Close cousins ​​open affordable jewelry store in Midtown Plaza

“Our dream is to have a place where people can take affordable, high-quality jewelry home.”

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Businesses and non-profit organizations open and relocate to Saskatoon regularly. Today, the StarPhoenix speaks to Ella Lei, who opened Givygift Shop with her cousin Ruby Li in Midtown Plaza in April.

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The two cousins, who grew up together, are more like sisters. Both 25, were born less than three months apart and were neighbors in the city of Chenzhou, China. They finally arrived in Saskatoon eight years ago and attended the University of Saskatchewan. While living together here, they had the idea of ​​opening their own jewelry store.

Ella Lei (co-owner, left) and Michelle Lwin (store worker) at Givygift Shop in Midtown Plaza, which sells affordable yet high-quality jewelry.  Lie and her cousin Ruby Li (not pictured) opened the store together in April.
Ella Lei (co-owner, left) and Michelle Lwin (store worker) at Givygift Shop in Midtown Plaza, which sells affordable yet high-quality jewelry. Lie and her cousin Ruby Li (not pictured) opened the store together in April. Photo by Michelle Berg /Star Phoenix of Saskatoon

Q: What made you decide to open Givygift Shop?

A: We found jewelry prices to be very high in Canada, while we found prices in China to be quite affordable. Our dream is to have a place where people can take affordable, high quality jewelry home. So we tried to see how we could bring this affordable jewelry here. This is our main idea. We both love jewelry.

Q: What sets Givygift Shop apart from other jewelry stores?

A: Most of our jewelry is handcrafted, with custom names and custom initials, which other stores don’t make. We are delighted to update various new designs daily. So that makes our store very special. And we sell at much lower price, like half price of others for the same items. Our prices range from $3 to $35. We also have more styles in our store. We have over 2,000 styles of jewelry.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about each style of jewelry you sell?

A: We sell necklaces, earrings, bracelets and anklets, body jewelry, hair accessories, handbags, squishy toys and phone cases.

— Collars: We have personalized initial necklaces, constellation necklaces, birth flower, birth year, angel numeral necklaces, as well as many dainty necklaces. They are all gold plated and waterproof.

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– Earings: Personalized initial earrings, angel earrings, plus hundreds of styles of dainty hoop earrings. All are gold plated or sterling silver.

— Bracelets and anklets: Personalized initial bracelets and anklets, and all kinds of other styles, such as beads, beads and crystals, and simple and delicate styles.

— Body jewelry: We offer many styles of nose rings, nose studs, belly rings and more. They are gold plated on stainless steel and are waterproof.

– Hair accessories: There are many styles of scrunchies, hair clips, hair clips, and headbands.

— Purses and squishy toys: We’ve added some relatively larger items to fill the store, and we’ll be bringing more varieties soon.

– Case: We have many iPhone cases, ranging from iPhone 11 to iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Q: Why did you choose the name Givygift Shop?

A: I have a sister named Ivy. She was going to join us to open the store, but she hadn’t finished her studies yet, so she couldn’t. She went to Ontario. The “ivy” part of “Givy” means Ivy. And “Givy” feels like a gift, because we want our jewelry to be used as gifts.

Q: Do you plan to open other locations?

A: We are looking for a space in Calgary. We are also planning to open in Regina, but this is a long term plan as we want to stay in one location and do very well before moving to the other.

This interview has been edited and condensed

Givy gift shop

Owners: Ella Lei and Ruby Li
Address: Midtown Plaza, second floor
Hours:
Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.givygiftshop.com
Check: Facebook, Instagram