Local woman to appear on Dragons Den with upcycled jewelry
Airdrie’s own Janie Fontaine will have her product showcased across the nation when she appears on the season premiere of CBC’s Dragons’ Den on Oct. 2.
“It was really awesome,” Fontaine said of the experience, which she filmed in April. “It was very impressive. It’s a big studio with tons of cameras.”
Dragons Den is a CBC show, which debuted in 2006. The shows concept is Canadian entrepreneurs pitch promising business models to a panel of venture capitalists, referred to as Dragons, in hopes of securing financing for their projects.
Fontaine was on the show to pitch her jewelry line called Janie Jewels, which is made by upcycling recycled materials including bread clips, buttons, can tabs, coffee lids, laces, straw and many others.
“Upcycling is a word that a lot of people don’t know about,” Fontaine said.
“Hopefully, with the show more people will become aware of it.”
The term refers to transforming waste materials into new materials or products.
Fontaine came up with the idea for her jewelry line when she and her kids were using the materials for some of their crafts.
She said the family didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on crafting supplies so they had to be creative and use what was readily available; waste goods.
“One thing led to the other,” she told Airdrie City View in March.
The jewelry designer said the experience of filming what will air as a one-minute segment was a whirlwind.
“It goes so fast,” she said.
She added she wasn’t terribly nervous during the filming because she has an acting background and said it felt almost like a rehearsal.
She said she met with producers in Toronto before the filming and they helped her to work on her pitch so she felt well prepared.
Fontaine said the Dragons are just like what you see on TV, something that surprised her because she said she expected them to be different in person.
“(Being on the show) has helped me with confidence as a businessperson because you see (the Dragons) and they are just people like you and you can do it too,” she said.
She added she hopes the show will give her jewelry line more exposure.
Fontaine was unable to comment on the outcome of her segment on Dragon’s Den but residents can tune in to CBC Oct. 2, to see how she does.
Janie Jewels are available in Airdrie at Creative Ways and online at janiejewelscanada.com