Welcome to this edition of What I Made Wednesday. I am excited for you all to meet my dear friend Catherine of Valiance Designs. I have the pleasure of knowing Catherine through my best friend, as they are cousins. I have many pieces of Catherine’s handmade jewelry and am always amazed by the beautiful pieces she creates. Catherine’s story of grief and loss turning into creativity, love and hope through Valiance Designs is truly an inspiring one.
Hey ya’ll , my name is Catherine.
I am the creative, heart and mama behind Valiance Designs, although I could NEVER run this little business without the help of my family… they ALL lend a helping hand. I am a Southern Alberta girl born and raised – yup I just love this place. I live just outside of Taber, AB on an acreage with my family! Valiance is super interwoven to my family life, because it has been inspired by my boys. I have a one year old, a 5 year old and a little man in the stars. My family is the 1 %, 1 out of 100, that experienced late term pregnancy loss. Valiance Designs sprang out of a need/yearning to honour our son, Riley, to speak up about pregnancy loss, hoping that others would connect with our story and realize that they are not alone. We proudly speak about being a family of five, although one of our littles, you cannot see. So, Valiance is a translation of the Irish name “Riley” — the perfect name for our sweet boy. It means “brave” and “courageous” — one out of many lessons that he has taught us.
I began creating jewelry as a way to busy my hands, to try and occupy my mind and to creatively express my grief. Over time, my creations have evolved, but always they have been made with so much love.
I have been able to create countless pieces for families that have experienced losses themselves – giving them something tangible to remember their little one(s) by — often including a birthstone.
As my business has grown, many others have reached out to create a piece to honour their own path or journey in life — and quickly I have realized how unique each story is. I do my best to choose gemstones and imagery that symbolizes your journey and am truly honoured to have been a listening ear to so many.
I create handcrafted gemstone jewelry including hand knotted malas, necklaces and bracelets. Recently, I started creating with copper etching, a chemical process that allows me to engrave ANY image onto a piece of copper! Some are stamped, some are hand drawn — and I love that I can say, each pendant has been handmade by me!
I enjoy traveling to markets around Southern Alberta, connecting in person with so many amazing people. I also have an online shop through Etsy for those that are unable to attend markets or meet in person. I have branched out to a few local shops in the Taber and Lethbridge area and just recently added a location in Cranbrook, BC!
My signature little stamp that I like to include on almost every piece I create, is a little gold feather. It is the last thing that I put on a piece and is my little way of sealing what I have created for someone with a whole lot of love and hope.
Thank you, thank you for taking the time to check out this week’s edition of What I Made Wednesday