Your mission should you choose to accept it: find the perfect spokesperson to represent a luxury jewelry store's line of official Olympic accessories. The ideal candidate must be a superior athlete, with two World championship titles, four World Cup titles, a Gold medal and current status as reigning Olympic Champion and first female to win Gold in her sport. Bonus if she's also a jewelry designer.
Mission impossible? Turns out that it's really not. Recently announced as Birks Ambassador, Olympian freestyle mogul skier Jennifer Heil is all of those things, and, according to Tom Andruskevich, President and CEO of Birks and Mayors Inc., finding her was a stroke of serendipity.
"Last year, we were very discreetly evaluating several athletes as potential candidates for the Birks ambassador role. Then, last fall, the director of product development for Birks attended the Gold Medal Plates event in Montreal where he was introduced to Jenn Heil," Andruskevich says.
Thanks to her Torino win and commitment to community work with young people and other athletes, Heil had already hit Birks' radar, but meeting her and "experiencing first-hand her incredibly positive energy and truly genuine demeanor" pretty much clinched the deal.
Then the Birks team discovered Heil's passion for designing and making her own jewelry, something she'd done from childhood. In fact, Heil had designed commemorative rings for herself following the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics; at the time the only options available were heavy and masculine.
"Jenn's passion for jewelry and her natural sensibility in this area is a huge bonus," says Andruskevich. "I would say the stars kind of aligned for Birks and Jenn."
Part of a full line of Olympic jewelry, the unmistakably feminine Jenn Heil Collection (on which she collaborated with Birks' Design Director Marion Cameron) features a sterling silver bracelet, necklace and earrings which all spin on a five-circle theme. Each circle has a different texture and surface, and represents one of her five key ingredients for success: team, joy, courage, focus and dream. A line extension that includes a series of stackable rings and bangles is already on deck for release in mid-January.
"Jenn's relationship with Birks will go beyond the Olympics,"confirms Andruskevich. "[She] is an incredibly talented young lady with a very, very bright future, and we expect our relationship with her to be a long-lasting mutually rewarding partnership."
Sounds like another Gold run for Heil, who also has sponsorship support from Canadian cosmetics company Marcelle (her behind-the-scenes photoshoot is below).
The Birks Olympic and Jenn Heil jewelry collection is available at Birks stores across Canada and online at www.birks.com. Images courtesy of Birks. Marcelle cosmetics are available at drugstores; video courtesy of Marcelle. A version of this story appears in today's Metro News.