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Erica Jago: The Juggler, Keeping All the Balls in the Air
Born and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Studied psychology and history at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Growing Up In the Family Business
I was born into a family of entrepreneurs and was always involved in the family business. My earliest memories were of travelling into Johannesburg on the train with my Dad to spend the day with him in the shop and workshop. The fun activities, or should I say chores, I was asked to assist with were making jewelry waxes in the workshop, helping to display the jewelry each morning and to clean the display counters. As I became older I was asked to help find customer jobs in the massive walk-in safe at the back of the shop. I graduated to helping customers, organising the shows that we participated in, marketing the business and travelling internationally to source stock.
Lecturing on Antiques
Through my love of sharing knowledge, I had numerous opportunities to talk to many different audiences about aspects of jewelry and antiques. I have spoken on such diverse topics as Fabergé, Art Deco, pocket watches, decorating with antiques and many other subjects.
Time to Spread My Wings
However, I always felt the need to develop my own talents outside the safety net of the family business. This journey took me into the world of public relations, marketing and finally tourism. It was in the world of tourism that I developed my leadership and marketing skills holding down several positions as general manager for a world heritage site and tourist destination, and finally heading up a department for a fortune 500 company.
Moving to the Frozen Prairies
I married a Canadian and we moved to Calgary. The sense of freedom living in a large city where everything works as it should was quite an overwhelming experience at times. Tax payer dollars spent on essential services such as health, education, efficient transportation and maintenance, all make me grateful to be living in Calgary.
Life as an Immigrant In Canada
However, I soon realised how difficult it was to prove myself as an immigrant in the corporate environment and this led me to re-focus on my roots. I had always loved the jewelry and antiques industry so why not use the knowledge and experience to start my own business. After all I have pearl, gemstone identification and antique jewelry diplomas from the Gemological Institute of South Africa. These diplomas are complimented by business diplomas in internet marketing and financial management from Cape Town University as well as a BA Degree. Couple these qualifications with 10 years or more of marketing experience and I had the foundation to start my own business.
The idea of La Vogue Vintage was borne in 2015 and grew out of the family businesses of La Vogue Jewellers and La Vogue Antiques and Collectables. I have the opportunity every day to learn from two highly respected mentors (Geoff and Corinne, aka Mum and Dad) in the jewelry and antique industry to which I am truly grateful.
Never Stop Learning
I have recently taken the decision to further my qualifications and I’m currently enrolled on a Canadian course for appraisers’. I have also started the lengthy and in-depth course to qualify as a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. I try each day to take to heart the words of a great man, Mahatma Gandhi.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
It's easy to continually improve your knowledge when you are studying a subject that you love and are passionate about.
Book your appointment today to talk to Erica about your repair, restoration or custom-made jewelry requirements. Call 587-390-7222 or email.