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The Birth of Personal Illusions

As you have found our website in the market for jewellery, the first thing you probably thought was “Who’s Personal Illusions?”

The short answer to your question is Personal Illusions is a Canadian Jewellery and manufacturing business. Meaning we create your custom jewellery from the start (the design/what’s in your head/the idea) to the finish (the product/ the custom piece). We handle all custom jewellery needs, from an engagement ring for your partner to large-volume pieces such as team rings, lapel pins and corporate gifts. With our state-of-art technology, in-house experts, and a family-fueled operation, we have your jewellery needs covered.

We are proud a family line of jewellers and businesspeople. Truthfully, it all started with Kenneth Crawford a.ka as Grandpa, full of great ideas, hard work and some guts. Keep reading for our story!

1963: Crawford Castings (Where it all started)

The timeline starts in 1963 with Grandpa (Ken) Crawford. Ken worked at Peerless Jewellers for 13 years, where he decided to create his business venture, which became Crawford Castings. He went on to build one of the industry’s largest Canadian jewellery manufacturing companies, servicing wholesale jewellers across Canada. He spent numerous hours in their factory located in Downtown Toronto, where he acquired more than 35,000 molds which allowed the company to offer one of the largest selections of styles in the entire Canadian market. Mother to Dave and wife to Ken, Barb, worked alongside her husband handling the books. These 2 were nothing short of a power couple!

(Ken and Barb Crawford, 1970’s).

1983: Dave’s ultimatum

In 1983 Dave Crawford- son to Ken and Barb- was just 17 years old where he was delivered the ultimatum: come work for the family business or “get out”. Keep in mind, this was the 80’s. The 17-year-old-troublemaker made the wise choice of working for the family business and this would eventually work in his favour as he became a master of the craft and industry expert.

1987: Personal Illusions

Dave inherited the business gene and started working for his parents at the age of 21. After nearly 5 years, he decided to start his own business venture, where he would create custom jewelry from start to finish. Unlike Crawford Castings, which specialized in casting jewelry but not finishing it, Dave established “Personal Illusions.” 

The name represents his focus on personalized pieces that bring his customers’ design ideas to life. Despite his young age, Dave took it upon himself to learn the latest technologies of the industry, such as CAD, CNC, titanium, and 3D printing. He continued to work for his parents at Crawford Casting for 21 years while developing Personal Illusions.

personal illusions original logo design

(Personal Illusions original logo)

2008: Sole proprietor

At just 21 years old, Dave inherited the business gene and began working for his parents at Crawford Castings. After nearly 5 years, he decided to pursue his passion for creating custom jewelry from start to finish. He established his own business venture called “Personal Illusions” which specializes in finishing custom jewelry pieces. The name “Personal Illusions” reflects the custom and personalized nature of every piece, as well as the creative design process that brings each piece to life. Despite his young age, Dave was determined to learn the latest technologies in the industry, such as CAD, CNC, and 3-D printing, as well as finishing techniques. While continuing to work for his parents at Crawford Castings for 21 years, Dave devoted his free time to building and developing his own business, Personal Illusions.

2012: “Crawford Jewellers”

Sadly, four years later, Ken and Barb both passed away at the age of 78. The business that was once known as Crawford Castings will now be continued by their daughter and Dave’s sister, Leeanne Crawford, who has inherited the family’s passion for jewellery. We appreciate and support you, Leeanne!

2013: Personal Illusions location

2013 would be the year Dave acquired the first factory for Personal Illusions! So long WFH. Personal Illusions proudly operates out of Milton, ON, where we make your jewellery from start to finish..

2023: Ready, re-set, go.

Today, Personal Illusions continues to be a family-fueled business. Dave remains owner and head jeweller. Son of Dave, Kenny, works part-time (as Dave once did) doing castings and polishing. Samantha, daughter to Dave, has also received the business-gene where she recently graduated from Sheridan College for business where she supports in customer communications, operations, and marketing.

Featured in picture: Kenny Crawford, Dave Crawford, Sister and daughter to Dave, Gabby, and Samantha.

Personal Illusions is a family fueled jewellery business. We take pride in delivering your custom piece from start-to-finish. Come visit us.

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