How to Start a Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Success Story | June 27, 2019
Marianne Tremblay is the founder and owner of Mary & Anna, a new women’s clothing company. Marianne participated in a Futurpreneur Rock My Business Plan workshop, supported by RBC, where she was able to connect with Futurpreneur and launched her business through the Start-Up Program. See how Marianne turned her business dream into a reality.
Marianne Tremblay has a vibrant energy and a strong determination most might say has been key to her entrepreneurial journey as she prepares to launch a clothing line that aims to shift the style standards for women.
The first piece of the collection will be a shirt named ‘Mary’ that Marianne describes as halfway between a nightdress and shirt – a catch-all for women to wear from bed to a Sunday morning brunch.
The idea for the clothing line, and in particular the ‘Mary’ shirt, first came to Marianne in university.
“When we were studying, we were so badly dressed in leggings and sweat shirts that we too shy to go to grocery store or even answer the door,” says Marianne.
“And then I had the idea of creating clothes that were both stylish and comfortable.”
Initially planning to have the clothing line manufactured in Asia, Marianne pivoted her business model in the early stages and decided her products would be locally owned and made. From the design through to the final product delivery to clients, Marianne focused her attention on having her clothing line fully made in Canada.
Simultaneously, while making drastic changes to her business logistics, Marianne was managing her clientele and a high volume of pre-orders as a result of her successful crowdfunding campaign. The pressure was on to move quickly. And she did!
So today, the launch of Mary & Anna with the ‘Mary’ shirt represents more than just an item of clothing. For Marianne, this unique piece demonstrates the transformative pathway of her journey as a brand, a person, and a business owner. And Marianne could not be prouder of her accomplishments, knowing her project really brought to the fore the social values she has learned to live by over recent years.
“My personality is emerging and I am discovering who I really am. The Marianne that you see now is really different from the one who graduated few years ago. Since then, I have developed a growing interest for the environment. My apartment is zero waste now and I practice composting,” says Marianne.
A few years ago, Marianne defined entrepreneurial success through growth and personal enrichment. Today, her values and interests revolve around the human impact of her business.
The launch of Mary & Anna and the ‘Mary’ shirt took a year longer than expected. But Marianne’s entrepreneurial journey represents the overcoming of obstacles and industry complexities to arrive at a socially conscious product that holistically contributes to both people and the greater environment. The road ahead was long and full of obstacles, considering the complexity of the industry.
“It is a long road. We think that it goes fast, but in fact, it is really long! It takes years, and we often may need to restart everything from the beginning,” says Marianne.
“In 2015 I never would have thought that I would be here. When I graduated from university, I was a true capitalist. Today I really wonder about the economic and social impact of overseas fabrication. My business idea has evolved with my values, so I am really proud of my product.”
During a recent commercial venture in France, supported by LOJIQ, Marianne was surprised to be recognized as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry. This, for Marianne, was the realization that her dream had finally turned into a reality; that she was and is a full-fledged part of the entrepreneurial community.