If you have seen my 100,000 stories, you already know that we loooved it! The store is often in Pop Up mode to introduce local businesses and I wanted to ask Hélène a few questions to help you discover her business which offers a perfect mix of thrifted and new finds!
R: First of all, tell us a little about your background! I already know some details since I asked you a million questions when we met, but it’s too interesting not to start this way!
H: Haha what life do you want me to start with?!! The first one is that of a little girl from Beauce, from a family of entrepreneurs! Then in my teenage years, came my life as an athlete! From 14 to 21 years old I competed in snowboarding (downhill) and over these years I was part of the national team for 7 years, participated for 5 years in the World Cup circuit and came close to going to the Olympics in Salt Lake City (2002).
Subsequently, I stopped everything to find myself and decide on my future (mid-life crisis, surely!). So I went to CEGEP in visual arts, then a semester in interior design to finally go back to Beauce and work with my family in the construction business.
Not long after, I gave birth 3 times in 3.5 years, while getting a diploma in building design virtually, while happily breastfeeding and when my father died in 2014 and the company closed, my boyfriend and I decided to come back to Saint-Ferréol. That's when I created my house plan service company (HC concept) in order to be more present for children.
R: My goodness. You're like a cat with 10 lives! And how did you decide on your concept for Mamzelle Choses? And why Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré?
H: Making plans is fun but it's clearly not creative enough for me!! I like color and everything out of the ordinary! Growing up, my parents would bring us to local decor boutiques and antique shops and at the age of 20 I worked at the Quebec arts and crafts shop. So I always knew that one day I would have my very own store! The concept of Mamzelle Choses is therefore a mixture of everything I love and honestly it feels like home! Eclectic, lots of second-hand items from all kinds of eras, local products, eco-friendly! And Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré because this area was beginning to be updated and it is a very touristic spot.
H: We received our fall line of essential oil products this week and I am in love with the scent! The shea butter hand lotion is perfect and smells like cinnamon heaven!!
Thanks again for everything Hélène! Best wishes to you and your lovely boutique!