Andréanne's Journal


Hello women of Womance,

Welcome to my first blog! During my trip with my sweet fiancé last February, I stayed away from my cellphone to make the most of the present moment, and I can honestly say that it did me a world of good. I talked to you a little bit on Insta stories but I'm the type of girl who, the vast majority of the time, answers all her emails before going to bed at night and then puts them out of her mind. Anything time-sensitive that needs to be answered right away usually is, and I do make a point to respond to messages on Insta regularly (apologies if I miss any here and there!) Spending less time on my phone while on vacation allowed me to pay full attention to the present moment, which opened the door for an influx of clarity and creativity.

During this time I had the idea to share with you here, by email, details not only about what’s new at Womance but also about the highs and lows of life as a woman in business. Each month I’ll review what happened throughout the previous month and I’ll reveal what cool new projects we are working on. My aim isn’t just to talk about exciting new products and trends though; I want to provide an honest and genuine glimpse of what it’s like living as an entrepreneur running two businesses ­– the good parts and the difficult ones, the successes and the challenges too. I’ll do the same through the Sans-Façon email, but on a different date. If you’re subscribed to both email lists, don’t worry about receiving the same content twice. I might do everything from the same office, but each company is unique to me, and I experience so many different emotions during each stage of development for their individual projects. Plus, I’m going to need you to help me develop new products for Sans-Façon, so I will tell you all about that process in the Sans-Façon blog.

Speaking of my journey, my week away made me realize even more how privileged and blessed I am to do what I do. It’s still crazy to me to have the chance to go on vacation for a week and see my two companies moving forward and continuing without me, because I know I can count on my incredible team. I asked Marie-Ève (you’ll hear me speak of her often; she is my right-hand woman at both Womance and Sans-Façon) to let me know if there was anything that really required my attention, but to spare me the details of smaller issues. To my surprise, everything went great at Womance (which I often refer to as Wowo.) Did things go equally well at Sans-Façon (SF)? Not so much, but I’ll leave those details for Marie-Ève to share.

Returning to Wowo, I have to admit that the last two years haven’t been easy. Things might look great on social media, but...

We need to address the elephant in the room. 

Let’s be honest: at some point, we didn’t make beautiful clothes. Sometimes I look back and think, “what the heck was that?!” Poor choices, poor guidelines. We moved far too quickly by not really asking the right questions. We got lost in what we were doing because we didn’t have a clear vision of the end goal. Meanwhile, I was trying to finish creating SF while managing the surprising expansion of Wowo. IT WAS A GOOD LOSS OF CONTROL. At one point, we even lost tens of thousands of dollars in lousy clothing production. Everything was poorly done. There was blowback from all sides. We had a new supplier who failed to meet our standards but did not want to pay us back. My dad kept telling me, “That’s the cost of learning my girl!” and, well dad – it was a very expensive lesson. Needless to say, we don’t use that supplier anymore. We still often work with new suppliers, but now, we start with small orders to ensure that they are able to meet our standards and expectations before committing to anything on a larger scale.

Over the last two years, I have questioned myself so many times. I have doubted. I've doubted more. I have made decisions that have broken my heart. I've cried...a lot. It was the most difficult two years of my entire career as an entrepreneur. I think it was the hardest two years of my life. Mentally, I didn't really know where I was anymore. I sought out help through therapy. It wasn’t quite the experience I was hoping for: the therapist told me that I had to find passions other than work, that I needed to think about other things, and that if I couldn’t find outside passions to fit into my daily life she wouldn't be able to see me anymore. So now, I no longer have a therapist, haha! It was a very strange time because I was experiencing exponential happiness, in love and building a dream house with Math, but everything else seemed like a huge weight on my shoulders. Every little clash in the companies felt like the end of the world. Minor conflicts felt like a punch to the gut. I was on a kind of anxiety autopilot, as if I was outside of my body going through the motions without actually experiencing anything. I often wondered if I was the right person to be at the helm of all this. I felt like it was so much bigger than me, even though I was the one who had created it.

Finally at some point, who knows why, the whirlwind in my head stopped and I regained control. I've made positive, comforting choices and difficult, heart-breaking ones too, but I've never been more confident in my decisions than I am now. I make decisions by reminding myself: "This may not be the norm, but I'm not convinced that we need to follow all the rules.” We try things. We take risks. Sometimes things don’t work like we thought they would, but we learn from the experience and we build around it.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS A TOUGH ROAD. It seems so beautiful from afar, but it’s often a lonely existence. Whether you're an entrepreneur or not, you may one day also find yourself in a whirlwind. For my part, I asked for help. It wasn't perfect, but I did learn from it. I learned to speak up and simply say “it’s not okay.” I told my boyfriend and my friends that things weren’t going well. I talked to my parents. You don’t have to share details if you don’t want to, but opening up about how you’re feeling is a huge step. Just voicing your emotion out loud is relieving. And once you do, you’re sure to quickly realize that you’re not alone. Above all, I learned that everything is temporary. Even crazy and stressful whirlwinds. That much I can assure you.

Ah! Did I tell you nothing happened at Wowo while I was gone? Well, on the Monday that I returned I was supposed to meet a new hire that had joined our team. The employment contract had been signed weeks ago. We were excited. Our new team member called us at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning to tell us that she had gotten an offer she couldn't refuse and so had to turn down our job. Just a year ago, I would have questioned myself to no end. I would have wondered what I did wrong. Am I not nice? Why not choose Womance? Didn’t we seem like a great place to work? Why would she turn us down? Well, when I found out the news, I turned to my colleague and said “Ah, how boring for her! She’s going to miss out on so much fun! It’s really cool to work at Womance. I guess that just wasn’t our person. Enjoy your time off; we can talk about it later. We’ll find someone else that’s a perfect fit.”

See? Everything is temporary.

- Andréanne Marquis, founder of Womance & Sans-Façon Cosmetics


  • Catherine Couillard

    Merci pour le partage! Ça prend beaucoup de générosité et d’humilité pour écrire ce journal. Tu as une belle plume, longue vie au Journal d’Andréanne! 👏

  • Elise

    Quelle belle idée de nous partager de ton quotidien d’entrepreneur. De lire ce qui s’y passe, ça nous permet de voir l’envers de ce que l’on consomme et de « t’accompagner » dans cette aventure immense qu’est Womance. Merci de prendre le temps de nous écrire, même si j’imagine que tu le fais beaucoup pour toi ;) ça ajoute à ce bel esprit de communauté que Womance créer depuis tant d’années. Bien hâte de te lire ici et chez SF :)

  • Joanie

    Ça fait tellement de bien de lire ça, on s’y sent moins seule!

  • Marie Eve

    C’est super intéressant de connaître l’arrière-scène. Merci de nous partager ta vulnérabilité et ton authenticité!

  • Eryka 🌞

    L’idée du journal est incroyable, j’adore cette idée. C’est plaisant de lire les dessous de ce qu’on voit sur les réseaux sociaux. Merci d’être vrai, vous êtes cool womance et toi 💛

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