Except for Avelina Jewelry,
“Village of Vanastra’s Newest & Brightest Star”
The talented group responsible for pulling off yet another “Win This Space” contest reported recently that the Village of Vanastra will welcome a new business—and that the Municipality of Huron East will benefit from an imaginative entrepreneur taking her creative venture to another level.
With Seaforth’s successful Win This Space 2015 project as a model, Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley assembled a professional team and an erudite panel of judges in order to replicate the initiative in Vanastra.
“It was a four-way win,” Hawley reports. “The contestants, the Municipality, the community and the successful entrant all gained advantages. We were pleased to launch this innovative business recruitment initiative once again.”
“The diversity of the entries in the contest especially stood out for me,” Hawley goes on. “They encompassed culture, light manufacturing, and the food industry, all initiated by dynamic women who were definitely on a mission.
In addition to comprehensive business education expertly provided by Consultant Alison Lobb to all entrants, contest winner Gerrie Huenemoerder and her Avelina Jewelry enterprise won funding of a twelve-month lease, a large prize package from numerous sponsors, and broad publicity, as well as advice and guidance from the Hawley-Lobb duo.
Following her success with Win This Space, Huenemoerder has been more than busy. Relocating to Huron East and setting up shop for her business in Vanastra has been a full-time task, but one which she enthusiastically undertook.
“It’s been an exciting journey thus far,” she says, “and I’m looking forward to the entire commercial road trip leading to my being open for business.” In addition to its Win This Space victory, Avelina Jewelry caught the attention of the Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 and its “The Pitch, The Catch”— a rural Dragon’s Den event for entrepreneurs. And through it, Huenemoerder now has the ardent support and encouragement of investment/business mentor Ian Matthews. Additionally, the Huron Business Development Corporation is providing backing and assistance to her artistic start-up.
Huenemoerder’s successful pitch included reference to jewellery of the past—represented and broadly recognizable through the ‘blue box’ of Birks fame. “There was a time when branded jewellery was predominant,” reports Huenemoerder, “but that eventually faded. Branded lines in the fashion industry are now where it’s at. The timing is perfect for launching Avelina’s original designs—and yes, we’ll have distinctive packaging!”
Her business plan is three-pronged—supplying her creations to a large wholesale market, retail sales, and the production of other designers’ pieces—all of which will be made possible by the acquisition of a state-of-the-art 3D printer. Renovations at the Vanastra space and the hiring of staff are still on her dance card—and of course, planning the imminent grand opening of the new location for her business. (Saturday, December 10th, 2016 – Details below.)
Avelina is an ancient Germanic name whose meanings include strength, life, and desirability. And Avelina Jewelry embraces all of these, as does its award-winning designer. Whether it be in a pendant, a bracelet, earrings, or a necklace, Gerrie Huenemoerder’s distinctive style is evident. As well, many of her pieces have a touch of whimsy about them – undeniably an appealing combination.
“As much as it’s a statement of one’s style and taste, jewellery is a sensory, tactile accessory,” states Huenemoerder. “Clients and customers need to be able to touch it, see it up close and personal, feel its inherent qualities. I like to say that Avelina Jewelry lets you wear your life next to your heart.”
Join us Saturday, December 10th, 2016 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm for the Grand Opening of Avelina Jewelry. The studio is located at 38E 1st Avenue in the Village of Vanastra, (corner of 1st Avenue and Halifax Road) just south of the community of Clinton Ontario.
Contact Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer, Municipality of Huron East, Seaforth, Ontario
Written by Carolyn Parks Mintz for the Municipality of Huron East
Photography by Lynne Moreland, Westcoast Photography