We're busy getting ready for the One of a Kind Show as it starts in just two days!! Preparing for a show like this really does require the efforts of our entire team, our Lousje & Bean Family. So, while we work behind the scenes like busy little elves, we thought it would be a great chance for you to get to know our team a little better with a series of posts to introduce the members in our Family Portrait. For our first installment, we will profile the head of our family, Lousje. As we progress through the introductions in our following posts we will fill in their photos as well, until our gallery wall is complete with the images of each family member.
Here are ten questions we asked Lousje to give you the inside scoop!
Where did you grow up and why are you not there anymore?
I enjoyed growing up in Amsterdam. When I was 18 I fell madly in love. A shortage of housing, and adventure calling, had me leave "The Netherlands", with my brand new husband, one day after getting married.
Do you have any Children?
I have 4 wonderful children 3 sons and my daughter Tessa. I also have 6 grandchildren, and if all goes well, soon there will be 2 more.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, my shadow and side kick Charlie. He's a mix between a King Charles Cavalier Springer Spaniel and a Bichon Frise.
Many of our customers, are familiar with his adorable face, and happy demeanor, as he is the official store greeter.
How did you arrive at running this business with your daughter? What path brought you here?
Well, my background is design. In the 80's I produced my own clothing line, under the name "Pierrot", and had a work space and storefront in Port Dalhousie.
Having 4 children under the age of 9, I realized that my family needed my full time attention, so while I was always doing some contract work designing for theater, I never really got back in to it full-time.
When Tessa was working as an au pair in Holland for a year, she was sewing like crazy, visiting the markets, getting inspired by fabrics and the European fashion. One day we were talking and she said 'When I come home we are going to start a clothing line'. I was very reluctant and really thought nothing of it. But right when she came home she enrolled at George Brown for the Fashion Design program and there was no turning back, she talked me into it! In January, it will be 10 years. And it's been an amazing journey, for both of us.
What are you most passionate about professionally?
What gets me very excited is when a design comes to fruition, and our customers profess their happiness and praise. What I can get very passionate about is a wonderful piece of fabric. The feel, color, texture and then the promise of designs to come.
Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
Well I love my 100 year old home in midtown St Catharines. It’s got a very private and lovely backyard. On a summer weekend I love to be at a beach or near water, preferably with my grandchildren around me. In winter near a fireplace with a good book, glass of red wine, and dark nutty chocolate.
If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Funnily enough, my first thought would be, Northern Ontario. A lake, a cabin, a canoe, silence except the water and some loons. Over the years and having traveled to quite a few places, I have really come to appreciate the pristine beauty of our province.
What is your favorite type of music?
I wake up with music and go to bed with music. It has sustained me all throughout my life. My taste is very diverse, from Classical to French Chansons to Jazz. Then once in while I throw in a good Jon Bon Jovi tune. It's just where the mood takes me.
What is your favorite thing about working in Downtown St.Catharines?
Being surrounded by history, the really amazing architecture in a lot of the buildings. The people and familiar faces. And now especially the excitement, with the Performing Art Centre and Brock music department.
What is your favorite restaurant in downtown St.Catharines?
"The Office”, on James street - great atmosphere, great staff, food and wine. It's all so good!
Now you know Lousje a little better than you did before! Stay tuned to our next Family Portrait installments where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the rest of the team!