Gar-nish yourself with fine silver

By David F. Rooney

Garnish. It’s a word we use in certain circumstances and can be applied to food or the human body as in this definition: “to enhance in appearance by adding decorative touches.”

That’s certainly the definition silversmith Arleigh Garrett intended when she recently took over the retail space on Grizzly Plaza once occupied by Suzanne Spisani Designs and renamed it Gar-nish.

“I’ve inherited all of Suzanne’s artists — Jessie Turner of Vancouver, Ashleigh Moore of Calgary, Julie James soon to be from Revelstoke, Gillian Hillerud of Calgary, Kat Cadogan — and I’ve brought in a new silversmith, Chantale Walker of Vancouver,” Arleigh said in a brief interview this week.

“This is very familiar to me. I’ll bet you didn’t know I grew up in retail. My parents owned the oldest florist’s shop in Vancouver  so I’ve done this kind of thing all of my life.”

So far the experience of running her own business while creating her own pieces is not merely familiar but for Arleigh Garrett. She’s funny, friendly and gregarious — personality traits that are perfect for someone in business.

“I really focus on making a connection with the people who walk through that door,” she said.

How effective is she? She’s sold me on making a purchase, so I guess she really is pretty good at this.

She’s also very, very talented and recognizes quality work when she sees it.

The Gar-nish website is not up yet but will soon be located at Her phone number is 250-837-7968 and e-mail address is Her summer hours are: 2 – 7 pm, Tuesday – Friday and; 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays. If you’d like a custom design consultation please contact her in advance and she’ll arrange one for a convenient morning.

Here are a few photos of Arleigh and some of the pieces she sells:

Arleigh knows quality work when she sees it, like this pendant made using precious-metal clay. David F. Rooney photo
Here’s a close up of that same pendant. David F. Rooney photo