Retail | Local entrepreneurs conquer New York

Quebecers strolling the streets of New York could soon come across stores and brands… from here. Helped by the Caisse de dépôt, Quebec retailers are setting out to conquer the Big Apple and even the United States. These companies are called Maguire, Perlimpinpin, fdmt, Luminaires Authentik, and they are all run by women.




Maguire

  • Sector of activity: shoes and accessories
  • Objective in the United States: open a second store, in Brooklyn
  • Head office: Montreal
  • Number of employees: 24

The Montreal company specializing in shoes and accessories already has a foothold in the Big Apple with a boutique located in the trendy Nolita district. However, a mission organized by the Caisse de dépôt et placement as part of its Cheffes de file initiative gave Maguire a second boost, confirms its co-founder Myriam Belzile-Maguire.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Romy and Myriam Belzile-Maguire

“We are looking to open a second store in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), says the woman who runs the company with her sister Romy. People took us around the neighborhood. We were able to find out the turnover of retailers and the price of rent. The people we met suggested streets I had never heard of. »

“Even if we already have a store in New York, it’s not a given,” she emphasizes. We are like a drop of water in the ocean. Getting in touch with people on the ground in New York helps. »

When is the next opening? As soon as the ideal location is found. Mme Belzile-Maguire says he is waiting for the right opportunity.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Maguire’s shoes leave the factory and arrive directly in the stores of the same name. There is no middleman.

Maguire’s shoes, a company founded in 2017, won’t stop there, however.

What we’re looking to do is open a store in every major American city.

Myriam Belzile-Maguire, co-founder of Maguire

The businesswoman also went to Los Angeles in January to explore the field. “I play on several tables. » In the United States, the city is among those where the retailer records the most online sales with New York, Seattle and San Francisco.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

A mission organized by the Caisse de dépôt as part of its Cheffes de file initiative gave a second boost to the Maguire shoe and accessories company.

The secret of his success? “We are the only ones to offer this quality at this price. We have a business model that ensures that there is a direct connection with the consumer. I can produce shoes in Italy and sell them for around $200. » Maguire’s shoes leave the factory and arrive directly in the stores of the same name. There is no middleman.

And if some might think that being from Quebec adds a touch of exoticism to the company on American soil, another attribute appeals more: that of presenting itself as “a company owned by women”, proudly launches the main interested party.

fdmt

  • Sector of activity: educational materials and sensory tools for children with special needs
  • Objective in the United States: sell its products on retailer shelves
  • Head office: Longueuil
  • Number of employees: 26

Shortly before leaving, Karine Gagner considered canceling her trip to New York. His schedule was overloaded. The president and CEO of fdmt, a Longueuil company that specializes in specialized educational tools such as “heavy stuffed toys” to help children with special needs, has finally decided to pack her suitcase. By her own admission, she had no expectations.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY FDMT

Karine Gagner, president and CEO of fdmt

“(Before leaving), people on my team told me that they hoped I wouldn’t waste my time…”

She eventually sent them numerous text messages from there indicating that she was far from wasting her time. On the contrary, this mission allowed her to speed up certain things, says the businesswoman, brimming with enthusiasm.

Barely a few days after her return, Karine Gagner, who founded the company with her father 20 years ago, has already made decisions that bring her one step closer to the arrival of the soft toys, known as Manimo , on the shelves of American retailers.

For the record, fdmt sensory tools first made their entry into the school system in Quebec. Since the pandemic, they have also been found in pharmacies, bookstores and game stores, for a total of 600 points of sale. Mme Gagner wants to take the same path in the United States. Its products are already distributed in American schools.

What she learned from her various discussions last week: “Your name and your brand must be well known before you can enter the retailer. » Result: she will launch into the creation of an American website and… a TikTok account.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY FDMT

A Manimo plush toy, from fdmt

“We weren’t on TikTok. We will be on TikTok. Things are moving fast! We hired an intern who takes care of our TikTok account five hours a week. » The company’s first publication will appear within a few days. “I’m not from the TikTok generation. I said to myself: “Ah no, not yet a patent that I have to manage”,” says Karine Gagner, laughing. But she noticed that big brands were using this channel. “It’s a great way to increase our notoriety. »

Mme Gagner believes the American version of its website will be ready in early 2025 and it hopes to find a place on American retailers’ shelves by 2026.

Perlimpinpin

  • Sector of activity: children’s clothing and accessories
  • Objective in the United States: sell its products at retailers and, eventually, have a store
  • Head office: Quebec
  • Number of employees: 15

Back home, Danielle Déry, founder of Perlimpinpin, known for the small night bags in which babies can be tucked, is categorical: the mission to New York allowed her to “refine” her development plan in the United States .

PHOTO PROVIDED BY PERLIMPINPIN

Danielle Déry, founder of Perlimpinpin

The one who went to American soil with the succession of the company recently put online its website intended for American consumers and its products also appear on Amazon US. “We are already established in the United States. We want to see what can bring grist to the mill for the American market. »

Let’s face it, arriving in the United States is like starting from scratch. We are like a start-up, even if we have acquired credibility in Canada. And there’s competition, that’s for sure. On Amazon, sleep bags for three for $30, you get them.

Danielle Déry, founder of Perlimpinpin

PHOTO PROVIDED BY PERLIMPINPIN

Perlimpinpin specializes in children’s clothing and accessories.

“Our night bags are the safest in Canada,” she adds. We have to tell the Americans that. We are ready to enter the market because we are sure of who we are. But you have to go step by step. We may be in store, but if the consumer doesn’t know us, they won’t buy our product. »

PHOTO PROVIDED BY PERLIMPINPIN

Perlimpinpin specializes in children’s clothing and accessories.

To achieve his ends, Mme Déry has just retained the services of a public relations firm to promote its sleep bags, pajamas and hooded bath towels in the United States.

The idea would then be to create a pop-up store before perhaps hoping to have a physical store.

Authentik lighting

  • Sector of activity: sale of custom lighting
  • Objective in the United States: opening a store in Brooklyn
  • Head office: Cowansville
  • Number of employees: 38

“It couldn’t be better timing,” says Maude Rondeau, founder of Luminaire Authentik, about the New York tour.

  • Authentik Lighting Products

    PHOTO CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Authentik Lighting Products

  • Authentik Lighting Products

    PHOTO CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Authentik Lighting Products

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The founder of the company which notably manufactures ceiling lights, outdoor and hanging lamps has the ambition to set up shop in Brooklyn in 2025.

PHOTO CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

Maude Rondeau, founder of Luminaire Authentik

(The mission) in New York helped us strategize how to position ourselves. We will start by doing a pop-up store in the fall with other Quebec companies in Brooklyn. The intention is to open a storefront in Brooklyn in 2025.

Maude Rondeau, founder of Luminaire Authentik

Mme Rondeau, whose company was founded in 2015, next plans to tackle the northeastern United States. In the country, it has stores in Montreal, Toronto and Quebec. Its head office and workshop are located in Cowansville.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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