ARTIST PROFILE: Christie Lance-Reaume

When someone stopped Christie Lance-Reaume to ask if her bracelet was a Lovelinx, she was taken by surprise. “I was out grocery shopping and a woman said she'd been searching our website before she bumped into me,” says Lovelinx founder and creative director. “I gave her a hug ““ that made my day!”

Lovelinx, a web-based company, puts a modern spin on traditional charm bracelets offering a variety of sterling silver bracelets and necklaces with a personal touch.

Lance-Reaume, an interior designer, created Lovelinx shortly after the birth of her son. “I had looked into getting a personalized piece of jewellery and couldn't find something that was good quality, so I decided to make one,” she laughs. “Of course my mom wanted one, so I made her one and my aunt wanted one, so I made her one. We found ourselves constantly getting stopped by people saying, “˜where did you get that, will you make me one, here's my number',” recalls the Georgetown resident.
The eye-catching bracelet had a small charm and photo pendant that Lance-Reaume hand-stamped her children's names onto with a little peg and mallet, creating unique lettering. “With hand-stamping no two are alike, that's what makes them special,” she says.

Lance-Reaume's love of jewellery making and the prospect of an online business offering flexibility to work around her young children's schedules from a home was a perfect fit. She turned her experiences as a mom and treasured family moments into design concepts.

She offers more than 15 sterling silver charms like tiny picture frames housing photos of loved ones, pendants with engraved names, and hearts that can have up to three Peanut Prints ““ fingerprint impressions that parents and “peanuts” make, stamped into charms by Lance-Reaume. Wanting to capture her children's tiny fingers while they were small, she came up with a method using jeweller's wax for these designs.

“I started really small, mainly in Ontario. I was dealing directly with customers, designing, building the website, making the jewellery, shipping, marketing, trade shows,” she says. “Now we have customers right across Canada and it's branched out. We've had international sales from Australia and the UK, so it's really awesome!” CityLine television host, Tracy Moore and singer Sheryl Crow have been spotted wearing Lovelinx.

“Growing up, my mom wore a traditional charm bracelet. She collected all the charms like the little Eiffel tower and I always loved it,” she explains. Inspired by her mom, the CharmME! collection includes a silver spun ball to represent family unity and for a touch of sparkle a Swarovski crystal with iridescent backing that can be designed with an Italian chain, like Metro's intricate design and Classic with a heavier traditional look.

Lance-Reaume also launched a bridesmaid collection: natural leaves are electroplated in sterling silver then hand-stamped and suspended from bouquets. “When I got married my father had passed away the year before and my grandparents weren't there, so my little way to include them was to suspend photo pendants of them from my bouquet,” she explains.

Lovelinx studio is open to the public by appointment only, but there are plans to move to another location with regular business hours. Lance-Reaume is exhibiting Lovelinx at Toronto's Baby Time Show in January and February and again at Mississauga's International Centre spring 2013.

The savvy entrepreneur expanded Peanut Prints to include a men's line with sterling silver tie clips, cuff links and key chains. “When fathers use their keys, it's a way for them to stay connected and bring their kids with them. I never leave my house without my Peanut Prints!”