Retailer spotlight: Joséphine

Sep 16, 2021

by Marie-Michelle Dupuis

Last month, Tania and I hit the road to meet some of our retailes. A visit to Sherbrooke was in order, where we went to the friendly Josephine boutique. Located on Wellington, the store's charm is matched only by the kindness of the two owners, Sarah and Josianne.

I wanted to know a little more, and to find out the secrets behind this company.

Marie: Let's start at the beginning. I read that one of you is a speech therapist and the other a historian by profession. How did you meet?

Sarah: We have known each other since high school, when Josianne came to the Salesian Seminary for a year. We had developed a meaningful and very genuine friendship, but we had lost sight of each other when Josianne had returned to another high school to pursue her sports-study program. We then studied in different cities and we met again by pure luck, during a parents meeting hosted by the speech therapy service where I work (Josianne gave me permission to break the confidentiality agreement!). We had dinner together the next day and discussed a boutique project, which was going to materialize via Joséphine!

Marie: How did you decide to open the store in the heart of Sherbrooke?

Sarah: We had the idea of ​​opening a shore when Josianne learned that Joséphine, (which belonged to her lover's aunt, Mrs. Jo-Anne Rouillard) was for sale. She then called me to share the news. We were very excited about this opportunity. We loved the store and what Ms. Rouillard had made of her business, a charming place with unique finds. Let's just say that it sped up our project!

Marie: What was the very first brand you sourced for the store, and why?

Sarah: We kept a lot of brands and local products that were already being sold at Joséphine. If we remember correctly, the first new brand to enter the store was Baltic Club. We had fallen in love with their posters (which also decorate our respective homes), and also, we had an excellent experience with the owners when we first ordered.

Marie: What makes you most proud when someone enters Joséphine?

Sarah: That we highlight the achievements of Quebec artisans and when customers tell us they feel good in the shop! Also, to have a team where everyone feels comfortable to show their true colors and personality! We are proud of our team who likes each other and knows how to work together as a team. 

Marie: With so many choices under your roof, you probably know how to make the best gifts. And you, what do you love to receive as a gift?

Sarah: We especially like to receive a gift that we feel has been carefully chosen for us. We think the best gifts are made of: “I thought of you so much when I saw it..”! Between us, we often offer each other products that will embellish our lives, a flowerpot, a candle, a cushion and sometimes a good bottle of bourbon 🙂

Marie: What inspires you on a daily basis?

Sarah: Before the pandemic, we really liked to be inspired by unique finds and different atmospheres  while traveling. Because of the pandemic, we are even more attentive to the beauty that surrounds us. We focus on the small details of our city and the magnificent Cantons-de-l'Est. We also really like flipping through magazines and sharing our discoveries.

Marie: Last, but not least; who is Josephine?

Sarah: Josephine is the nickname of the original store owner, who was named Jo-Anne. It was important for us to keep the name when buying the business, for continuity and as an homage to what the store already represented to us. A welcoming place with creaky floors with unique and different finds!

Thank you ladies! It is a real pleasure to be part of what you offer and an honor to be among so many lovely finds.

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