Vestechpro wants to share the news of its customers, to familiarize you with the world of applied research in business and innovation in the clothing industry in Quebec.
For this new article in the series, we met Anne-Marie Laflamme, co-founder of the company atelier b.
atelier b: the birth of a Montreal eco-responsible brand
It all started with Catherine and Anne-Marie meeting the school benches about fifteen years ago. After quickly realizing that they had complementary strengths, many possibilities opened up to them. Together, the two friends decide to share a workshop that will become gradually atelier b.
In 2009, the project is officially launched and it is in 2011 that they inaugurate their first workshop-shop in the heart of Mile End.
atelier b offers durable clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The designs are simple and functional and are designed to cross the time. For manufacturing, which is done here in Montreal, natural fibers are preferred. As consumers themselves, aware of the environmental issues, it seemed obvious to them that their entire production was in Quebec. These "slow design" values are reflected in their collections.
10 years ago, during the creation of atelier b, the demand of the Quebec public for the "local fact" was very niche, contrary to today, where it more and more present. The search for a Quebec sub-contractor of good quality is very difficult because they are few and very solicited. In response to this challenge, part of their production is designed internally by team members to meet the demands of their customers. "Our customers are curious, sensitive and aware of current environmental issues. They are often from the field of culture or education and are more of the type "behind the camera" than before! They ask a lot of questions about our design processes and they are an inexhaustible source of inspiration, "says Anne-Marie, co-founder of atelier b.
Our products are ideal for laying the foundations of a responsible wardrobe.
The labor shortage in production at the heart of the stakes of this beautiful industry
Having access to quality labor in textile production is definitely one of the major challenges of this industry. For atelier b, it is also about developing their management skills as the business grows, since this is their first project as entrepreneurs.
"It's a great challenge that's very exciting because we've never finished learning!" Says Anne-Marie.
One of the solutions, according to Anne-Marie, would be to train staff internally so that skills are tailored to the needs of each brand. Of course, training employees internally is a real challenge in terms of talent retention and cost: would this investment prevent the departure of internally trained talent? This involvement may be too ambitious for small businesses that have fewer resources to deal with these issues.
Why work with a CCTT?
The two friends were present during the first discussions on the creation of Vestechpro, a research and innovation center specialized in clothing, which can help Quebec companies through their various needs. It is therefore very natural that the two founders approached the CCTT when the time came, especially when they were looking for funding, one of the services offered by Vestechpro.
The atelier b team has therefore collaborated with Vestechpro on various mandates. Firstly, during the various stages of growth of their production, then for temporary and specific needs such as the development of new products whose internal expertise was lacking, and finally when setting up a strategy of online sales.
"The projects have been implemented since then, and this has been of great benefit to the company!" Says Anne-Marie.
Future projects of atelier b
atelier b is launching several projects this season, including their offer of services for corporate uniforms, corporate textile gifts and exclusive design projects! The entire atelier b team is always delighted to offer their expertise in design, design and production for several years now. Indeed, the two friends will celebrate next autumn the ten years of the workshop!
Finally, Anne-Marie Laflamme and Catherine Métivier were in the Netherlands on March 14th as part of the "La Francophonie en mode responsable" event, where they represented Quebec! This event allowed the meeting of French-speaking creators through ethical and sustainable fashion, where atelier b has specialized in recent years!
Vestechpro thanks Anne-Marie Laflamme for her collaboration.
Find atelier b products on their website: https://atelier-b.ca/