Seeking ties to his grandparents, who he could not visit in the midst of the pandemic, Lucas Jacques, 9, made matching bracelets for each of them – an effort which has since led to his own business and charity ventures.
Even though he and his grandparents were a province apart, the bracelets kept them close during the difficult time, Monica Hernandez, Lucas’ mother, said.
“When they look at the bracelet, they will think of him and when he looks at the bracelet he thinks of them.”
Lucas learned how to make bracelets on his own, a passtime which developed into something more than a hobby for the South Surrey boy.
The handmade bracelets quickly became popular among Lucas’ friends, and soon many of his classmates had his bracelets wrapped around their wrists.
All the people who wanted to wear his creation sparked Lucas’ imagination and he began making different bracelets for each person in his life. He comes up with the designs himself and customizes them to fit the style of each person uniquely, Hernandez said.
From observing his parents’ involvement in business, Lucas realized that he could sell the bracelets – and so his own business, Braccialetto, was formed.
Another passion of the family’s is giving back to the community, so Lucas decided to give part of the profits he earned from bracelet sales to various charities, including Terry Fox Foundation and Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Lucas was at his friend’s home in February when news broke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The family was extremely affected by the news, as they are Ukrainian, Hernandez said.
“They were in such an emotional state, which was really hard to witness because they had relatives there who were trying to escape. Lucas had never seen something like that so he said, ‘We have to do something’ so we did,” she added.
Braccialetto gives a portion of its proceeds to Maple Hope Foundation, which is a Canadian organization that raises funds for Ukraine support.
Lucas is a student at Morgan Heights Kumon Centre, where a stand selling his bracelets can be found. One of his teachers at Kumon, Juliet Andrada, loved the initiative to raise money for Maple Hope Foundation and decided to get involved herself.
Andrada has pledged to match every dollar that Lucas’ business raises for the charity.
His bracelets can be purchased at a kiosk in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre located at 1701 152 St. in Surrey from May 30 to June 6. He also has a stand in the store Pearl & Clover that can be found in the mall.