About Us

Philosophy and Business Ethics

Manuel and wife Laura work together to ensure that every customer is happy with their precious jewellery. Manuel is a meticulous craftsman, and committed to the constant acquisition of new skills. His customers inspire him to new heights of creativity when they commission challenging and complex pieces. Customers can be confident that their work will be finished by the date promised and that it will meet and even exceed their expectations. Every job, from a simple yet exquisite wedding band to the making of custom-designed fantasy pieces is important to him.

As everything is produced in our workshop, the question is how do we accomplish so much?

Manuel has a wonderful team of goldsmiths. At present, we have two graduates from the Alberta College of Art and Design's jewellery program. They brought their well-taught theoretical training with them and futhered their hands-on experience in our studio. Manuel loves to teach, and is always searching for people who would be excited to learn his craft. Even the beginner can be a good asset to the team and can be trained from scratch to develop a full command of the technique involved in jewellery making, a very complex series of steps, from simple to those requiring more skill and experience.


The Beginnings

Manuel Galvez was born in Seville, Spain, into a long line of jewelers. He apprenticed at an early age into the family business, working with his four older brothers, in a picturesque quarter of old Seville. Manuel's mother was an accomplished musician and talented painter. She encouraged her youngest son to study painting and music as well as learn the goldsmithing trade. While apprenticing at the shop, Manuel enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Music, studying classical guitar as well as theoretical subjects.

Coming of Age

At the conservatory, Manuel met Laura, a classmate from faraway exotic Calgary, Canada who was also studying guitar. When Manuel's older brothers ventured into mass production and machine manufacturing, he lost his passion for goldsmithing, and instead devoted his energies to music, graduating with honours. He and Laura moved to Alicante to study with a renowned maestro. In Alicante they were married and their son Pablo was born.

Arriving in Calgary

With his wife and their infant son, Manuel emigrated to Calgary, where he taught classical guitar in the evenings for many years at Mount Royal Conservatory of Music. During this time their daughter Gabrielle was born, and Manuel was supplementing his income working for a local jeweller. Manuel found that his skills as a designer and goldsmith were a valuable asset, and given the opportunity to create his own pieces, he fell in love again with the excitement of working with gems and precious metals.

The Evolution

Manuel updated his techniques to produce contemporary styles as well as the traditional designs he had worked on with his brothers. His art background took on more importance when custom jewellery became the main focus of his work, and by 1999 he and Laura were operating independently. Manuel has been serving Calgarians for over twenty years. He and Laura have conceived and built Designs by Manuel, a studio and showroom where customers can view the jewellery and work on creating personalized pieces. Manuel designs and makes the jewellery, and Laura manages the marketing and support aspects of day-to-day operations. She brings her own background in art, with hand-rendered drawings to enhance the displays. As Manuel says, It is always good to have a second opinion and some inspiration, too! Manuel enjoys the parallels in design and music. Rhythm, flow and composition are the essentials in all the arts. Beauty in its many manifestations speaks to the soul, to our innermost ideals and aspirations. For Manuel, it is a privilege to design beautiful jewellery from the treasures of the earth, formed by time and mysterious forces, perfected by the skills and ingenuity of cutters and refiners. He aspires to make creations that delight the wearer and symbolize the love people feel for each other.