Maille atelier collaboratif – Business Portrait
8 March 2022
Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea co-founded the Maille atelier collaboratif in 2019 at New Richmond. Since then, their long lasting-furniture has enhanced the decoration and optimized many residences, businesses and organizations in the Gaspésie region. Interview with Laura-Anne about entrepreneurship and her business, which had received support from the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs.
A Thumbnail Sketch of the Business
Maille atelier collaboratif combines professional design services and furniture making to develop interior layout which is adapted to the specific needs of each client. With painstaking attention to details, her team manufactures and installs long-lasting quality furniture of a beauty that time cannot wash away.
In what way is your business unique?
“The originality of the projects we develop is outstanding in addition to the broad scope of products we are able to offer with all of the sub-contractors who support us” says Laura-Anne. “We try not to have limits in our designs or use of materials. We work with metal, wood and glass. We don’t just make cupboards. We can make stairs and guardrails. This is architectural furniture making. Most of the time it is functional, but we are sometimes on the fringe of art.”
Why have you chosen to be entrepreneurs?
“Ghislain and myself were unable to find employment in the region for what we wanted to accomplish” explained Laura-Anne. “Our passion led us to become entrepreneurs, to create employment and to like our job. We also felt that the offer of made-to-measure furniture could be improved in the region.”
How did support from the SADC help you?
First, Maille obtained financing. “It was one of the most advantageous offers in the region” mentioned the young entrepreneur. “It is a personal loan and it’s really interesting as seed capital to start up a business.” Maille also had support from the SADC during the pandemic, including support for a structuring project. This assistance “allowed us to conduct strategic planning, to have support to review the structure of the business and to become more efficient.”
Tell us about a recent noteworthy achievement of which you are especially proud as an entrepreneur (ex.: in the field of sustainable development).
“We always try to select the most sustainable materials” specified Laura-Anne. “We recently submitted a research theme to the CIRADD (a research centre attached to the Cégep de la Gaspésie and des Îles), which was accepted. Students in nature science who work in a partnership with CIRADD staff will make proposals to us on how to recycle the cuttings from our materials.”
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting up a business in the Baie-des-Chaleurs region?
“You have to be a little naive. Don’t ask yourself too many questions. Try it, go!” suggests Laura-Anne. “I think that our success is due to the fact that we’re passionate about it. But you have to realize that you won’t always be doing what is a passion for you.” Open-mindedness and collaboration are also essential. “It’s important not to be afraid of asking for help when dealing with something you know less about and to seek good support from the right people.”
About Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea
Co-founders of the Maille Atelier collaboratif, Laura-Anne Lamarche and Ghislain Dea have complementary know how in their business. A member of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, Laura-Anne is a project manager and architect. Ghislain is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and he works as a technical designer and mechanical engineer.