Owner, Quartier Mode Boutique
Describe your position and key responsibilities?
I started and own Quartier Mode. I seek out new local designers, and run our fashion community of 37 local designers that is growing every day. I maintain our mission to support local and Canadian independent designers and local production. I manage and run the clothing boutique/web store and fashion blog and manage our team.
What is a typical workday in your professional life?
I come in check my emails, fill on line orders, and then assist customers. Everyday is new and even though I have a list of things to do there are always surprises, so my days are spent, adapting and addressing things as they come. The best part is helping customers discover new designers or finding the right items for their life. I like making people happy.
Outline your career path?
I was firstly a hairstylist, I went to hair school and worked in that field, then I moved to Montreal and studied fashion design at International Academy of Design, I worked in the fashion industry then went back and did the Representative in the Fashion industry course at LaSalle, I worked for a large company that organized production overseas for some of Canada's biggest retail stores, worked for a local fashion designer who supplied 48 stores in Canada and the US and produced locally, I was a design and production assistant, worked in styling, started by two clothing collections, managed Preloved Montreal, worked as hairstylist at Tonic... lots of different things, until I did the SAJE program to develop my business plan and opened Quartier Mode.
What is your best memory of the time spent at Lasalle College?
The people I met who inspired me who were on similar journeys; I loved the classes, finding out I was great at math with accounting for the fashion industry, I took diligent notes and still refer to them, small snippets of off the cuff advice a teacher gave... It got my wheels turning.
What was your favorite subject, while in the program?
I loved the textiles class and trends classes, as well a negotiations; It got my wheels spinning and I find prepared me for the industry the most. I still look at my notes from time to time.
Describe your general feeling during your first day, week or month of school?
I was nervous honestly but nervousness mixed with hope. If that makes sense. I was hopeful for my future feeling like I was taking the right steps to help my career... the nervousness went away after the first few classes and was replaced by excitement as I started getting inspired.
What advice would you give a student presently enrolled in the fashion program?
I would say be sure to intern for someone in the industry that does the closest thing to the job you want to have.... real life experience really helps, and try not to miss the off the cuff advice your teachers give you. Listen closely. Treat every person you encounter as a potential teacher.
What surprised you most when you entered the job market?
My very first job, I was getting coffees and printing faxes and delivering them to people who were not happy, no creativity and a miserable sense of disappointment... that was a shock. But I got brave and learned all I could from it and searched for jobs that would teach me the most in the areas that interested me and it got better and better, the more qualified I got and the more experience I had .... When I look back even the jobs I least enjoyed had valuable life changing lessons that shaped my experience for now.
What are the essential qualities required to succeed in the fashion world?
Listening, absorbing and adapting.