Name: Keven Dufour
Title: Artisan and Owner
Company Name: Souvenirs du Hangar
Study program: AEC in Graphic Design
Degree obtained in: 2017
Now a craftsman and founder of his own company, Keven Dufour graduated from the AEC in Graphic Design in 2017 and has been making his name across the field of handcrafted gifts, visual creations and engravement art. He even had the honor of having an article praising his talent and his business in the newspaper Le Quotidien (article in French only).
We invite you to check out his interview to discover his path towards creating his own company!
What title do you currently hold and what are your main functions?
I am a craftsman and owner of Souvenirs du Hangar, a handcrafted children's business. I make eco-responsible wooden products, such as baby suitcases, tooth boxes, educational games, and personalized decorative objects.
Describe a typical day in your professional life.
I walk into the shop, look at my order list and make a game plan for the day. Then I make the products for my customers with the utmost care, accompanied by a Netflix series. I have that luxury!
Describe your career path.
I have a long career path. I was an electrician, and the environment did not suit me. I wanted to create something: my business, my schedule, and my ideas. I gave up everything to go into graphic design.
Today, my training allows me to touch Adobe software, Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom. I can make visuals that will be engraved by a laser machine afterwards. Everything I can draw, I can engrave. My possibilities are endless!
What is your fondest memory while studying at LaSalle College?
Even though the training was short, I met great people, both professionals and students.
What was your favorite subject while studying at LaSalle College? Are you applying this today to your current career?
Learning to use Illustrator. I love this software! I now work with Illustrator and Photoshop on a daily basis.
What was your general feeling and first impression when you started out at LaSalle College?
As a distance learning course, I was very comfortable with the training. I could go at my own pace.
What surprised you the most when you arrived on the workforce?
That anything was possible in computer graphics. I had a few job offers very different from each other, but I decided to go for my own project.
What advice would you offer to a student currently enrolled in the same program you took or to your younger self?
First, take advantage of the training and benefit from the experience of the teachers. You can ask them questions, that's what they are there for! Don't limit yourself to the course. Do some research, go to the library! Don't do the minimum, do the maximum.
What are the qualities necessary to succeed in your field?
I didn't work in computer graphics per se as I started my own craft business for children. However, in my field, the first quality is to be passionate and sensitive to the client. For me, perfectionism is a quality, but I am perhaps a little too intense on this aspect.
Who are your role models and why?
Nicolas Duvernois of Pur Vodka. I have always had a similar desire to create something and invent a product. Reading his book motivated me a lot to start my own business. Some artisans in my region also inspired me to start my own business, including Stéphanie Racette and Jacynthe Larouche. I thank them!
Anything you would like to add that would be inspiring to our next generation?
If you have the strength to dream, you also have the strength to accomplish. You just must believe in it.
Don't let yourself be discouraged by certain people who may be very close to you. Many people believed that my project was not viable, that if I wanted to succeed, I had to create other products than children's products to get there. One coach even told me to do what earns the most money. This was far from my original plans.
I persevered and exceeded my original goals in making children's products. My baby suitcase is now my biggest seller and I make them on a daily basis.