BASED IN: MONTREAL, CANADA
I am an entrepreneur which means I do it all in the name of business- all day, every day... and since I'm a female entrepreneur this means I also do a bunch of other things at the same time. Practically, being an entrepreneur translates into me finding innovative ways to deliver my talents to customers. Within the framework of Three Matches, these talents include matchmaking services and within the framework of Tulle and Tiara, these talents include a flare for bridal accessory fashion. Regardless of which hat I'm wearing, I'm always wearing a smile and stilettos.
Is entrepreneurship something that anyone can tackle? What is the most important thing to consider?
Anybody can be an entrepreneur but not everybody can be a successful one. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be able to march to the beat of your own drum with full confidence that your music is the very best. You must also be able to play every instrument and know every song.
In other words, to be a top-tier entrepreneur you must be able to play every role leading up to your goal, but you must also be able to recognize and capitalize on the one skill you master better than anyone else and find the framework to allow customers to recognize that and want to pay for it too.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
The symbolism of a mentorship relationship signals a humility and a thirst for improvement which is critical in business and in life.
The support of a mentor is invaluable, the support of many mentors is even better. Educated opinions and real-life experience from people who have lived through “it” (whatever that may be), come out to tell the tale and are willing to guide you with the best of intentions is precious. I have a small network of people each from very diverse backgrounds. They dish tough love and solid advice. I call on them depending on the situation based on their expertise and they call on me in turn. A two-way mentorship is probably the ultimate goal because both directions lead to growth.
Do you think you want to start other businesses in the future or do you want to keep growing this one as long as possible? What is the dream?
I am a serial entrepreneur and a workaholic and it may be a chicken and egg situation. Anywhere I see talent and a gap, I see potential and profit- and best of all, a challenge. I have helped develop many business models but until recently, I only held a consultant role in these businesses because I wanted to give Three Matches the attention and nurturing it deserved. While preparing my wedding, I discovered an industry I knew little about that so desperately needed a facelift and I knew I had to take on this challenge. I’m now embarking on a second entrepreneurial journey in parallel to Three Matches with the goal of growing both businesses in every sense.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
Did you know that only 8% of people who set New Years resolutions achieve them? It’s a grim statistic and I can’t imagine that the reality is that much better when it comes to entrepreneurs. Even so, I think it is important to set small measurable goals to give you and your team direction and encourage you to achieve. Little bites of success at a time are the ultimate motivator. Of course, those goals should be approached with flexibility for the ever changing landscape and every entrepreneur should be prepared to revisit them a few times and even dismiss and replace them by more urgent and relevant goals. I myself practice that strategy and also create daily goals to give purpose to my day and push me just a bit harder.
Did you look for funding in the past?
No. For Three Matches, the start-up cost was low because my biggest resource and costliest employee was myself. For Tulle & Tiara, I am auto-financing the venture again. Although the costs are more significant, I find it a great motivational tool to reimburse my own loan and answer to myself, my partners and employees, rather than a board disconnected from the product and its success.
Why do you think that female owned businesses that get funded by venture capital are only a small percentage? What can we do to change that?
The venture capital system is slightly antiquated and dates back to a time when women entrepreneurs were rare. Furthermore, when women do have the opportunity to pitch their business, it is usually before a room full of men who may undervalue the product only because they can’t relate to how it would apply and be relevant. As such, women are receiving minimal funding. This can change with females funding females and I personally hope to contribute to that change soon.