– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Don Denton
Stop by Duncan’s Impeccable Jewellery, and you’ll very likely end up chatting to Brad Leith, owner, jewellery designer and self-taught gemstone expert who spends most of his time at the unique little shop.
Brad, 70, has had the business for 20 years, and has been at its current location on Craig Street in Duncan for the past eight.
“I’ve had numerous businesses throughout my life,” says the lifelong entrepreneur who holds a degree in business. “I got into this business after I retired for the first time.”
Brad had previously been the head of a technology company with well over 100 employees working for him, and found the sudden inactivity of retirement a little maddening. He ended up buying out the partner for Impeccable Jewellery and tailoring the business to reflect his own vision. Never one to sit still, he now works six days a week, designing, consulting with customers and doing a hundred other things throughout the day.
Working on Impeccable’s designs is the first time he’s turned his artistic eye to jewellery, he says, but he’s always leaned to the creative side of things, having sculpted and painted in his earlier years. Brad’s artistic eye can perhaps be most clearly seen in the stones he’s chosen to bring in for his designs.
“Most people see rubies, sapphires, diamonds,” he says. “Very few people see the stones that we have gone all over the world to acquire.”
Brad himself travelled 70,000 miles in the air most years—pre-COVID-19—to seek out the most interesting specimens he could find from all over the world.
Stones like ammolite, formed from the fossilized shells of ammonites and rich in vibrant and varied colours. Sourced primarily from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, ammolite is one of Canada’s most valued contributions to the jewellery world, and creates a truly remarkable finish to any piece.
Impeccable Jewellery has earned a reputation as a destination for the “something different,” while maintaining the highest quality designs and materials. Many pieces take advantage of the unique beauty of more earthy stones and semi-precious stones, and Brad has even explored the more esoteric side of the stones.
“More people are getting into the vibration of stones,” he says. “It’s interesting to me to understand why these stones were formed, and how they were formed.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
My own, they’re pretty spiffy!
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Pasta. All pasta.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
A million won’t do it! Not for me. I’m too old. When I was a kid, I aspired to be a millionaire; now it’s not enough to live on. Health is more important than anything.
People who feel that they’re entitled, and who think it’s not fair. It amazes me. I am 70 years of age, I’ve never been through a depression, I’ve never been through a war.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
Spain. But doing nothing is never in my vocabulary. I have one day off a week, and that one day I spend catching up on everything I should have done in the week.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
My daughters, and it’s no secret.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Hummingbirds. To me they’re the most incredible creature in the world. Watching a bird suspend itself in midair, and knowing that bird can then travel thousands of miles, and meet any conflict with absolute conviction. They’re the fiercest little things. We should all have that kind of tenacity in ourselves.