During my last trip to Canada, I visited Comme Moi Boutique, a local clothing and accessories retailer in downtown Sarnia. I had the pleasure of meeting the co-owner, Kathleen Mel, who opened the store over three years ago, after moving from Toronto to Sarnia. This boutique sells pieces both in-store and online, and has a sister store Needs/Wants Boutique. I was so inspired by her passion and love for her brand that I sensed through our conversation. I was so excited when she agreed to let me interview her for the Entrepreneurship Series. I hope her nuggets of wisdom help inspire and encourage anyone who already has or is thinking of starting a boutique. Enjoy!
What was the inspiration behind Comme Moi Boutique?
The inspiration behind Comme Moi Boutique was self-expression. Comme Moi, which means “like me” in French, began as a way for me to express who I am, and how my personal style evolves over time.
What is your advice to emerging entrepreneurs about overcoming challenges in business?
It’s always important to remember that it’s not possible to know everything. Learning is a lifelong process and no matter how successful you are, you have to approach challenges with an open mind. Do your research, seek advice, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What is a valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that you have to be your own worst critic. Hold yourself to the highest standards possible because you answer to no one but yourself. Be tough on yourself. It’s your own reputation on the line, and failure can rarely be blamed on anyone but yourself.
What is a financial tip you would give to emerging entrepreneurs that has helped you?
I always recommend starting small, and letting things grow organically. Starting small not only helps reduce the fear involved in a new undertaking, but also the risk! You will learn as you grow, and small steps will help you build a solid foundation.
When starting a company, what is one thing you would tell those hoping to start one in the fashion industry to make sure they do?
Working in fashion is not always as glamorous as one may think. Yes, there are glamorous moments. But don’t be fooled–there is also a lot of competition, and A LOT of hard work.
What is the best business advice you’ve received?
The best advice I’ve received is to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. This applies not only to business, but also in life! Make sure you’re doing something you absolutely love and everything else will fall into place.
What is your favorite business quote?
“Good things come to those who hustle” 😉
Come Moi boutique is located at
148 Front St N
Sarnia ON N7T 5S3
You can visit their website here to learn more about the brand. I hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did.
Have a great weekend.