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Meet Karen Lamont, Founder of Citrus Silver

By the time Karen Lamont reached 30, she had climbed the ladder in a Toronto-based direct marketing firm, working on accounts like RBC, Reader’s Digest, AMEX, and Time Inc. She was a VP running a division of the company, but she lacked passion for the work she did. After having two children she became inspired by the power of a mother’s love, and transformed it into a business idea: personalized, hand-hammered silver jewellery that would provide a simple yet stylish way to allow mothers to connect to their children, even when they were apart. Karen left her corporate role to launch Citrus Silver, and has since told more than 20,000 stories through her unique designs.





My first job ever was… babysitting of course, and then working at the local grocery store in my hometown. It was a small town with only one grocery store so you got to see everyone there!


I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I was tired of living up to the core values of someone else, especially when they didn’t jive with my own. I was also a new mom and heading back to work after maternity leave and travelling on business and saying goodbye to my children was really hard. I was craving something that connected me to them when we were apart. And I sensed that other Moms did too.


My proudest accomplishment is… being an entrepreneurial role model to my girls. They see how hard I work and how much joy it brings. My parenting is far from perfect but this is one area that I’m pretty happy about.


My boldest move to date was… hiring stampers. It’s an artisan-based business and the personalization is very, very detailed oriented (yes, think 10,000 hours). I would say that seeing the fine details is one of my gifts, so it was scary to hand that job over to others without compromising quality. Especially when the material is sterling silver and expensive…yikes! But it was necessary in order to grow.


I surprise people when I tell them… I stamped the first piece I ever sold 13 times. I sold it for $35 but it cost me more than $300 to make. I have high standards for the quality of the stamping. It’s not perfect as each letter is hammered individually, but it has to be damn close to perfect. Thirteenth time was the charm.


My best advice to people starting out with their own business is… follow your passion and your gut and make sure they’re in line with your core values. Your heart and your head both need to be going in the same direction.


“Follow your passion and your gut and make sure they’re in line with your core values. Your heart and your head both need to be going in the same direction.”


I would tell my 20-year-old self… Be open to new ideas and meeting new people. And Listen! There are nuggets of information just waiting to be discovered. You just need to be open to hearing them.


My biggest setback was… The person who cast (made) my pieces was murdered in his studio. Aside from being overcome with sadness and shock, all of my moulds were in his studio and tied up in a police investigation for months.


I overcame it by… I had to start over. New moulds, new suppliers.


If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I had a terrible, terrible perm in high school and early years of university. Thank goodness the world wide web and social media didn’t exist back then because only my parents have those terrible perm photos.


I stay inspired by… admiring fashion and material and symbol trends. And of course, admiring fine women who are looking for jewellery that tells a story.


My favourite part of being a jewellery designer is… being involved in telling so many stories. Names of family and friends, unforgettable moments and mantras/words that bring you joy. Every piece is unique just like the people, moments and words that they reflect.


The future excites me because… there are so many more stories to tell!