Published in January 2011 – Trends Magazine Feature

 

Following your intuition can sometimes lead to bigger and better things.

Take Ingrid Banovsky’s experience. In 2008, she decided to create a special Mother’s Day gift for her mother and grandmother, by designing each of them a piece of jewellery.

“It was just on a whim” the smiling Banovsky explains. “I was just collecting beads and I thought it would be fun.”

She graduated to making jewellery for friends, and now the enterprising 23-year-old has started IKB Boutique. Banovsky designs and sells an eclectic selection of jewelry, covering all the bases, from simple elegance to bold and whimsey.

“There’s a little bit of everything,” Banovsky said in an interview.

She’s correct. Pieces include various types of metals and chains, recycled vintage jewellery, Swarovski crystal elements, and even buttons are included in the mix.

How does she pull it all together?

“I go with the creative flow,” Banovsky says. “I’m always thinking of designs in my head. Designing comes in waves. Intuitively, I will pick something up and someone will want it months later.”

The St. Christopher’s graduate headed off to George Brown College in Toronto following high school. There she studied fashion management. After completing the two-year program, Banovsky worked in the Toronto fashion industry. She comes to the jewellery biz with no art background, adding she “sucks at drawing.”

But judging from the quality of her work, her lack of official training in that department doesn’t seem to matter.

Banovsky returned to Sarnia to be near family and after working at various jobs, enrolled at the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation OSEB program.

IKB Boutique came out of that venture nine months ago.

Banovsky still has a day job but is hoping to make the jewellery design her full-time career. She recently purchased her first home and is looking forward to creating a studio there. Ideally,  she would like to open a shop to retail jewellery out front, and create it in a studio in the back.

Another of Banovsky’s dreams is to travel to Italy to take a metal-smithing course.

Thanks to the Internet, IKB Boutique has customers world-wide. Her what she calls “reasonably priced” jewellery has appeal for the masses. The website, which has had over 45,000 hits in eight months, has been accessed by people from across North America – and even by potential customers in India.

What advice does Banovsky have for budding entrepreneurs?

“Stay focused. Be selective about whose advice you listen to. People want to tell you what to do. You can’t stress yourself out and try to please all those people. It’s not fair to yourself.”

Banovsky’s creations can be found at Modern Philosophy in Sarnia, Bare Roots in Petrolia, Studio 1219 in Port Huron and The Fashion District Store in downtown Toronto.

Her online address is www.ikbboutique.com.

– Pam Wright