Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marie-Claude Roulier, Founder of Volprivé Inc., located in Saint-Lambert, QC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I design and manufacture high-end travel and lounging accessories. I import the finest merino wool yarn from Italy, and I transform it all to make products that are designed to be timeless, durable, washable, stylish, and practical. Our customers are avid world travellers and urban professionals that appreciate comfort in their lives. We pride ourselves on reinventing the comfort of lounging and traveling, and anyone who appreciates these elements in their lives can relate to what we make.

Tell us about yourself

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to travel. I was able to achieve that in my first career as an airline executive and later on working for a business jet manufacturer. I took my kids everywhere, and in doing so, I invented myself a second job and career by starting my own business offering travel accessories. I started by selling seats on an aircraft, moved on to selling aircrafts, and now I make and sell accessories that go on an aircraft... and beyond! I can say I've been full circle! But being my own boss is the most fun and challenging job I have had for sure!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a business that offers design, quality, and values that resemble me. I wanted to offer affordable luxury travel and lounging items, 100% made in Canada, with the best sustainable, durable fabric, and I can say I have achieved that thus far. Being able to give work to local suppliers in knitting and sewing, and have them embark on my journey, is definitely a proud core value of mine and something pivotal to Volprivé's mission.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Balancing professional and personal life. I have three teenagers, a husband, a cat, a dog, an elderly mother, and friends. So pushing as hard as I can in my business, all the while not neglecting my other interests and my personal well-being, is definitely a juggling act for me.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Take your time. Plan, strategize and ask for advice. Measure twice and cut once, as we say in couture!
  2. Surround yourself with talent, and make sure the right person is doing the right job for you at the right price. You will be solicited as a new entrepreneur, but make sure you're in control.
  3. My motto, the one that drives my personal and professional journey: YOU GET WHAT YOU FOCUS ON, SO FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT. It never fails.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I'm thankful for this opportunity. Women supporting each other and sharing best practices is an amazing thing. Merci!!!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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