Kat & Paul, the co-founders of Modern Love

Kat Wilkinson was born with a fascination for every magical detail of the world around her—especially stones. This eventually led to a photography degree from Sheridan College and work as a photographer, but the love of beautiful stones never went away.

She trained with the Canadian Gemmological Association, graduated with honours, won an award for highest achievement and was invited to be a fellow of the CGA in 2003 (and now has the letters FCGmA after her name). She quickly also became a certified diamond grader with HRD Antwerp and coloured stone and pearl grader through the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).

Kat added metalsmithing to her skills and began designing and making her own creations. She was selling in Toronto galleries, but still primarily working for others. She may have been fully qualified and employed in jewellery, but Kat was not satisfied.

Like Kat, Paul Vasilak had creativity in his veins from birth and it also initially manifested as a passion for photography. Working at a Toronto modelling agency, Paul then began expressing his creativity in diverse ways. He pursued his talents as a hairdresser and session stylist (he is still an award-winning barber) and music video and movie stylist, as well as photographer, actor and musician, ending up playing in a Juno-nominated band. ‘I could have followed an easy career path but have never taken it because I’ve always gravitated towards doing something creative in the arts,’ says Paul. ‘That’s who I am. I crave creative work.’

Finally, in 2014, these two restless, artistic souls met. ‘We discovered we had so much in common,’ recalls Kat. ‘Photography, motorcycles and our passion for art, fashion and fine quality things.’

It was then that Paul found he loved gemstones and beautiful jewellery. One day, he offered Kat the design for a ring and she brought it stunningly to life.

The romance grew and in 2016 the couple bought a home in Hamilton, Ontario and got engaged. At the same time, Kat’s desire to fully express herself had reached bursting point and with Paul’s encouragement they decided to start their own designer jewellery business. In 2017, Modern Love Jewellery was born. MLJ officially moved into the historical Cotton Factory in September that year. By 2019, the time was ripe for a beautiful brick-and-mortar showroom. They chose nearby Burlington to develop a new space to fully showcase their work and create the perfect environment to meet and welcome clients.

Kat and Paul’s art and innovation have flourished—living up to the Modern Love Jewellery name. Beautiful contemporary and classic designs are created using the latest modern technology in ethically and responsibly sourced materials. MLJ work with clients to realize their dream jewellery, create future heirlooms and celebrate the diversity and joy of love.