Sarah Walsh of Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery
Most people in Ottawa don’t realize how developed the wedding industry is. Even most of us who are in the industry don’t know a lot about each other beyond what we see while working together. This is what sparked the idea of speaking to, and photographing various people who are well known in the Ottawa area. As part of an ongoing interview project, we will be featuring a different wedding related person or business every week or two for the next few months.
The first person to be featured is Sarah Walsh of Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery. I first worked with Sarah over 6 years ago at a wedding in Ottawa where I was the photographer and Sarah was the make-up artist. What makes Sarah interesting is the way in which she naturally developed her businesses as an extension of herself. Her passion for creativity, mixed with an entrepreneurial drive, as well as her warm and upbeat personality are all ingredients that have led to her success. Sarah is a self-admitted perfectionist who goes to great lengths to put herself into her designs and the overall look and feel of the business.
Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, Sarah moved to Ottawa with her family as a teenager. From an early age, Sarah immersed herself in the performing arts, as well as anything and everything artistic. Teaching dance throughout her high school and university years showed Sarah that creating and having a flexible schedule was what suited her best.
Throughout her time at the University of Ottawa, studying psychology and mass media communication, Sarah also worked part time at The Bay as a make-up artist. This gave exposure to a lot clients, great ideas of how to work efficiently, and independently – experiences which led Sarah onto the freelance makeup artist scene. Sarah quickly became well known in the Ottawa wedding industry as one of the most popular bridal makeup artists in the city.
Not long after her wedding makeup business took off, Sarah decided that it was time to launch an online boutique, featuring her own line of handmade bridal jewellery (another creative hobby of hers). The plan was to design a full collection of pieces, handcrafted with precious metals, freshwater pearls, gemstones, and Swarovski crystals. Sarah admits that her photography presentation wasn’t the best in those early days but despite that, the orders started immediately. The complete collection had not even been fully loaded online when the orders began to take over the business development time. As her e-commerce business grew, Sarah began to further develop herself as a brand. She collaborated with peers in the wedding industry on several styled shoots, featuring her pieces on models. In conjunction, Sarah also perfected her ability to take all of the actual product shots herself, which led to further growth. The makeup business eventually had to give way to the demands of the thriving online jewellery shop, and now 5 years later, Sarah only takes the occasional makeup commission.
Currently, Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery resides in an elegant studio in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa, Canada. All design, production, staff, packaging, and shipping happens here. It is also setup for customer browsing and can be booked by appointment. Sarah loves meeting with Ottawa brides to custom-design their wedding day accessories.
As for the future of Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery, there are many options under consideration. The most interesting one in my opinion, is the possibility of having a store front retail location in Ottawa. This is pure speculation at this point so don’t quote me on that…
You can see Sarah’s work for yourself by going to:
You can also follow Sarah Walsh Jewellery on Facebook:
Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery
101 Fourth Ave, 2nd floor (by appt)