At first glance, it’s not the customer-facing Exchange District storefront that sets Sutton Smithworks apart from other jewellers – it’s the complex machinery and tools in the back-of-house where all the magic happens.
Owner Tom Sutton picked up goldsmithing in high school and hasn’t looked back.
While the styles and industry have evolved, it’s the 40 years of experience in his trade – combined with adopting new technology at Sutton Smithworks – that has no trade-off.
“He’s probably set some of the largest diamonds in all of Winnipeg,” says Peggy Sutton, co-owner and Accredited Jewellery Professional. “The largest diamond he ever set was a 10-carat Marquise diamond, and that stone was valued in the six figures.”
As a leader in his craft, Tom Sutton began his career doing repairs and custom work (and setting stones, a specialized skill of the trade) for other jewellers.
Since then, Sutton Smithworks has evolved to market hundreds of its own designs in a glistening gallery inside a beautiful McDermot Avenue shop, which recently celebrated 25 years in business.
Their locally-made lines include rings, necklaces and more, though they continue to specialize in new custom work for customers. From repairs and re-creations to restoration of your heirloom pieces Sutton Smithworks runs the gamut.
“All work is done on site, which is very important for people, especially if you’ve inherited heirloom pieces,” Peggy says. “Most jewellers ship things out of the province.”
With ultrasonic, ionic, and steam equipment, as well as a myriad of precious gemstones and materials at their disposal, Sutton’s in-house capabilities are rather limitless.
Part of that team includes Sutton’s son, James. With 3-D imaging equipment at his fingertips, he’s able to deliver complicated custom pieces and elaborate proofs to the customer before revealing the finished product. This process allows for more complex and intricate text, logo and illustration-inspired pieces to come together quickly, and to ensure perfect accuracy.
Many of the personalized custom pieces thought up by customers have led to silver necklaces with names or inspirational messages; engagement rings with meaningful, hand-selected gemstones; and stunning, angular pieces with sparkling, princess-cut diamonds. They even create pieces for famous friends (eagle-eyed customers be on the lookout for a note from Oprah Winfrey in the shop).
Sutton’s hands-on expertise and capabilities put you in control of creating your own investment piece, on your budget, no occasion necessary.
“Any occasion is a great occasion,” Peggy says with a smile. “There’s always brownie points for husbands who get their wives an unexpected gift.”
Find out more about Sutton online or visit them at #103-250 McDermot Ave.