From the days of her youth, creativity was present; Anne-Marie Chagnon drew, wrote poems, sculpted, played of a musical instrument.
Her parents encouraged her, her two sisters and brother to use and give free rein to their imagination, as much in mechanical ways as with freedom of expression.
Jewellery arrived in her life from the moment when, as a young girl, she wanted to wear some. In Grade 5 of elementary school, she was wearing earrings she had welded herself!
Anne-Marie Chagnon first started to create jewellery destined for sale while she was still enrolled in university, studying visual arts. At the time, she created jewellery in... polymer clay. She sculpted and modeled each piece of jewellery with her own hands, one by one, requiring hundred of hours of work and tremendous application.
Among the art disciplines practiced by Anne-Marie Chagnon, sculpture stands out. Between her university training supervised by masters, the creation of sculpted and sculptural jewellery and her artistic reflection, she develops a unique know-how she continues to perfect.
Anne-Marie Chagnon's hands, her eyes, brain, instinct and coordination, are strong of over 10,000 hours of practice. According to Malcom Gladwell's theory, the artisan has achieved mastery in her art.
The artist at heart comes from a strong familial entrepreneurial culture. The little girl she was did not wonder what she was going to do when she grew up - rather, what she was going to built.
This path became clear when Anne-Marie Chagnon discovered the lost wax technique, which consists in using an original wax sculpture to obtain high-precision pieces. With this technique, the artist can assemble much more elaborated jewellery from a large diversity of her own pieces!
Her father financed her first pewter production. Her mother put her shoulder to the wheel by becoming her first commercial representative. By the age of 19, Anne-Marie Chagnon hired a friend to assist her in assembling the jewellery. That is when and how the company was founded.
Solidly implanted in Quebec and already quite present in the rest of Canada and the United States, Anne-Marie Chagnon rapidly built an enviable international reputation. It grew considerably as she partnered with the Le Cirque du Soleil.
In 2002, as a project for her training in visual arts, Anne-Marie Chagnon created a series of jewellery for the... tongue! These audacious creations were exhibited as photographs at Toronto's CONTACT annual festival and selected as Critic's Choice by The Globe and Mail. The entertainment giant notices her work there and opened its doors to the artist; during 10 years, Anne-Marie Chagnon created jewellery exclusive to Le Cirque du Soleil, that was sold in its boutiques at the four corners of the globe.
Today, Anne-Marie Chagnon's international reputation is second to none. The artist was even made the honour of representing Canada at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
Throughout the years, beyond epochs, in spite of growth, the engaged artist and entrepreneur stays faithful to her conviction: being your true self is remarkable.
Creation-wise, it means offering women, in complete authenticity, the jewellery that springs from her hands. Anne-Marie Chagnon creates without constraints, mindful not of trends but of injecting the best of herself in each of her creations.
Business-wise, is means maintaining all of her activities at her Montreal studio, head office of the company. For Anne-Marie Chagnon, assuming all stages of creation, production and marketing of the jewellery from the studio contributes to guaranteeing a superior quality and is consistent with her values.
A contribution: that is what Anne-Marie Chagnon chose to make when she decided that all production stages would take place in Quebec and that her business would grow here, in this province. A contribution to Quebec’s cultural, artistic and economic standing internationally. And a contribution to her life environment, by supporting, each year, numerous non-profit organizations.
Community involvement is a value Anne-Marie Chagnon holds dear. Through time, respectful of the founder and president's vision, the company developed a community involvement program around three pillars: studio fundraising sales, sponsorships and fundraising collections.
The two current fundraising collections are the Jewellery of Hope, to support research on ovarian cancer, and the Tapis Rouge Collection, to support cultural exchanges thought independent cinema exchanges.
The place of community involvement in her business model contributed in making Anne-Marie Chagnon the Montreal's YWCA 2015 Woman of Distinction in the Entrepreneurship category. True story - the YWCA asked her in 2011 to create an exclusive jewellery for them, the prize awarded to the laureates. Anne-Marie Chagnon received as an award the jewellery she had created!
For the artist, peer recognition among the most touching come from Iris Apfel and Nathalie Bondil.
The first occurred when the fashion and style living legend selected Anne-Marie Chagnon's creations herself, to be included in the collection of artwork sold at the Peabody Essex Museum.
The second came in 2015, year marking Anne-Marie Chagnon's twenty years of creation. The Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts accepted to preface her Retrospective: 20 years of bejewelled history exhibition, offering the artist a precious gift.
Mostly known as an artist jeweller, Anne-Marie Chagnon is above all a multidisciplinary artist. Art, drawing, and sculpture are part of the jewellery creation process. Pictorial language has carved out a niche of choice in her works.
Trendsetter, colourful, audacious or expressive, her style leaves no one indifferent. After 20 years of creation, the artist with non-standard talent continues to surprise by her ever-expanding creativity.
To mark this anniversary, Anne-Marie Chagnon was offered to hold two original exhibitions. Retrospective: 20 years of bejewelled history revealed the extent of her creativity while Take-Off constituted her first solo painting exhibition.
After twenty years, a new era is dawning. Rooted in Montreal and open to the world, Anne-Marie Chagnon wished to begin this new chapter by renewing her signature.
This signature had to express the power of the merger between her creativity, inimitable, and her know-how, mastered.
A given name. A hyphen. Distinction through detail. Remarkably asymmetric, at the image of her jewellery. Thumbing her nose at conventions, as reflected by her work. Perfectly imperfect, at the image of nature and mankind, her inspiration. Different and proud of it, at the image of women she admires.