Heather Morandin-Lambert uses computer-assisted design technology. DON RICKERS

Custom design work on site

The address said B7, 160 Highway 20 East, theoretically a couple shops down from the new Starbucks. But there was no sign out front.

Heather Morandin-Lambert, the owner of Fonthill Jewellers, which has been open since mid April, laughed and offered her apologies.

“I’ve been waiting for that sign for weeks. It’s supposed to be delivered before the weekend, fingers crossed!” she said.

Morandin-Lambert grew up in Niagara Falls, but has been a Fonthill resident for a decade. She attended George Brown College in Toronto for goldsmithing, graduated at the top of her class in 2004, and proceeded to work in the Niagara jewelry retail business.

“I’ve actually been in the jewelry industry since I was 15 years old,” she told the Voice. “Given that I live here in Pelham, I decided to establish a store locally. It’s a growing market.”

On-site repairs and laser welding are services offered at the new store, along with custom work.

“We have a CAD [computer-assisted design] rendering system, so that people can actually visualize what their design will look like,” she said. “Plus, I can print out a three-dimensional wax mold or prototype of their unique piece of jewelry before it’s actually created in gold or some other precious metal.”

She is currently working on a ring for a customer, who wanted to incorporate a gemstone called morganite in the centre.

“He’s making it for his mother, and he wants to include his birthstone as well as his son’s birthstone. The ring will have a flower-like design.”

Fonthill Jewellers offers a wide range of rings, including engagement rings and wedding bands, along with necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other items. Morandin-Lambert said that she offers no watches at present, but can provide watch battery replacement.

She pointed to a display of Meditation rings, a relatively new trend in the fashion industry. They are made by artisans in Israel and Thailand from .925 sterling silver and 14 karat gold, along with semi-precious stones. The collection’s concept is that the spinning motion helps channel anxious energy and clear the mind, a notion that originated with ancient Tibetan prayer wheels.

The inside of the ring actually spins,” noted Morandin-Lambert. “It’s a Canadian company. The woman who came up with the design is from Thornhill. I’m trying to stay with Canadian companies, and have another Canadian distributor that deals with gold and diamonds, both natural and lab-grown. All the certified gold is mined here in Canada.”

Morandin-Lambert also takes in jewelry on consignment.

“I’ve had customers bring in jewelry that they have inherited from a family member who passed away, but it’s just not their style. I offer the option of selling it on consignment, or I’ll buy it from them, and they can apply that money to a new piece which I have in stock, or can create for them.”

Customers can also bring in orphaned items, like an earring whose matching piece has been lost, for credit on repairs or new jewelry. Even a broken gold chain has value.

Business has been good thus far, said Morandin-Lambert.

“During the pandemic, people haven’t been travelling, so rather than a $5000 vacation, they’re putting their money into a keepsake that can be passed down through generations of their family,” she said. “jewelry is very sentimental in nature, and there is always a story behind it. Whether it was passed down from grandparents or parents, or recreated and redesigned using precious stones and metals from vintage settings, it keeps family memories close.”

A new staff member has been hired, and will start this month, said Morandin-Lambert.

“My husband the computer whiz comes in to help on the weekends, and my six-year-old son also helps out, putting away jewelry at the end of the day on Saturday. We’re getting him started in the business early,” she said, laughing. “He made his own ring recently, and when was four, he made me the fanciest macaroni necklace. I’ll probably frame it and hang it on the wall, with the caption ‘my future goldsmith.’”

Fonthill Jewellers is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and on Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM. Closed Sundays and Mondays. All inventory is available on their website, www.fonthilljewelers.com. Questions? Call 289-897-9744, or email  [email protected]ellers.com