About Us

Our Northwood Team photo

Our Northwood Team:

Allan & Laurel Hill

Allan and Laurel began Northwood Rings in 2012 after Laurel became allergic to her wedding band. Allan created his first bentwood ring out of oak, a tree close to Laurel’s heart as she grew up on a farm called ‘Lot of Oaks’.

Together they discovered a passion for creating wedding bands that filled a need for others unable to wear more traditional jewelry. Allan loves to experiment with new technologies and find ways to improve the product, while Laurel has a love of all things natural and enjoys creating designs with new materials as she finds them.

When not at work they can be found:

  • Playing with their dog, Parker, at the beach or on a trail
  • Renovating their 107 year old home – it’s a work of love!
  • Allan has taken up making artisan bread from a sourdough starter and loves to bake. He’s also an excellent cook and spends a lot of time in the kitchen. He’s hoping to start a chefs garden this year.
  • Laurel enjoys crafting of all kinds and can be found sewing, felting or working with wood in her spare time.

Kelsey M.

Kelsey originally began working for Northwood Rings in 2016, but took a short break to travel and had the opportunity to work with baby otters at a wildlife reserve in California (lucky girl!).

She came back and rejoined our team at the end of 2017 and we’re happy to have her back, though she has plans to keep up her travelling in the future. We can’t wait to hear the stories she’ll bring back!

Kelsey works in the shop to hand-craft our bentwood rings for our customers and always takes great care in selecting the perfect tone and piece of wood to start with.

When not at work you can find her:

  • Playing with their new family husky puppy, Oakley.
  • Planning her future travels

Kristina V.

Kristina joined our team in early 2016 and has been a pro at making rings right from the start. We knew she’d be perfect when we spotted her nails. You might see them featured on our instagram when she models rings – they are works of art in themselves!

Her attention to the fine details makes her unbeatable at design when it comes to our rings. If you have a mother of pearl or pau shell inlay in your ring the chances are it was set by Kristina. She takes care in selecting and placing every piece into the inlay for a perfect finish.

When she’s not at work you can find her:

  • Running her own creative business (she makes records into purses!)
  • Designing those fabulous nails
  • Behind a camera lens taking amazing shots

Renea B.

Renea joined our team in 2015 and started out working in the shop designing rings. She’s an amazing ring designer, but when the position opened up in our office for a customer service manager she took on the job like it was designed for her. Her amazing organizational abilities keep our whole shop running like a dream, and her cheerful and quick-witted personality is always welcomed by our customers.

Renea is always ready to make sure our customers have all the information they need and will go out of her way to help when she can (like driving a ring down to Halifax for a local customer on a deadline!)

When not at work you can find Renea:

  • Enjoying married life (she just got married in October 2017!)
  • Checking out the local consignment shop for amazing finds

Parker

Parker is the owners Barbet puppy (that’s a French Water Dog for anyone wondering).

She was brought into our family early in October 2017, but she didn’t take long to settle into her role of ‘Shop Dog’. She loves visiting and getting spoiled with pets and attention whenever she shows up.

When she’s not at the shop she can be found:

  • At the dog park. It’s her favourite place outside of work!
  • Begging for treats or pets from anyone…there can never be enough.
  • Curled up on the cushions at home. Play hard and nap long, she seems to have life figured out.

Bailey N.

Not pictured above, but still a major part of our team, is our email support contractor Bailey. If you’ve had the pleasure of dealing with Bailey by email you know she has a talent and love for customer support. Our shop wouldn’t be the same without her, even if she isn’t physically with us on a daily basis.

Our Story:

Northwood began in 2012 with some creative romance on the part of Allan Hill. I (Laurel Hill) could no longer wear my wedding band due to a metal allergy. I set it aside reluctantly after trying several solutions to be able to wear it with no success. The only options local jewelers could suggest were moving to platinum (too expensive) or another metal like titanium (not my style).

I thought I’d just go without, and that’s when Allan stepped in to amaze me!

I grew up on a farm called Lot of Oaks. It belonged to my grandparents, but I lived across the road and rarely spent a day without visiting.  It was a large property, and as you probably could guess, filled with oak trees. My childhood there was magical and the oak tree, oak leaves, and acorns have always been symbols of love and family to me. Any time we went out shopping or touring I’d be drawn to anything with these symbols, or any products made from oak. On our honeymoon we bought an oak leaf door knocker (despite not having a house to hang it on, yet!) because it was a great symbol of our new life together and what we would eventually build.

Allan spent time secretly looking for a ring I could wear, and when he ran across the idea of wood rings he knew that it was a solution that would mean so much to me, so he hunted down a piece of oak – I wish I could say it was from the farm, but the family had sold it and moved on already – and he got to work creating a wedding band made from oak. His first one was roughly shaped and a little chunky, but I only saw beauty. I was amazed that he could make something so perfect for me. And then he kept surprising me with more, and better, rings! He’s a perfectionist at heart so he wasn’t going to stop until he felt he’d made the best ring he could. I ended up with more rings than I could possibly wear!

Allan’s passion for creating rings was catching, and I soon found myself sketching ideas and looking for new materials we could crush up and add in. Our hobby brought us closer and we loved working together to create our designs. I had always wanted to run an etsy store so we decided to make our rings available to others who couldn’t wear metal or that just wanted something natural and different.

In four years we’ve come a long way. In the beginning I thought we’d make too many rings to ever be able to sell them all, but now we have four employees to help us keep up with our customers demand. We’ve built a shop with technology we only dreamed of in the beginning (a laser engraver was always on my wishlist!), and we have a great team of dedicated and creative people that we love working with on a daily basis.

Northwood started as a sweet gesture from my husband, but it has grown into our full-time job, our passion, and a large part of our life story together. It enables us to create and design our life around the things we love, and to be together as a couple every day.

We hope you’ll be a part of our story as well, or allow us to be a part of yours.

-Laurel Hill