When Cameron Lizotte received his Grade 12 diploma from St. Charles College in 2015, the announcer mentioned how Lizotte hoped to continue in hockey - and fashion.

People laughed aloud, he recalled recently on a short Christmas break before resuming play with the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

“They thought I put it up there for a joke because I’m a hockey player, tough guy,” he says. As he returned to his seat with his diploma, people said, ‘Oh, are you going to make me a shirt?’”

Yes, indeed. A year later, almost everyone who laughed is seeking his one-of-a-kind, handmade and original designs.

Lizotte’s brand, Coin Supply, has found its spot at home games as a pop-up boutique and has a steady online presence through social media. He has spent the month sewing for his family. By the end of January, Lizotte, 19, who has 30 fights in his OHL career, expects to be selling his hoodies, coats and shirts in Source for Sports in Barrie.

And sure, the fact that Lizotte is a fashion designer in the extreme masculine world of hockey, did make him nervous about how people would perceive him. It’s all male, except for his mom, Lise, in his family. Everyone played hockey, from his brothers Evan to Marco, who is a junior A-level referee hoping to move up through the officiating ranks.

Still, Cameron Lizotte is comfortable with what he wants to do.

“Once you get to know me, you’ll know that I do what I like to do,” he says. “Others’ opinions are very small to me in that sense.”

It’s a far cry from this time last year when Lizotte was playing for the Peterborough Petes. Coached in the opaque language of hockey, he wasn’t happy. He either asked to be traded or left to pursue his burgeoning interest in fashion design. He had reportedly lost his passion for hockey.

It was a crazy time last year, he recalls.

At the time, Coin Supply didn’t even exist. He was only learning to sew and design.

He wasn’t truly happy just playing hockey, he says. He always felt he had more to give, more to do.

“It was weird. It’s something that bothered me. I wasn’t at ease. I got into fashion, and it was a really good balance that I needed to find from all the hockey craziness,” he says

He doesn’t want to waste his life, basically, nor be known just as a hockey player. When he started with fashion design and sewing, he was ready to commit to school, he says.

But as hockey launched his fashion, it turns out that the fashion helped his hockey. He seems to have rekindled his love of the game after his fashion design business began.

Now he plays or practises, seeks fabric in local stores in Barrie, comes home, plugs in his music and starts creating, often into the wee hours of the morning at the Wells, his billets in Barrie. An $80-hoodie can take about three hours to complete from idea to completion.

“Hockey is just as important as my fashion right now. I would love to take both as far as I can. Hockey is my job. Fashion is my hobby.”

Still, his fashion interest sparked in Peterborough. The Petes drafted him after playing midget hockey with Sudbury’s Nickel City Sons.

All Petes players attend Thomas A. Stewart Secondary in Peterborough, which happens to be an arts school. He took the course world of fashion, figuring why not? He likes clothes, likes shopping for them and was interested in textures and fabrics. To his surprise, the course included sewing.

His first piece drew attention, more so than he’d ever received after wearing a store-bought item. The attention motivated him to keep going, he says.

“It was cool. My vision, my style was picking up. It was really cool to see other people like what I was creating and my (sense) of fashion.”

Texture is the key, and he tries to distinguish his brand by focusing on texture.

“Looking at different clothing, I could picture easily what I would do with it. If I see the fabric, I can envision what I can do with it. Right away, I know what I can do.”

In Barrie, his teammates help him with his brand. Sure his opponents chirp him about fashion but the chirps would happen regardless.

“The fact they even chirp me - hey, I’m happy you even know about it. I’m glad you’ve heard about Coin Supply.”

At this point, he is balanced in his two passions. He would never turn down a shot at the NHL and has learned that hockey will always help his fashion. He relishes the network hockey provides.

His parents, Lise and Paul, helped by purchasing a sewing machine and serger, he says.

“Without them I wouldn’t even get going. They’re my support system. My mom loves it, too. She’s a stay-at-home mom. This is so fun for her. I get my arts side from my mom.”

Ultimately, that means finding a way to blend hockey and fashion.

He’d love to travel, play in European leagues and work in fashion, maybe go on the road with a band and design their tour wear.

Regardless, the dream is to be a well-known fashion artist.

“And if that fashion artist still plays hockey, that’s even better.”Read more at:cocktail dresses australia | marieaustralia