Behind the Scenes with Sandy from Dazzling Little Gems

Behind the Scenes with Sandy from Dazzling Little Gems! 

Dazzling Little Gems

Your look into Dazzling Little Gem’s Behind the Scenes Process.


Sandy Gionet of Dazzling Little GemsEvery story has a beginning, and Dazzling Little Gems’ story is no different. This week, we wanted to give you all a look behind the curtain. Sandy G. is the mastermind behind the Dazzling Little Gems brand, sourcing and creating all of her pieces by hand – but what does her process look like, and how did it come to be? We answer all of those questions and more in this week’s blog. 

How Did It All Begin?

Dazzling Little Gems didn’t start out as a fully formed brand. In fact, the idea of turning her hobby into a business only came to Sandy when her friends and family started taking a real interest in the jewelry that she was creating. Large events would be on the horizon, and the people she loves would request custom jewelry pieces to wear to the event. From there, more and more people outside of her circle of family and friends started asking for pieces – and that’s how she knew it was time to register her business. 

Sandy now sells her custom pieces online and at maker’s markets in the Hamilton area. She finds herself inspired by the people in her life, and the nature that surrounds her home in Hamilton – which boasts over 100 waterfalls and is known as the waterfall capital of the world. All of that beauty leads to the creation of some unique pieces. 

What Does The Design Process Look Like? 

If you’ve ever been on the Dazzling Little Gems website, you may have noticed the huge variety of materials that Sandy crafts with. From beads and crystals to stainless steel and gold, there is something for everyone and the process behind each collection differs. It always starts with that search for inspiration – and sometimes that isn’t easy. 

“Sometimes I will just start stringing and unstringing beads until I create something that I like. It isn’t always easy – sometimes I lose my mojo and I don’t create anything that I really like… however, sometimes the pieces that I may not like or think are a complete disaster end up being a work of art to others.” 

Aside from beads, her favourite mediums are stainless steel and semi-precious gemstones (hence the name, Dazzling Little Gems). Working with durable, environmentally friendly materials is important to Sandy, which is why she prefers to work with stainless steel over silver. While stainless steel may not be as shiny as silver, the environmental factors along with the fact that it will never tarnish and is hypoallergenic, makes it an easy choice that provides great value for her clients. 

What she really loves working with, though, are semi-precious gemstones. 

Semi-precious gemstones are my number one favorite to work with as there are so many beautiful types of stones from all over the world, all with a story behind them that I find so fascinating, as well, I enjoy the healing properties each one carries, and I incorporate them in my meditation rituals to help restore balance, and gain peace. My favorite gemstone to work with, and that I use in many of my designs, is turquoise. I absolutely love the blue color as it makes me think of blue ocean waters and white sandy beaches – my favorite place in the world.”

Dazzling Little Gems Turquoise Bracelet

While she loves creating custom pieces for a special occasion such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, she tries to focus on the individual that will be wearing her piece rather than on creating a high volume of items for the occasion. It’s important to her to create a piece that not only speaks to the person that is wearing it, but that is durable and loved for many years to come. Quality is the name of the game, rather than quantity. 

Tools of The Trade – How Are Dazzling Little Gems’ Pieces Made? 

We talked about the materials that Sandy prefers to use in her art, but she uses a variety of other tools to turn those base materials into something that her clients can cherish. Some of the lesser-known components of her work include: 

  • Stringing Elastic Cord
  • Beads
  • Strong Jewelry Glue such as Hypo Cement or E6000
  • Beading Wire
  • Crimp Beads
  • Crimp Covers
  • Clasps
  • Tools such as flat nose pliers, crimping tools, and wire cutters. 

When people look at a finished work, they often look at the beautiful piece in front of them and don’t consider how many other components go into creating it. It’s important to Sandy that all of the pieces that Dazzling Little Gems offers are sustainable, ethically sourced, and have no negative impact on the environment. She even plans to take courses on metalsmithing in the future and to foray into one of the many Canadian Gem Mines in which she can mine her own gemstones. 

Has Dazzling Little Gems Had Any Challenges Thus Far? 

No business is without its challenges, and Dazzling Little Gems is no different. Sandy spoke about her love for wire wrapping – how beautiful and intricate each wire-wrapped piece can be, but how wire wrapping once led to an injury that took her away from Jewelry creation for over a year. 

“I love the idea of wrapping pendants, rings, and creating unique and beautiful designs with wire, however, this is a technique I have yet to perfect. One time, I decided to create quite a complex wire wrap design for a cuff bracelet. I had to use several pieces of wires and a smaller wire for wrapping, and I had to apply a lot of pressure to hold the wires in place while wrapping them together. Once I completed the bracelet, it turned out beautifully – but it left me with a lot of pain in my hand, which turned out to be a very bad sprain in my thumb that took over a year to heal, and I now have arthritis.”

It’s safe to say that Sandy pours her heart and soul into each piece that she creates, and she still plans on exploring wire wrapping in the future – but on a smaller scale. 

Dazzling Little Gem’s Summer Collection is Now Available


Dazzling Little Gems Summer Collection

Thank you to Sandy for sitting down with us and answering all of our burning questions. Now that you know a little bit about the process behind Sandy’s work – check out her
latest collection. The summer themes are dazzling to say the least! 

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