Before she and her husband became the renowned spice aficionados that they are today, Ethné de Vienne was one of Quebec’s most admired[[more]] models.
Her allure, her grace, and her unique walk have been engraved in the memories of many and continue to fascinate today. She remembers, “If someone told my sister and I that we were pretty, it would not end there. It was essential that we say thank you and forget about it immediately after. My mother would say that it was a compliment, but nothing more. For me, being a model was a role. I did not want to be a model at all times. It’s the same for an actress. You should know when to stop. I know how to be beautiful because everything comes to me from within. We transform on a podium or in front of a camera.”
After years of modeling, she joined her husband full time in their catering business, which later became Épices de Cru. It is at this time that she met Gloria Bass with whom she became friends. Despite the sophistication and complexity of Gloria’s jewellery, Ethné appreciates that she manages to remain funny, down-to-earth, and able to take things with a certain degree of levity.
“I am not surprised that she has had a long career. It is not a trend to be professional, creative, and to listen to your customers; it is a trade—one that Gloria performs perfectly! She knows her clients; she listens, and she does not enclose herself in her workshop. I love the strength in her jewellery. That should not be confused with the solid appearance of her jewellery or the number of stones that adorn it. This strength can also be a clear and precise message. When we look at her jewellery, it is impossible to not develop an opinion about it. She does not play between the lines; she is in the white or in the black. For me, that is strength. For others, maybe not. You can ask my husband.”
Jewellery occupies an important place in the life of the spice trekker who travels the world in search of the best flavours, finest aromas, and the newest sensations. “Every time I put on a piece of jewellery, I think of its creator or of whoever else has already worn it; I love antique jewellery. It’s a way of touching previous lives, a way of being closer to the lives that I’ve missed. A piece of jewellery needs to speak to me. I like when jewellery makes noise because that reminds me of my mother. When I was a child, my mother would wear a lot of jewellery—necklaces and bracelets—and it was comforting to hear my mother’s jewellery; it meant that she wasn’t too far away. It was a sound that would make me happy, much as Gloria’s jewellery does for me today.”