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Making THE move: My Experience Living In Canada’s Fashion Capital.

Making the move to Montréal came as naturally to me as a tree shedding its leaves. There’s something about new beginnings and new chapters that ignites a spark in me.. Long before I was blessed with the opportunity to live here, I had dreamt of this city and its distinctive endearments towards the fashion industry. If you are someone like me who has previously searched high and low for top-ranking jobs in the Canadian Fashion Industry, you would know that most of the major fashion houses and companies reside in this French-speaking region.

Seeing as Montréal is an entirely different city from what I had called home for the past 9 years, I have entirely new priorities- Me. As a somewhat content loner with zero socialization urges for strangers, building a new social circle is the least of my worries. Besides, all the industry networking events are either cancelled or postponed and most businesses are continuously being downsized or relieving staff due to the current COVID19 pandemic. With all that has happened since I moved here, it’s safe to say that I have barely experienced the the great Montréal. This is why I strongly believe that this chapter year of my life is being written for my growth as an individual, but more importantly, as a footwear designer, product developer and luxury brand owner.

I have most definitely been handed a new set of obligations that I feel are necessary to learn what it takes to level up and unlock my greatest potential. That being said, I finally(thank God) got an atelier !! As I mentioned in my post Real Life: The Struggles Of Building A Footwear Brand, space is an essential part of a creative’s life. I know there are some of us who work extremely well around others, however, I am someone who requires both mental and physical space when I create. On Jan 1, 2020, I signed my very first commercial lease for the brightest and most airy industrial loft that Molly can call home for the next few years.

As I grow and my plans evolve, I think it is important that my space expands along with me. Right now, since I am operating on a small scale, my atelier serves as a workspace to create footwear; an office to handle virtual meetings & complete tasks, and a studio for product and editorial photography. It will definitely need a makeover in the future to accommodate any team members that I bring on, however, right now, it is just perfect for my needs.

As you can imagine, having my own space gave me the drive I needed to created, but with Montréal still on lockdown and companies closing shop almost every other day, it’s been a very difficult task sourcing new leather & hardware suppliers. For months, I’ve been left with the hides that I moved to Montréal with and nothing new to execute my growing vision. Now, you might be thinking ‘but ordering fabrics and exotic skins is something you can probably do online’, I know. Perhaps I’m a very tactile individual when it comes to design. I like to feel and experience the quality & sensations of each material before I purchase it. With that opportunity being stripped away with COVID19, I am left waiting until my next trip into Toronto to revisit familiar, dependable leathercraft & fabric supply stores.

Being here has really given me time to work on my french in a more practical manner and get very well acquainted with the city in order to source the best locations for a storefront in the future. Luckily for me, I live up the street from the city’s main shopping artery, Rue Sainte-Catherine, and I have been blessed to learn about the commercial real estate demands of highly sought out spaces such as these. Sometimes I imagine a bold and daring ‘Molly’ plastered on my soon-to-be storefront, with unending street traffic day & night, and trendy window-shoppers dreaming of the next day’s adventures just so they can try on my intricately-designed pairs. A girl can dream, right?

You know the deal… As always, it’s been real on this Journey To Molly. With COVID19 taking over life as we know it, we’ll just have to wait to see what Montréal has in store for the Molly.


Until next time,

Molly

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