Dalia Lash, director of MARK LASH Fine Jewelry in Toronto, feels most at home behind a counter filled with sparkling jewelry. And she finds some similarity between the worlds of decor and jewelry. “Just as no room is complete without the right accessories, no one is really dressed until they have the right jewelry,” she says.
Her affinity for this most personal of accessories may come naturally. Dalia is the third generation in a family of jewelers, a graduate gemologist and a designer with the soul of a stylist.
Most days, she can be found at the Eglinton Avenue store she opened in 1989 with with her business partner, Laurie Goodman. Dalia has found that guiding customers is the most satisfying part of her job. It might involve sourcing a beautiful diamond, gemstone or vintage treasure, selecting a dazzler from the showcase, or quickly sketching an idea for a custom creation. She says she lives for the moments when she witnesses a customer light up, accompanied by expressions to the effect: “It’s perfect; not only is it right for the occasion, but it reflects who I am.”
The biggest change over the past 30 years in the jewelry industry is how often inquiries come in and consultations are conducted long-distance, she says. “In a world where the global consumer is online and style is driven by the pulse of social media, it is frequent for my team and me to assist clients from afar.” Consider the customer from Boston who reached out about MARK LASH earrings. Which of the options on the website or Instagram would suit her? Dalia asked the customer about her taste and lifestyle and requested a photo of her. Once she had a sense of the customer’s personal style, she emailed photos of three options, of which one proved ideal.
It was a similar interaction that allowed New York-based CNN anchor, Don Lemon, and his partner, Tim Malone, to create custom-made MARK LASH commitment bands. While announcing his engagement on CNN, Lemon broadcast a glowing review about the personalized design, created by Mark Lash himself. It sparked a flurry of inquiries to the jeweler from across Canada and the US.
The bespoke pieces and collections are handcrafted locally at the company’s state-of-the-art workshop in Richmond Hill, under the direction of Mark Lash. It’s home to a platinum studio, a showroom that’s open to the public, and a team of jewellers, designers and gemologists.
Just as homes have become less formal, Dalia says, “Today, it is about having pieces that suit the way you really live, that go from morning meetings at the office to cocktails at the end of the day.”
She is up on the latest trends, and believes that the best pieces are the ones “we live in.” An engagement ring, for example, is one of her favourite milestone purchases that she designs, to be cherished for years.
There are plenty of stylish options at the store, often inspired by Dalia’s love of fashion. Take the craze, driven by high-fashion designers, of necklaces that resemble paper-clip chains. The MARK LASH team was quick to come up with a version in gold (rose, white, or yellow), and added interchangeable carabineers and detachable charms for versatility. Repurposing is a growing trend in home decor. But this designer has been doing it with jewelry for decades, converting out-of-date pieces into something current.
“There’s so much you can do to update a piece and make it fit your style,” says Dalia, “and sometimes, it’s just a question of mixing the older pieces with the newer ones to give them life again.” •
Dalia Lash, Designer
Mark Lash Fine Jewelry
480 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto ~ 416-256-5229
9033 Leslie St., Richmond Hill ~ 905-881-5229