Who are you?
I am Elodie, 36 years old, I love girls evenings, weekends between buddies, and family trips, in short be well surrounded and share.
Where do you live?
I live in Canada, in Toronto: The largest city in the country, anglophone and cosmopolitan. We are settled in Yonge/Eglinton, in a neighborhood that is like a second small center in the north of the city, it is very nice as we are in a house with garden but with shops, parks, schools and restaurants right next door.
How did you get here?
Personally I was well in Paris, I did not especially want to leave, but I followed my husband, who had this desire and was transferred by his company. Today I have tasted it and I feel I am there for me.
Have you ever lived abroad? If so, which country?
When I was a student I had lived a year in Scotland in Glasgow, but I realize that the Erasmus has nothing to do with expatriation… Today we lived in Mexico City, Miami and now Toronto.
How long have you been there?
We arrived here a year and a half ago. With two little girls 2 and 4 years old. The advantage when it is the third expatriation is that we begin to be lapped. This time and for the first time, we took a reconnaissance trip, we found the house before we arrived, which allowed us to find the schools/crèches and manage the move upstream. Just a few days after our arrival we were very well settled and it really helped us acclimate and feel right at home.
You have developed an activity: How did you come up with the idea? And why this theme?
I decided to set up a company of furniture and toys for children inspired by the Montessori pedagogy: the Montessori Room
In fact it is the result of several factors, the desire to work but without the constraints of Canada (very little holiday), and the desire to do something by myself. I had no specific idea. By leaning on the question I said to myself that I wanted to bring beautiful, with my European influence, in this country a little too normed and more focused on comfort than aesthetics. Being a fan of Deco, when I had my children I have a lot “struggled” to find nice furniture, clean, wood, Deco or really pretty toys, whether here, in the US or in Mexico. There is not much compared to Europe. And then, like many parents, I was interested in Montessori pedagogy, there is a lot of truth in her method and I realized that she insists enormously on the environment, which, to stimulate the child and give him self-confidence, must be Simple, accessible and attractive. This is taken into account in schools but not enough in homes, especially here or all the furniture is massive, dark, and naughty and plastic toys.
Explain how you organize yourself between your business and your personal life?
It’s really not easy, I tend to always pass the personal before. Working alone from home it takes a lot of rigour, which is not my greatest quality, but I push myself, I try to work with girlfriends, go to the library when the girls are in school, and I even get help from a coach. And especially I chose an area that I like and an activity that I do with pleasure.
So you’re a very busy “Mompreneuse”?
I think so!
In fact I think that as an expat, being away from our family and having moved a lot, I am the only pillar of my children. I really want them to have their mom available for them, so I’ll pick them up at school, I do school outings, etc…
My husband having quite restrictive schedules I manage not bad the stewardship at home: In the morning, in the evening, the baths, the races, the preparations of lunch box every day (our French canteens are a real luxury!), I like to organize our holidays, our returns In France, etc. So when it is necessary to mount its box we do everything to a thousand an hour.
Can you share your lucky moments of a sack?
I love the Canadian winter, I’m going to work in a coffee shop with a good cup of Late smoking while it’s very cold outside, and when I go out, it’s dark and the headlight light shines the snow that falls to big flakes… it’s Magic , I feel like I’m living in a snow globe.
Let’s add to that an Eskimo kiss with the babies upturned of my daughters and it is full happiness.
You care a lot of children, a small Home-made to share?
I’d love to spend more time doing home made! But I don’t hang much of that time. The thing I do most with my daughters is to cook. I have a recipe for Financial Express, super easy and hyper good, we do this together every week ends.
Small recipe: Melt 70g of salted butter until the butter becomes hazelnut. Meanwhile in a bowl beat two egg whites, 50 gr of sugar, a little vanilla extract. Add 20 gr of flour and 60 gr of almond powder. Finally add the melted butter and mix it all. I then put this in mini muffin and oven 20mn at 180. Watch it go in 3 minutes!!
In addition to being “Mompreneuse”, what are your favorite cultural outings of the moment alone or with the family?
Toronto is not the city of culture par excellence, with children we like to go to the Science Museum or finally everyone has fun and learns.
Otherwise we walk a lot in different neighborhoods of the cities, in which we find street art, small brick houses colorful from the beginning of the century contiguous to glass sky scraps, or old abandoned factories transformed into a place of Community life.
And the top of the top is Friday night Live evenings at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), the doors of the museum open at night from 7pm to 11pm, with groups of jazz and electro music, you can stroll through all the galleries and watch the Expos by tasting bites of G Rands heads or dancing by drinking his tonic gin, and conversely. Combining art, music, gastronomy and partying: the Dream not?
Cultural moment: Can you quote me one of your favorite paintings or books?
I like Monet very much, and the feeling of serenity that emerges from some of his paintings, especially the landscapes in the early morning like the Grand Canal or Impression, rising sun. You can stop for hours and start dreaming.
You want to know more about Monet, it’s here
Regarding readings I read a lot of novels. Choosing one seems impossible, I remember the first book that really fascinated me to the point of not being able to close it: The chess player of Stefan Zweig. This very short narrative carries us into a fascinating psychological portrait.
The chess player
I also love to find in a single romance Story of Love, humour and the discovery of a universe that is foreign to me, as in the Montespan of Jean Teulé.
Is there a cultural event right now in your city/region that you would advise?
There are two museums to see in Toronto the ago and the ROM, they regularly offer very nice temporary expos.
Otherwise there are a lot of ephemeral initiatives like “winter Stations” that I hate to find this winter: giant works of designer on the beach Woodbine by the lake, to show that the beach also lives in winter!
In a nutshell can you tell us about the art of living in your country of expatriation?
Here people are rather turned to nature they like to leave the city on weekends go camping or go to their “cottage” by the lake to sin.
The city for them is the job point Barre. They prefer comfort to aesthetics, and “comfort food” to gastronomy. All the girls are in legging/basketball, it’s less pretty but it’s cooler.
Can you describe your business?
I created an online store of furniture, toys and accessories inspired by the Montessori philosophy, the Montessori Room.
The idea is to bring beauty into the children’s room. By offering simple, clean, wooden, easy-to-access furniture and toys, they are offered the possibility of becoming self-sufficient in a room for their taste. They like it in their environment, want to play it and gain confidence in them.
How did you develop it? How long, what steps?
At first I thought it would go very fast, I got the idea in January and I tablais on an opening of my shop in the spring. Unfortunately not everything happened as easily as expected. Building up the structure, doing the paperwork all this was pretty fast, creating the logo, and the website are things I love doing and that I could do quickly. I had everything except… the Products!! I had a lot more trouble finding someone to make the furniture I had in mind than I thought. So the shop just opened and I start with the toys and accessories, which is the easiest, while still being in the process for the larger furniture, my prototypes should not be late…
What do you take away from your experience at the professional level, insertion in the country, family…
It’s not easy every day. You learn a lot about yourself by finding yourself alone in the face of difficulties. But I win a lot. With confidence in me already, what a pride to see his dream come true! I also learn to organize myself better and better, to ask for help, and to stay focused. I meet people, and I feel much more implanted in the country.
In a nutshell your professional career
As many expat my course is a bit rambling!!
I’m from marketing, I worked for a long time in agency and in the ready to carry in France, and then when I left I chained various experiences, I did administrative and COM in a box of import of wine and cheese, I set up a site to Expat families in Mexico City, I did missions at the consulate of France in Miami, I participated in a launch of concept store of ethical and responsible brands, I was Community manager for an educational site. It was a coach who made me realize that now I wanted to draw my own road with my own box!