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East St. Paul creations take TIFF by storm

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An East St. Paul resident rubbed shoulders with the stars last week.

Dayle Goertzen was invited to get her Vintage Bling wares into gifting suites at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), with the gifting suite running from Sept. 6 to 9. Goertzen, 51, explained she had to bring at least 150 items to give away to celebrities passing through the suite, but in return, all stars who accepted the gift posed for a photo.

"What we get in return is their endorsement for our product," she said. "There’s a professional photographer on-site who will get a picture of every celebrity with my jewelry. I get all those pictures to do with whatever I want.

"They can be on my website. I can use them in advertising."

Goertzen brought 160 handmade bracelets to her section of the gifting suite.

"I will have all of my jewelry there on display, but it’s not like a trade show where you can sell your jewelry. It’s all about exposure," she explained.

Vintage Bling got its start nine years ago after Goertzen’s personal jewelry turned heads at her office and co-workers expressed an interest in buying her product. Goertzen initially began selling wholesale to local stores, but later built up enough of a following to launch her own website, www.vintagebling.ca, to sell directly to customers.

Part of the desire for Vintage Bling is to have the classic components, but put together in a way that the wearer doesn’t "feel like a baba or look like their grandmother", according to Goertzen.

"I love everything vintage, so I wasn’t able to go to a bead store, or Michaels, and buy supplies," she said. "I started taking apart old necklaces and using the beads to make bracelets.

"The vintage beads are so beautiful and unique on their own, so they were different than anything people were seeing anywhere else."

Goertzen became acquainted with the CEO of the gifting company serving the TIFF, and was invited to attend this year’s festivities. It’s not her first time at a major event — Goertzen attended the 2010 Golden Globes, where actresses like Catherine O’Hara, Neve Campbell, Ashley Greene and Deidre Hall picked up her creations.

"I feel really comfortable this time knowing a lot more of what to expect," she said. "When I went to Hollywood, my gifts were very expensive pieces that I gave away. It was great, because I did have pieces worn on the red carpet, so it was a really huge honour.

"This time, because of the time crunch I’m under, there was no way I could prepare for that. The bracelets that I’m making are a $45 to $65 value, and that’s OK."

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