In 1953, Pauline Charbonneau had a high quality clothing store just around the corner on the main street in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. People from the city would come here to get new trendy outfits to brighten up their wardrobes.
Pauline is a perfectionist woman who has the fever of entrepreneurship! Well on the lookout for new trends, she has always chosen her pieces meticulously.
Meeting with an inspiring woman!
As we sipped our tea on a beautiful sunny Sunday, Pauline and I (Sarah, aka Paulinessence) started chatting about her story, her accomplishments and her couture projects.
When did you start sewing?
Pauline - 31 years old. I did all kinds of little things for myself and my children. I loved choosing my fabrics according to the seasons.
When did you open your store?
Pauline - You know, I was working for this little store in my village and one day I thought I was going to have my own store. At some point, the owner of the store where I worked decided to close. So I took my chance with financial aid, because I didn't have a lot of money. I did everything, go to factories, find partners, etc. Then, I finally opened my store.
The debut of the store, newly opened in 1953, went even better than I expected. I was able to pay what I owed each month. It was a great success.
What kind of clothing could we find in your store?
Pauline - I sold everything for ladies: handbags, hats, underwear, ski suits, coats. I chose each piece meticulously and up to date. People were tearing them away!
How many hours could you spend on your sewing creations?
Pauline - The time I had with the four children and the house. Let's say three hours a day on average, but I could have spent my days on my creations, if I could have. When the children left the nest, I was able to spend more time on my creations.
What are the events in your small village for which you got involved?
Pauline - I was involved in the chamber of commerce, the carnival committee, fashion shows with other stores, as well as a fashion show at the military base. I found the sponsors myself. I was a woman very involved in her community. Those were great years!
Your greatest creationg?
Pauline - A wedding dress that I sewed in Swiss embroidery lined with cotton. A project that took me a lot of time, but which gave me great pleasure to achieve.
My passion for clothes comes from this incredible woman who is my grandma. As for the word "essence" or as it is so well described in the Larousse dictionary "the act of existing", Pauline exists or existed in her clothes as I exist in those that I create. Indeed, each garment contains a piece of us and it carries it to the end of its existence. Today, this brand brings my grandmother and me to life through my art.
Here are some pictures of Pauline.