than the store you’d walk into at the mall. That ‘something different’ is expressed through the variety of costume jewelry, precious gems, internationally imported pieces, and designs made in-house by Lindsay Howard, the owner, and her in-store jewelry atelier.

I’ve walked into the store twice before being able to sit down and write this post. Both times, I’ve been absolutely stunned by this piece. On my last visit with Janelle, I was enlightened as to why the price was a whopping $700 for this piece of costume jewelry, aka work of art. Lindsay, the owner of the store, travels around the world looking for unique gems, stones, full and partial pieces to work with. She brings them home, and once she’s inspired, starts creating artwork from that statement item she’s found. In this case, it’s a stone from Arizona that literally looks like crystals and diamonds are fused into its rough turquoise surface. Pictures can’t even do justice to how beautiful the stone is in person, but I tried…

Stunning right? I am absolutely in love with this piece, and I’ve barely walked you through the door!

The genius behind this gem of a store, Lindsay Howard, greeted us at the door and brought us over to her newly finished desk. The desk looks like a mirrored door, and as you can see, it contains inspiration from around the world within its panels. She had just received the glass top for it that day. With this, we began to understand the method behind her madness and how fiercely passionate she is about creating and delivering eclectic and one-of-a-kind pieces to a fashion industry in its developmental stages. Passion for jewelry, both fine and costume, is in her blood as True Bijoux has become the sister store to the fine jewelry empire of Ottawa: Howard’s.

Here, Janelle is sporting a Turkish designer’s scarf-inspired necklace that can drape down the back for that extra glamorous detail. It’s such a unique piece and definitely a much better quality take on the adorned scarf than I’ve previously seen.

Stunning pavé rose earrings with a hanging forest green pendant.

When I was in the store I turned to Janelle and said “these are really you”, but the more I look at them I think, wow, these are really me too. When I’m not being edgy and dressed in all black with metallics, these are totally my style. I absolutely love the contrast of these bright pastels against one another, in addition to the vintage-inspired design. Definitely will go back for these soon…

A lot of people wouldn’t think this, but I am a complete sucker for vintage design when it comes to fine jewelry. These Edwardian engagement rings were just posted to True Bijoux’s Facebook page, and I cannot get over the craftsmanship of some of these estate jewels. I especially love the ring with the saphire; it’s unique and reminds me of royalty!

To like this one, you have to appreciate its rarity. Lindsay went to Bangkok and happened to stumble upon designer, Michangelo, who combines costume design with genuine gemstones. Lindsay fell completely in love with this bumblebee piece; its eyes are made of peridots and the heads are made of rubies. I love the playful design!

Silk wrapped costume jewelry by Montreal designer, Charlotte Hosten. Amazing pieces featuring real silk.

A unique costume jewelry piece I picked up on my first visit at the store on 206 Sparks St. Ottawa. The green is vibrant and the 2nd and 4th stones are clear! Looks absolutely stunning paired with anything.

It would be absolutely impossible to write a comprehensive post about the contents of this store, so you’ll just have to go for yourselves and find that unique piece that’s right for your own style! There is an incredibly wide range of prices, and whether you like costume, local, fine jewelry, or designer brands like Pandora and Thomas Sabo, True Bijoux has something that you won’t want to leave at the store!

A picture of Janelle and I at the ‘Everything Kinki’ 11th Anniversary event. Was a blast!

Be a True Bijoux,



About ChelseaSwag

I have recently completed my Criminology degree with a concentration in law and a minor in psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. The past three years that I have spent away from my home in Montreal have only reconfirmed my ever-longing desire to become involved in the fashion industry in some way. Although there are a lot of fashion blogs out there, I have to first say that my own style will really resonate with the girls who are always looking to stand out- more so on a student budget. Different relatives and family members involved in the fashion industry have surrounded and shaped my love for fashion throughout my lifetime, however, none are quite so edgy as myself. I hope to enlighten the ladies that are looking to add a little extra oomph to their appearance, while also reflecting their own personal taste. But remember, swag is not only what you wear- it's a lifestyle. CP
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3 Responses to True Bijoux

  1. Mandy says:

    Chelsea! Chelsea Swag! You know your bijouxs and can spot a treasure a mile away…WE love YOU love True Bijoux and appreciate all the sparkly accolades about a unique independent store in the heart of Ottawa. We are known for our Fabulous Finds and you spotted ’em within seconds in the store and we are sure your readers will too after being enticed by your thoughts to talons to key board blog about us!! Bijoux hugs

  2. Janelle says:

    You’re a True Bijoux! I had a wonderful time discovering True Bijoux with you my love! FAB post!

  3. Pingback: FRAMED: THE DEBUT | chelseaswag

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