REBECCA GREENSTEIN + CHRISTYNE GAUTHIER OF SPIRO SPERO DESIGNS
Tell us a bit about you and your #smallbiz…
My partner (and BFF) Christyne and I have always shared a love of vintage prints, antique jewelry, and whimsical design. Outside of our conventional careers in health care and the arts, we relished any chance to express ourselves. You could find us wearing large, unusual statement necklaces to the grocery store, or re-imagining bows on presents as giant fascinators in our hair. We were always those two!
One day, we realized there had to be more to life than expressing our pent-up creativity by collecting other people’s designs. And that’s when everything changed. We came up with the idea of transforming our collections of vintage images into wearable art. Inspired and purely self-taught, we co-founded our passion project, Spiro Spero.
Spiro Spero Designs creates Lucite jewelry for the modern muse. Based on our personal collections of vintage prints and ephemera, Spiro Spero breathes new life into iconic imagery by creating whimsical statement jewelry using laser cut Lucite charms. The line includes Lucite brooches, rings, charm necklaces, and chokers. Our current collection is inspired by the iconography of pin-up girls and is a tribute to powerful women.
What about your business are you passionate about?
Everything! We never get tired of creating crazy new pieces and turning to each other and blurting out, ‘I would totally wear that!’ In a given crowd, we’ve realized that our designs have a cult-like appeal. The most rewarding moments are when we meet a fan of the line at a show or even walking in downtown Toronto, and they tell us, ‘I totally get what you’re trying to do here!’ We honestly see our devotees as members of the family. No lie! We design for our band of fellow misfits and risk takers, and we look at our jewelry as beacons that announce to other women, ‘we refuse to play by the rules either!’
What is something fun/ interesting/ personal about you and your business?
Spiro Spero gives Christyne and I life. For every person who ever told us we could never bring this jewelry line to fruition, or who insisted we would never find our niche market, we somehow grew more determined, not less. We could have called it quits about a million times along this journey but somehow we just…refused to give up! If anything, the obstacles and the skeptics made us stronger and all the more grateful for each and every new customer we connect with.
Here’s an interesting tidbit for your next trivia night: Spiro Spero is derived from a Latin phrase, which roughly translates as “As long as I breathe, I hope.”
What does being a Canadian small business mean to you?
Spiro Spero flows directly out of who Christyne and I are. To own a piece of our jewelry is to own a little piece of our eccentricity and our creative daydreams. We thrive on the face-to-face interactions and grassroots support that comes with being a local small business. One of our most famous fans, Natasha Negovanlis of Camilla fame, came across our line completely organically while shopping at a farmer’s market in downtown Toronto. She saw one of our necklaces on one of our first TEN customers (ever!), asked her about it, and the rest is history. Natasha got 25,000 likes (wtf!) when she wore her Spiro Spero necklace on Instagram! That is exactly what we adore about being fledgling entrepreneurs within a vibrant, supportive community.
// Learn more about Spiro Spero Designs //
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Shop Spiro Spero Designs at the Nooks' Spring into Fashion Pop-Up April 14 in Toronto!