Find your dream ring at Flamme en rose in Montreal
When it comes to Montreal-based jeweller Flamme en rose, passion and personalization are key. Whether you’re shopping for engagement rings or looking to create your own, founders Audrée and Michèle will be there to guide you through the process. Here, we discuss what catapulted their business, the style they stick to and their sought-after “upcycling” specialty which focuses on transforming old rings into new designs.
Q: Tell us about your backgrounds. How did the two of you end up in the jewellery industry?
Audrée: I studied languages at first in college and Michèle studied art before attending École de Joaillerie de Montréal (ÉJM) for a three-year program. We both designed, fabricated and sold fashion jewellery from a very young age, however our passion took over and after completing our first diploma, we both enrolled in the jewellery program (Michele in 1996 and I in 2004). After graduating, Michèle started working in the industry as a jeweller as well as a teacher at ÉJM, which is where we me met (I was her student). Once I graduated, I was also hired at the jewellery school as a teacher’s assistant and that’s when Michèle asked me to partner up with her and launch Flamme en rose.
Q: How would you describe your style of wedding rings and bands?
Michèle: Our clients often tell us that our creations definitely showcase a feminine touch. We design what we would like to wear. We have ready-to-wear models, although most of our wedding rings and bands are custom creations. We try to recreate the client’s vision with a hint of Flamme en rose. Our goal is to have every client leave our studio, proud, excited and confident in his or her choices.
Q: How does the process work for a bride-to-be?
Michèle: Most brides come and see us after having visited our website or our Instagram page. They make an appointment and then we discuss with her what she has in mind. Sometimes they want a model that we have on our website, sometimes they come in with their grandmother’s ring and we custom create a model around the diamond that she already has. We only start fabricating the ring once the bride or the groom approve the drawings or 3D renders depending on the situation. Production usually takes 2 to 3 weeks. Once the ring is completed, we call the client in, make sure the size is right, if not we adjust it. The reveals are always very exciting. All of our custom rings or transformations come with a lifetime annual cleaning and polishing, therefore we have the pleasure of seeing all of our clients at least once a year restoring their piece to its original beauty.
Q: Where do you source your materials/diamonds?
Audrée: Thankfully precious metals are perpetually recyclable; therefore, we can reuse instead of sourcing raw materials (most of the time). Since we specialize in transformation (what we like to call “upcycling”), we can utilize the jewellery that the client already has and give them a new life with an old soul.
As for diamonds, we offer our customers different options in order to minimize our ecological footprint. For example, Moissanite (an ecologically responsible and less expensive stone that has all the same characteristics of a diamond but is mostly man-made) is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the diamond. Secondly, clients can opt for a synthetic diamond (also man-made, thus avoiding mining). Lastly, we offer our clients Canadian diamonds in all its splendour (they are mined but in a very responsible matter).
Q: You specialize in redesigning old jewellery for clients. Tell us about a memorable case where a bride or groom had one of their heirlooms made anew.
Audrée: Almost all of our transformations have amazing stories, (we’ve seen many tears throughout our reveals), however, one story in particular does stand out. A few years ago, a client came in with her grandmother’s ring and told us this story:
“My grandparents were newlyweds when he was sent to war. My grandmother, like so many other women of that generation took care of the household while waiting for their husbands’ return. Every day she anticipated the mail in hopes of receiving news from her soulmate, but unfortunately days became months, months became years and expectations turned into disappointments. After numerous years she gave up hope on ever seeing him again. Little did she know, her husband was on the long journey home unable to announce his arrival. Aware of the turmoil he must have caused her, my long-lost grandfather did a grand gesture and purchased a ring with a diamond worthy of her forgiveness before arriving back in their village. When he arrived at the house she was not home, thus he decided to hide and surprise her upon her return. Unfortunately, her broken heart was unable to sustain the shock and she dropped dead. Some endings are more startling than others…”
Today, that diamond which had never been worn, sits pretty on a new setting, surrounded by a new ring with a better ending. What is priceless about jewellery is not its value but stories and memories that live on.