Two Israeli Women, One Thriving Jewellery Store

Published: August 1st 2010
in Culture » Art

Miri Katzav and Smadar Eliasaf of Topaz jewellery
Pic: courtesy

The first time I stepped into Topaz, I was overwhelmed by the array of glittering accessories that adorned the room. To my left, a wall full precious metals, shimmering stones and sparkling gems. To my right were pictures of familiar celebrity faces, including the likes of Paula Abdul and Rachel McAdams, mounted next to one of a radiant blonde-haired woman.


I am awoken from my daze by a voice welcoming me to the store. I look forward, and it is the blonde woman from the pictures, whom I later discover is the owner of the store.


“I don’t feel like I’m going to work every morning, I just feel like when I wake up in the morning, I’m so eager to not even go to work, but just to have fun,” says Miri Katzav of her jewellery store, Topaz. “I enjoy seeing my customers get excited about the pieces in the store. The feedback I’m getting from them really makes me feel great.”


Topaz carries trend-setting, high-end jewellery in only the finest materials. Katzav’s Toronto store is a favourite among celebrities such as Donatella Versace, Halle Berry and CTV’s eTalk host Tanya Kim.


Topaz opened three years ago, and is celebrating its third anniversary with a visit from their top designer, Smadar Eliasaf. Her collection, Sea by Smadar Eliasaf, pushes the boundaries of fashion by incorporating natural, raw materials from all over the world into bold, statement jewellery pieces.


“The pearls come from India and Indonesia. We work with the Swarovski, which comes from Austria,” says Eliasaf. The designer has travelled from Israel to celebrate her shared success with Katzav.


At Topaz’s recent third anniversary celebration, guests sipped on wine and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres while ogling Katzav’s stunning jewellery collection. There, I had the privilege of being one of the first to view some of Eliasaf’s new pieces. “It is the same material but it’s darker blue for the winter. There are more layering pieces, bigger pieces, and a lot of pearls,” says Eliasaf of her new collection. “I see the material, I feel it and that’s what gives me the passion to create.”


Before opening Topaz, Katzav was a fashion merchandiser. When she discovered Sea by Smadar Eliasaf, she tried to bring it to Toronto stores, but the fashion industry wasn’t ready to adopt such an avant-garde collection.


“People were really afraid of [the line] and they all turned me down. I really believed in this line. I loved it, I thought it’s cool looking, and it’s a great trend, but I could not transfer what I felt to the stores,” says Katzav.


Staying true to her beliefs, Katzav decided to open her own store where she would sell Eliasaf’s collection. “For me, it was a risk that I took. Since (opening the store), Sea is the best line that I sell. It’s a good feeling when somebody that you believe in succeeds.”


Sea by Smadar Eliasaf has grown to become an international success. Later this week, Eliasaf will be travelling to New York for her biannual visit to showcase her collection.


Related articles: (art, jewellery, miri katzav, smadar eliasaf, topaz)
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