Karen McClintock: Champion in Fashion

Karen McClintock Jewelry presented a trunk show at Andrew’s in Hazelton Lanes, Toronto Wednesday.
At an early age we are taught to plan ahead and start working towards our goals, but we are never prepared for the left turns and fresh opportunities that come along the way.
When Karen McClintock was a young girl arranging her families furniture and playing with colored crayons she never had a thought of becoming a jewelry designer. Through a series of events, Karen is now one of Canada’s most successful jewelry designers with an open door to the US marketplace in the form of The Oscars. In February 2012, Karen McClintock Jewelry of Ottawa will take a journey down The Academy Award’s red carpet in L.A..
“I’m going into my seventh year. I would say I’m really in the position where I can go for things like the Oscars. I think I have a good reputation. I’ve learned a lot along the way,” Karen said.
Karen’s story is just as bright and fascinating as her beautifully made jewelry. It all started with a piece of jewelry that needed something more. After many visits to craft supply stores, Karen had become fascinated with the creation and design of jewelry. By this time Karen had her Masters in Sports Psychology but she noticed she was in need of a flexible career, where she could work and still take care of her family.
Starting in her own home, Karen would put her pieces together, working on the floor and selling her creations to clients in her area. Eventually her growing inventory needed to placed in a retail setting. It wasn’t long before Karen McClintock Jewelry achieved placement in high-end retail stores in Ottawa and not long after that, Karen took the leap and took her line of jewelry to Holt Renfrew.


Karen said she was open to new opportunities when she started out as a designer. Books like, The Secret, helped her realize these opportunities. The Secret is a HerCastle FAV!
“I approached Holt Renfrew not knowing there is a ceiling, not knowing you shouldn’t jump that high that fast, but I did anyways and it took me 3 times to get in but I kept asking, “What do you want?” I was really focused that Holt Renfrew was what I wanted and they said, “Well, you’ve got to develop it a bit more”, I’d say okay I will and I’ll come back and I did that 3 times. The third time back they said “yes, we’ll take you”. They launched me in Fall of 2006 and I’ve been with them ever since,” she said.
The most inspiring thing about Karen is her deep love for jewelry. She has never trained formally as a jewelry designer. Her passion to the craft comes from her love of color, design, the stones in which she works with and fashion.
“I just love it and have a good feel for it. I don’t draw anything, I just see what I want to create. In a way the stones will tell me,” she said. “You look at the trends, you look at what’s out there and if you don’t stay true to yourself what you would design for yourself doesn’t look right. It doesn’t wear right. A successful designer is someone who has a lot of people who like their taste, but you’re not going to meet everybody’s. Your not going to satisfy everybody so the person I’m designing for is me,” she said. 

Karen is near completion of her Spring 2012 line and she is also working on a wedding line for 2012. Her face lights up as she tries to explain her excitement for her upcoming line.

“New materials and a lot of  bronze, gold color stones, glass beads called lamp beads. I’m excited about the new collection. Some of the stones are so pretty and that’s what inspires me,” she said.

We asked Karen what she would say to another woman sitting in a office cubicle looking to make her life more creative. Like a true coach giving advice, she is clear and motivating.

“It was a series of door opening. I didn’t go to Ryerson (Toronto university), and I didn’t apprentice under someone. You have to be open to new offers. You can’t close doors, but at the same token you have to know what feels right. I had a clear idea that if it felt right I would do it. If it didn’t feel right I wouldn’t do it. You have to be true to yourself.” 
We were super-amazed by Karen’s sparkle bracelet. These are new stones she will be using in her new line and she made this beauty while sitting in the backseat of the car to Toronto from Ottawa.
Karen was also sporting one of her most popular designs. These stones give off pure shine! At this point we talked about the importance of mismatching Jewelry.
The confident and creative Karen McClintock sat down with us for an inspiring & girlie chat!
Telly & Karen
Carcia & Karen
We will be sure to follow-up after The Oscars to hear all about Karen’s Hollywood experience.
Now you must learn more about the amazing Karen McClintock!
Visit her online for store locations and more information.
*HUGE Thanks to Karen McClintock & Carrie Irvine*
Stilettos & Rock n Roll,
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