It took the loss of her father for Barrie’s Jennifer Wolfe to realize that she was not living the life she truly wanted to live.
After a career in marketing and another job doing bookkeeping, Wolfe decided it was time to walk away from a job that she simply didn’t love and pursue a dream.
At the age of 39, she registered for Georgian College’s jewelry and metals post-graduate goldsmithing and silversmithing program.
And she’s never looked back
“I was kind of late to it. I started it at 39 and went back to school. I sort of had an epiphany because my dad died unexpectedly at the age of 60 and I was doing a job I didn’t particularly care for and didn’t really bring me joy. It was the best thing (to make the switch),” said Wolfe, owner of Bliss Jewellery Studio on Bayview Drive in Barrie.
About five years ago, Wolfe opened her first studio, a small space in downtown Barrie where she not only worked on her own creations, but also began hosting workshops.
Unfortunately, like many other small business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to shut the doors and she ended up losing that space.
While heartbreaking at the time, it may actually have been a blessing in disguise, as she’s now settled into a much larger space, allowing her to open up her studio and workshops to a larger clientele.
“We have a lot of other graduates from Georgian that teach as well. We have a really strong group of teachers," she told BarrieToday. "It’s been kind of a whirlwind and we are really trying to focus on teaching mostly beginner students. We get a lot of people who are trying to do some self-care, looking to try something new and just be creative.”
Others who utilize the space are doing it as a regular hobby or new business, Wolfe added.
“We are trying to help them with that,” she said.
The workshops are also a great way to spend quality time with friends and family, she said, adding the studio has been hosting a lot of private parties recently, including a bridal party who was set to create spoon rings. Another recent workshop was a mother-daughter event, where participants created infinity necklaces.
“That was a lot of fun because you could really see where the moms were enjoying the whole process and also just spending time together. Sometimes it is not about the things, but rather about the time that you’re spending together and that’s what we try to show here," Wolfe added.
As an artist, Wolfe says she loves working on special pieces for her clients.
“I am really into the whole sentimental side of things, where we are trying to preserve memories or create new ones,” she said.
Creating custom pieces for her customers is also a lot of fun.
“Every experience is different and there’s nothing better than creating something for somebody that really means something to them and bringing things back to life. It’s very personal and I like that aspect of that," Wolfe said.
With a variety of workshops to pick from, Wolfe says there’s a little bit of something to help bring out your creative side.
“You’d be amazed at what’s hiding in there. You don’t necessarily have to be creative, per se, because the way that we teach, we break it down into small portions that everybody can do. It’s possible for anybody," she said.
Being able to share her love of making unique pieces, she added, has been incredibly fulfilling. And she’s just grateful she has the opportunity to do it.
“When I hear students say after they’ve done a workshop that they have a newfound appreciation for handmade jewelry, you can see how much joy they have from creating something all by themselves. It’s the best thing in the world," she said.
Bliss Jewellery Studio is located at 250 Bayview Dr., Unit 10.