Some businesses have flourished in the pandemic times, and some have been challenged even further to innovate and transform. La Grande Lune is a small jewellery brand based out of Toronto’s Liberty Village neighborhood which does not just offer run-of-the-mill costume jewellery and trends that change with every outfit but also offers sustainability in design, keeping it classy and chic always!
The business focuses on designing and producing quality accessories. It seeks to help various charities through the proceeds it gets from jewellery sales. So, in turn – you are accessorizing and at the same time supporting a great cause! Today, we are in conversation with Izel Akyildiz, the designer and founder of La Grande Lune.
What is different about the jewellery at La Grand Lune?
Izel: Our accessories are made keeping in mind classic design principles and innovating on the basics. Versatility is the key to every piece we make. The idea is not to innovate for every fashion trend because if we did that, most pieces would only be in fashion with a certain type of clothing or seasons. Growing up in Turkey and like most Turkish women, I too grew up obsessed with jewellery!
They are a quintessential part of our fashion, but amazingly, I was so awe-inspired by women in my family who made use of classic pieces of jewellery for years – accessorising them effortlessly! From then on, I understood that jewellery is a statement in itself and classic pieces outlive trendy ones – so I worked endlessly on innovating designs. As you can see, most of the jewellery are sturdy, classy designs, without compromising on comfort and practicality while looking hot and trendy!
How did the brand come around, and when?
Izel: I had been toying with the idea for more than three years as I had an inherited love for jewellery. I also knew I wanted to share the same joy and concepts of jewellery and what it meant to me with all of the customers. Especially during the onset of the pandemic, dressing up and going out became limited, so I thought of it as being no better time than this to bring to life classic designs, ones that are always trending! I launched the brand online in January of this year.
I had been too busy with jobs that I had kept pushing my passion to start the business, but since I became recently unemployed and had barely any savings, I decided to take the plunge and create the brand. I would work endlessly on it, over-caffeinated, and sometimes go over 12 hours a day to make it happen. But in the end, I think had it not been for the pandemic and my financial circumstances, I would have never made this happen! I was so lucky to have the support of my life partner Fabio Ruiz, who also became my business partner and the entire Liberty Village neighbourhood – everyone was so thoughtful, so positive, and supportive. It has been a tough past year for everyone, whether they have been working or running their own business, but it’s a great feeling to know that there is so much community support and help with so many aspects of running a business.
We are in love with their pieces, simple silver and gold plated jewellery, rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings. You can find anything to transform from practical workwear to evening patio chic. With the advent of spring and the easing of COVID -19 restrictions, they have identified your go-to place for simple, minimalistic, statement designs, transitioning from into your bulky sweater weather to summer heat.
La Grande Lune caters to all of your accessorizing needs, and the best part is that website offers a promo code discount of 10% to first-time customers. They change and upgrade designs constantly, and pricing is kept at a fair amount – accurate to the jewellery’s wearability and sustainability.
When Izel launched the business, she put out stock in small quantities to analyze customer interest; what followed was an incredible response which resulted in so many styles being out of stock in the first week! Our most coveted product was our earrings, a staple for everyone’s wardrobe. Izel couldn’t believe that La Grande Lune had returning customers in the first two weeks of going live with the business!
La Grande Lune is unique as it does what usually new small businesses don’t or cannot. It builds in giving back to the communities within its profit margins and supports charities. This is one of its integral principles, and it is something that customers feel ultimately good about because while accessorizing, they are helping so many worthy causes.
We asked Izel what propelled her to add this element to La Grande Lune:
Izel: Since I was a child, I always taught how to pay forward all goodness we got, and by doing so we would grow not only our goodness but help so many other people in our midst. I believe the brand has such tremendous potential to reach and help people and the environment while being an excellent product for its customers. We try to change the options and offer variety to provide equal opportunity to several charities to prosper from this. Some of our current offerings on check out are:
• Sponsor one school meal to a child in need (Outside of Canada) I always think only empathy and compassion
• Plant a tree. Let’s reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change together by planting a tree. We also want to be carbon neutral by 2022.
• Donate one winter accessory to a homeless person (in Toronto). As Torontonians, we know firsthand how cold our winters can be. Please help us bring some warmth to the 10,000+ homeless people in our city. These are some of the items we typically donate: a beanie, a pair of warm socks, or a mittens pair.
So you can buy your favourite accessory and decide where a percentage of the sales would go! We inform our customers about the impacts their purchase has made to different charities through our social media and our newsletter. We always try to group at least 10 orders each for a cause before donating to make a better sizeable impact. We also use 100% compostable packaging and, we keep it minimal to reduce the waste.
For more information kindly visit:
Our website is: www.lagrandelune.com
Author: Shanal Kazi is a BIPOC writer, who believes in an inclusive and diverse society, she loves history, culture, art but more importantly, she loves supporting and helping people. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. If you have stories to share kindly email: –[email protected]