Winnipeg’s jewel

Gemologist Hilary Druxman focuses on giving to the community

“It’s the day to day customers that ... are the people I find the most fascinating,” says local jeweller Hilary Druxman. Dylan Hewlett
Dylan Hewlett
Dylan Hewlett
Dylan Hewlett
Dylan Hewlett
Dylan Hewlett

Despite having made custom jewelry for the likes of Harrison Ford and Diane Sawyer, and having pieces featured in advertisements for Absolut Vodka, Hilary Druxman says she’s more interested in her local clients.

“I think initially (celebrities wearing my pieces) was something I kind of got swept up in, but over the past 10 years it’s the day to day customers that come into the store - that I have a relationship with - those are the people I find the most fascinating,” she says. “Some of them are local celebrities, but it’s not like in Santa Monica when we had really recognizable people coming in.”

Druxman began her independent jewelry business in 1994. Hilary Druxman Inc. has since grown into a factory of 25 manufacturers overseen by Druxman and her business partner, Master Jeweller Tai Sana. The company sells jewellery in 200 stores across North America and Europe.

She credits meeting the right people at the right time to the success of her business.

“We formed a tripod that’s really been the strength of our company over the past eight years,” she says about working with Sana, and her business manager, Tracey Young.

“Everything grew really organically. When your plate just gets full - someone shows up and you ask them ‘Hey, can you do this?’” she says. “I’ve sort of pulled people in that way.”

The company has made philanthropy pieces that are sold in support of local charities and businesses, including The Children’s Hospital Foundation, Winnipeg Harvest and Nine Circles Community Health Centre.

Druxman says that each custom piece, be it for a charity, business or individual, comes from the same process.

“I’ll sit down with them and we’ll talk about what they want, what their budget is, how they dress, their lifestyle, if there’s any sentimental value - it all just sort of comes together,” she says. “A lot of the time we’re just providing the framework of something they’ve inherited.”

Druxman said right now the company’s focus is online sales, and maintaining those relationships with customers. Personally, she said she’s at a comfortable place in her life.

“I have two kids. I go home at 5 and can be really home-based,” she says. “I take a really practical approach - I can manage the work that I have, and have fun on a day-to-day basis.”

Druxman adds that she loves working in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

“There’s so many great restaurants and little shops. It is growing, and I think there can be more great restaurants, or boutique hotels, or small apartments. I’ve been coming to this area for 17 years. I love it.”

Visit Hilary Druxman at 258 McDermot Ave., or online at

Published in Volume 67, Number 9 of The Uniter (October 31, 2012)

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