Rhody Maker: Rayne and James Handmade Bracelets

This mother of two is making handmade bracelets out of her basement in between nap times and bedtimes.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Latour/ Rayne and James

It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon; the perfect time for Kelly Latour to sneak to the basement after putting her two boys, Rayne and James, down for a nap.

Latour will spend this fleeting time alone handcrafting bracelets from her desk in the basement of her home in Johnston. What started as a gift of gratitude to clients from her work as a photographer has now turned into a small business dedicated to celebrating motherhood.

“I started making the bracelets just for my friends and for some of my clients,” she says. “I mostly [photograph] mothers, babies and families, so I would always make a bracelet and give them to the mothers of the babies I photographed. They always loved them, and so did my friends.”

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Photo courtesy of Kelly Latour/ Rayne and James

Latour’s friends and clients were the ones who initially encouraged her to sell the bracelets. Her response? “Heck yeah, dude!”

“It kinda just fell into my lap,” says Latour of the bracelet-making business.

Between the pandemic’s toll on her photography career and having two boys under the age of two, it felt natural for Latour to stay home with her children, but she’s certainly not one to sit still.

“I don’t like to stop moving, so I work during naptime and bedtime; those are my little chunks of time to get stuff done,” she explains.

The “stuff” of which she speaks is the crafting of handmade bracelets dedicated to celebrating motherhood. This pursuit, which was born from the desire to do something creative while staying home with the kids, has manifested in the form of a small business that champions kindness towards mothers.

Her colorful, sunshiny creations have slogans that range from playful to empowering, such as a Valentine’s-themed red-, white- and pink-beaded bracelet that reads, “SWEET THANG” and a powerful, cool-toned “NICU MOM” piece to unite new mothers.

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Photo courtesy of Kelly Latour/ Rayne and James

In true Latour spirit, she notes that she wants to do more than just make bracelets.

“Moving forward I would love to focus on moms and motherhood… I want to help moms in some way,” she says. “I want moms to support each other, whether it’s through donating to charities or creating a supportive Facebook group. I want to do something bigger than just me.”

Though Latour isn’t fully certain as to how she’ll continue the momentum of positivity she’s created within the community of mothers, her breezy, modest attitude toward the future is admirable. With a smile and a shrug of her shoulder, she says, “We’ll see what happens.”

Taking it one day at a time, Latour remarks that she’s never been short on support, especially when it’s coming from her husband.

“My husband’s very supportive,” she says. “He’s an entrepreneur himself, he works for himself. He’s always let me be creative and he always says, ‘If you want to do it, then let’s figure it out, let’s do it.’”

Pink Flower Name Bracelet

Photo courtesy of Kelly Latour/ Rayne and James

When asked if creativity is one of the greatest motivators for her business, Latour credits her two children, Rayne and James, as her muses.

“They influence the whole thing. Everything that I do and everything that I make is for them. To give them anything I can. It’s all for them. That’s it, it’s all them,” she says.

“And what about you?” was the last question we asked of Latour. She took a moment to think, as if her own desires weren’t as familiar to her as those of others.

“I’d like to be someone that people can turn to and have them feel like, ‘She’s got my back…’ and I do, always. Arms wide open, girl.”

To learn more about Rayne and James and order a bracelet of your own, visit rayneandjames.com. If you’re interested in customizing an order, direct message Latour on Instagram at @rayneandjames.

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