The Duchess *really* loves Canadian designers.
In one of her last royal engagements of the year, Meghan Markle was spotted wearing two gold zodiac necklaces – and it turns out that the pieces are from Canadian jewellery brand Suetables. It’s not the first time the Duchess of Sussex has chosen a local accessories brand, however it is the first time she’s worn this particular label.
Started in 2005 in the basement of founder Sue Henderson’s home, the brand was a hit with customers from day one. After making herself a necklace hand stamped with the initials of her son (“‘love letters as I called them,” she tells FASHION), Henderson caught the attention of other mothers in the playground and had soon outfitted all of them with their own pieces. Demand grew quickly, leading her to google “sterling silver jewellery” which then introduced her to Taxco, Mexico. “I saw photos of silversmiths, beautiful jewellery shops and a mysterious hillside town that beckoned,” the designer recalls. “With money in my pocket from selling my [inital] love letter necklace, I was determined to build my line. I craved adventure and a creative outlet. So, my sister Kathryn and I travelled there and created exclusive designs working with two different families.”
More than 12 years on, and the brand (which has two stores in Toronto and one in Montreal, as well an e-commerce platform that ships globally) is still working with those same families with Sue and Kathryn visiting regularly. “We strive to work with partners who enforce safe working conditions and support families. These are not mass produced, each piece is hand finished,” she says, adding that the houses “employ local artisans who are dedicated to conserving techniques which are passed on from generation to generation.” There’s also an eco-conscious focus to the business – “No pieces go to waste – any pieces from ruined hand stamping, we recycle,” says Sue.
The brand loves to share in its customers’ stories, which is why Sue was thrilled that the Duchess chose such sentimental pieces. When meeting with army families, Meghan opted for the Shirley Zodiac (to represent Prince Harry) and Vanessa Coin Zodiac (to represent Archie). “I never imagined Meghan Markle would be one of our customers,” Henderson tells us. “It was so touching to see that she wants to keep her family close to her heart by wearing charms that represent them. In a world of so many big global brands, we are honoured that the Duchess is choosing to wear necklaces from a small independent Canadian company. My whole line stemmed from wanting to keep my own children close to my heart, and it feels wonderful to have the Duchess want to do the same thing with her family.”
The designer has long been a fan of Markle, beginning from her days on Suits. “I read her blog, The Tig, and loved the show Suits – even naming a line of jewellery after some of the characters one year,” Sue explains, adding that she was in communication with the show’s team back in the day about having Meghan wear her pieces. Years later, to see Meghan in the pieces of her own accord was the most pleasant of surprises. “This has come as the biggest surprise and had absolutely nothing to do with my efforts. I am so delighted.”