HOW WE FIRST MET
I was busy folding clothes at my old job at Frank and Oak when I first met Marie-Eve Proulx. I saw her walked in and loved her style. I asked her where her hat was from and she kindly answered that it was her own brand. I suddenly got so interested in her project and I just wanted to hear more about it. I found her really interesting and after our long discussion, I jumped on the opportunity and asked her if she was looking for interns for the upcoming summer. She gave me her card and the week after, I was visiting their studio with Marie-Eve, founder and designer of Odeyalo, and Vanessa Girard, the brand manager. I can now proudly say that I am a marketing intern for the brand since the beginning of the month of May!
I was nine years old when the movie Coco Chanel was first in theaters. My mother brought me to see it and it was a real revelation for me. The day after, I called my grandmother and asked her to teach me how to make clothes. Ever since then, I spent my childhood sewing clothes on the cutting table that my dad made for me. I would go on Saint-Hubert street and was dealing with sellers for the price of fabrics. I was so mad because no one was taking me seriously because I was so young. Due to my lack of patience, I was never able to use commercial patterns. Therefore, I learned how to make my own ones by using old pieces of clothes. When I first met Marie-Eve, we had an instant connection when I told her about my story since she also started the same way as I did. Last year, I had to figure out what type of studies I wanted to do, and I decided to go to business school at HEC Montréal instead of a design school. In University, when I tell people that I’m passionate about design, photography and art, they wonder why I’m studying business. This speech scared me in the past year because I was afraid that I was no longer going to have my place in a creative field after my studies. Fortunately, the internship at Odeyalo convinced me that I was still able and meant to work in a less corporate environment. Marie-Eve often tells me that it is not her studies that taught her how to be a good designer but that it was her passion for her work. That is the reason why she hired me even if I wasn’t a fashion student.
Ever since my first day working at Odeyalo, I was very inspired by the work space. The studio is located at the Collectif Montreal where many creative minds have their own space in this open-air space. I find the concept brilliant because it is a space where many passionate people often share their knowledge and their skills with each other. For exemple, the other day, we spent half an hour trying on wigs with everyone and laughing about it.
Like I said above, what inspired most about the brand was the energy of the workspace and the simplicity of Marie-Eve. When I started my internship, we really pushed me to propose new ideas and to take initiatives. I always found that I was super lucky to get the chance to oversee the management of a slow fashion brand that is doing ethical business. We often think that fashion is superficial and glamour, but it is truly not. Therefore, I found that it was important to show this “behing the scene” reality of our work. I then came up with the idea of shooting Marie-Eve and Vanessa while working on film photography. Also, Marie-Eve mentioned me her project of lunching a men line and I loved the idea. To explore Marie-Eve’s project and to show the unisex side of the brand, I asked my modeling friend, Léo Monteil, to do a creative photoshoot with our women’s line. I have to admit that it was quite funny and special to work with my friend at first, but the pictures turned out really great.
Moreover, we often talk about our path with the girls and how we got where we are. I feel like I have always shown interest in them and in their work by asking many questions. I wanted to share this knowledge and experience with people. The girls then proposed me to write an article about my experience as an intern at Odeyalo in which I could include my pictures taken on film. Overall, I am very happy that I got to explore my creativity and my vision true this marketing internship.
Other than my experience sewing in the basement of my parents’ house, I never got the opportunity to oversee the process of the development of a clothing line. Giving the fact that the company does local production, I had imagined that it was happening in a big manufacture on Chabanel street. It was only during my internship that I got to realize all the work that came with local production. Indeed, Marie-Eve only hire independent workers to produce her clothes. It is awesome to think that we are encouraging workers that are passionate of what they do. Like I said earlier, I hate focusing on details while working and Marie-Eve really helped me with that. When we get our clothes after it gets produced, we can spend hours controlling quality and making sure everything is perfect. That made me understand the importance of according attention to details to be able to deliver a product of quality.
My internship is now coming to an end. Since I am also passionate about surfing, I will go teach it for the second year in a row on the Canadian west coast. I would like to thank Marie-Eve for giving me a chance at first and for her trust in my ideas. She’s a business woman who has a genuine sense of joy and she uses that in her work, which is something that is rare to see in a work environment. I would also like to thank Vanessa for sharing her skills with me and for our many photoshoots spent together. I hope that I will get the chance to work for the brand again in the future and I wish them the best of luck!