The scene in Kim Smiley’s dining room is not exactly what you might expect to find in a Forest Hill home on a Tuesday afternoon Far from some upscale luncheon for Toronto’s social elite, the designer and social entrepreneur’s dining table is surrounded by a handful of seamstresses and artisans, all females and all refugees, steadfastly crafting one-of-a-kind works of art in the form of lace and Swarovski crystal-embellished cuffs, rings, and necklaces. Since 2015, Smiley has been building her eponymous jewellery line and she hasn’t done it alone The designer empowers vulnerable groups by providing meaningful employment that pays a living wage of $18 an hour.
For the Montreal-born designer, offering this kind of opportunity — and, quite literally, opening her home — to Canadian newcomers just made sense. “I have always been really interested in meaningful employment opportunities for individuals, but primarily for women,” says Smiley “The women that I . More