Kim Koraca's Always On The Lookout on Now Media    

Local Retailer Offers Big City Chic

Who could imagine that eco-friendly materials could be so chic?

I found an outstanding jewelry line at a small boutique in the City of Guelph. I love spending an afternoon on Old Quebec Street in the downtown – you really should go sometime. In particular, I fell in love with this shell necklace, featuring stainless steel rings. The piece is designed by a Toronto artist and is a unique blend of native and urban culture. The versatility of this item allows you to wear it as a choker, a full length necklace or with the bold and edgy stainless steel rings at the front or the back of the neck. Every piece is stylish, weighted, adaptable, and one of-a-kind.
Wild, Earthy, Wonderful
Designer Dandi Maestre's one-of-a-kind oversized jewelry and accessories are all handmade from wild horn, ancient raw amber, exotic energy seeds, unique sea shells, wood and other natural elements. She cleans, cuts, buffs and designs her “natural finds” into fashionable, outrageous, ethnic accessory pieces that are exquisitely wearable.  She travels in search of her raw materials from the forests and beaches of Ontario to South Africa.
At first, I hesitated at the price. I’m not one to spend a lot on “costume” jewelry. But it all changed the moment I touched it, picked it up, and put it on. I was sold.
It was almost soothing. I instantly knew I looked great. Even better, the shells on my neck made me “feel” good, not just “look” good. I would compare it to sliding-on a beautiful platinum ring; that cooling, weighted feel that you don’t get from most other jewelry. This is how I feel about Dandi's accessories: they simply feel and look better… I would buy one of her necklaces instead of a whole new outfit.
They are statement pieces—but wearable with jeans, suits and everything in between. When you wear the necklace pictured here today you “will” be noticed and the comments “will” follow. The materials and design are balanced enough to draw attention to you, first, because you’re fabulous; and then, upon closer inspection, someone will compliment you on the outstanding piece you’re wearing. Trust me! This will happen.
Recently Holt Renfrew added the line to their stores, but you do not have to make to trip into Toronto.  Dandi Maestre designs are available locally at Pretty Chic Boutique in Guelph, on Quebec Street. It is definitely worth the trip. Quebec Street offers a great selection of retailers – you will see stores from Quebec Street featured here again in my weekly column.
The necklace ranges from $140 to $250. The matching bracelet: $120.