Walking into the Canadian Artisan Gallery, I was greeted with a warm hello from Conchita and the sparkle of jewels gleaming from their cases. Tucked away in the backroom with other jewellers sharing the space, I found Benée Rubin. Benée is the owner of the Canadian Artisan Gallery and has been a resident in the neighbourhood for a number of years.
Originally from Winnipeg, Benée left university to pursue her dream of becoming a Goldsmith. While Benée has been in the jewellery business for quite some time, she tells me that her path had many obstacles. When she was trying to complete her apprenticeship, many would turn her away.
Amidst adversity, Benée has proven her doubters wrong as this year she is celebrating her 30th anniversary as a Goldsmith. And with an impressive portfolio to show for it.
Benée is most famous for her “Lucifer Ring” which was custom made for the Netflix series “Lucifer.” Without giving too much away, Benée tells us to look forward to seeing more of the ring on the series.
Perhaps you have seen the East Van cross dangling from earlobes around the neighbourhood, Benée made those too! Having been an East Side resident since the ‘80s, Benée tells me that she’s formed a special relationship with her neighbourhood as she has witnessed plenty of change. Benée really honours the meaningful connections she creates with her neighbours, and wanted to give back to her community. Consequently, 10% of proceeds from her East Van collection is donated to the Crab Tree Corner in Strathcona.
When I asked Benée what her favourite shops in the neighbourhood were, she immediately gave me a list. “Well I always go to Donald’s, and get my meat from Rio’s Friendly Meats. I love eating out too, so I go to the Red Wagon and Le Pho. And somehow Zainab at Miscellany always seems to have exactly what I am looking for!”
Outside of making jewellery, Benée loves to travel. She is embarking on what she calls ‘bucket listing’ where she plans to travels as often and to as many places as she can and tick them off of her bucket list. She’s got a few trips lined up for this year, “I’d like to go to Croatia next, and Cabo and Palm Springs.”
Swing by the Canadian Artisan Gallery to check out Benée’s pieces as well as other local artists. Her collection is always evolving. Benée also offers handcrafted custom jewellery design, repairs, and redesigning of heirloom pieces.