Name, profession, etc
Mélodie D'amour - Co Founder of Maison LPRN (previously known as ''LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE'')
COVID proved difficult for all small businesses, but I can imagine how difficult it must have been for you, as someone in the event planning industry. How have you handled this stressful time?
We launched the closet portion, named ''la petite penderie,'' so that customers could enjoy LPRN services until normal life and events came back. Then, after two years, in December 2021, despite our efforts, we announced the store's closing, which lasted until September 2022 (in September, we were able to reopen again).
What are the challenges of working with your best friend?
At first, we wanted to prove to one another who was the best. We were constantly arguing! After about 3 years we put our damn egos aside and learned to focus on each other's strengths instead!
Now, Vaness is more than my best friend, she's like my sister. We don't shy away from telling each other what we think and we're not afraid that one of us might leave the other, we've become too close, she's my family... So the biggest challenge today is that we're far too honest with each other and we tell each other everything that comes to mind!
What was your biggest support network during this period?
Our community, clients and local companies that support us. We would receive messages and emails with kind, supportive words.
Were your professional hardships strenuous to your personal relationships (friends and family)?
We had a BIG dose of personal challenges: My pregnancy, my sister's cancer, Vaness' pregnancy, her father's cancer, Vaness' separation, my multiple surgeries...
Honestly, I think it brought us closer together but yes, professionally it was really hard, but at the same time, it made us resilient!
What did you learn from these experiences?
We learned that everything happens for a reason, to take our time, and to ensure that we're well surrounded and well prepared before launching ourselves fully into a project.
Can you tell us more about LPRN 2.0?
Maison LPRN is so much more than a boutique. It's an experience tailored to each and every one of our clients! In addition to offering evening wear rentals with a new inventory adapted to the demands of our clients (over the past 8 years), we also offer an extensive inventory for sale! The human experience behind the stylist sessions is personalized, unique and exclusive.
We also have a STUDIO portion that will be launched by January that will offer the possibility for brands, clients and influencers to come and create quality content!
Oh, and we also have a new Youtube channel and a podcast!
What motivated you to launch your brand again? It’s not about how you fall, but about how you get back up, right?
We are entrepreneurs at heart and this store, this environmentally friendly concept, is more than a career for us, it's our baby, our reason to live! When life returned to 'normal,' after months of looking for jobs with no exciting offers, we decided to start the boat again, but this time taking our time and doing things our way.
How do you live sustainably?
By using Viita products, of course! :) But also all the simple ways, like avoiding tampons and using a diva cup instead, avoiding paper towels and using reusable towels, recycling and composting, and going from two cars to one family car. We are super conscious of the environment at home and are constantly doing our best to become even more eco-friendly!
Is it important to you to transmit knowledge about the importance of sustainability to your daughter?
Absolutely! She actually complains a lot about having to wear the same outfit more than once! Haha
I do my best to teach her lots of good habits so that eventually they become natural to her!
Which Viita product is your favourite?
I love them all! Trick question! lol The bodysuit, of course, I'm obsessed with it and wear it even when I'm not on my period. I wear it all the time, ESPECIALLY after sex. There is always some discharge after the act and I sleep better knowing that everything is under control. The seamless underwear is SO gorgeous and comfortable. I always wear them on the first and last day of my period. I also love the thongs, they help ease the stress of the “maybe” days of getting your period.
Which of the Viita values are most important to you?
Sustainability! But also the idea of normalizing talking about periods.
Can sustainability and fashion coexist?
YES YES YES!!!! Through rentals, reselling, thrift stores, biodegradable fabrics and so much more!
Thank you for sharing your ups & downs, your drive, your inspiration and tips and tricks with us Melodie! Wishing you luck and success in all your future endeavours.