Every special story has a beginning. In 1987, he gently held a diamond for the first time at the age of 10. Right there and then, Sevan Tosun knew that he will continue in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
Of Armenian descent, and born in Istanbul, the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Sevan grew up in the city that is home to a tradition of fine jewelry spanning over 2,000 years. As a child, he would spend every summer at his family’s jewelry store, learning about diamonds. “My family wanted me to do something interesting, something different,” he remembers.
He didn’t disappoint: by the age of 16, Sevan was excelling in every facet of the trade, and could not only create but also design jewelry, from start to finish. However, the big turning point for him was just over a decade later, when the young jeweler decided to relocate to Canada. Both of his brothers, who also worked in the industry, were already there, and so his father gave him just $250 and Sevan flew over the Atlantic, into the unknown.
He continued to excel. Within a few years, Sevan was one of the first jewelers to show at Canada’s Bridal Show and instantly became recognized in the industry. In 2000, he founded his own business. “I’m one of the few jewelers who started at the bottom,” he says with a smile. “I’m not your typical retail guy.”
Fast forward to today when Design by Sevan is one of the most established names in the wedding industry. Sevan continues to specialize in engagement and diamond rings, but he also designs other jewelry, ranging from pendants and bracelets, to earrings and wedding bands.
What makes his business unique is that almost every single piece is completely custom-made. Sevan sketches each item in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), which creates a 3D look that he can then share with the client. “When sketching engagement rings in particular, you would just see the basics of the ring,” he says. “With CAD, you can see every angle. This is a custom piece, so anything is possible.”
He further explains that the size and shape of the center stone affect the overall look of an engagement ring, as well as the proportions of other components of the piece.
“By focusing on the stone, we can avoid bulky jewelry and create something very delicate and elegant. Even 2 millimeters can make a difference here,” he says. “The perfect engagement ring does not already exist in front of you when you walk into my store. I believe it should be custom made with you, for you.”
When clients arrive at Sevan’s design studio, they discover a cozy, modern and very bright space in the heart of the city, with trendy furniture and drawings by his children which hang on one of the walls. Sevan also personally opens the door to welcome each guest.
Client appointments are never stacked back-to-back, to ensure that undivided attention is offered to every individual or couple. Personalized service is at the heart of Sevan’s business.
Quality of all jewelry is also of paramount importance. The company sources its diamonds from Belgium and they are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is among the most respected organizations in the industry.
“Designing jewelry for someone you love is a very personal experience,” says Sevan, “but I always want to educate and offer the best suggestions possible for my clients. Attention to detail is important to me for many reasons. I’m not doing this job as a profession. This is my whole life, my family, my identity.”
And it’s obvious in his work. After all, you know that if Sevan designed it for you, there will never be a second ring like that again!
Personalized appointments can also be booked by clicking here.
Photography by Robin Gartner and courtesy of Sevan Tosun.