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Economy and entrepreneurship

Créavenir: Craft your business around your values

February 21, 2024

In this fourth and final profile, we'll see how the Créavenir Youth Entrepreneurship Program can propel your startup with financing and personalized support. Let's wrap things up with Lila Rousselet, an entrepreneur who brings beauty and durability to the world of textiles.

Lila knew she was cut out to work with textiles from an early age. As a child, she used to go along to the fabric store with her mother or grandmother to choose the material for some of the clothes they made for her. She had a keen eye for colour and texture. As her love for textiles grew, so did her collection—wherever she travelled there was new fabric to discover.

Lila has now woven her passion into a business and has partnered with Parisian Knitting Mills to help diversify the range of fabrics available to designers and the fashion industry in Quebec.

A business crafted by opportunity

Lila's training in France was mainly theoretical. She moved to Quebec to learn the ins and outs of fabric manufacturing with a more hands-on experience. She graduated from the Montréal Centre for Contemporary Textiles—and now teaches textile construction there. Her first job in the industry was with Delyla Fabrics, where she met someone who inspired her to start a business. The idea they shared never took off, but the stage was set for Lila to go solo and launch Montloup. The first four letters of her startup are a tribute to her new hometown of Montreal.

Stitching values with a passion

Lila has crafted her business with a love of fabrics and a commitment to making the world more equitable and sustainable. She refuses to buy into an industry where paying less comes at the cost of exploiting people in vulnerable situations.

Linen and hemp fibres used to be made in Quebec, but not anymore. Because Lila has to source all her raw materials from abroad, it took her a long time to build a network of trusted certified suppliers. When she realized that some products, like polyester, were impossible to ignore, she had to strike a balance to keep her business viable.

"I wish I could stick to all my ecological values, but in business, you just can't. You can't have it all. It's all about finding the right balance."

Educating consumers

Lila can't compete on price with cheap overseas suppliers, so she uses social media to help educate consumers and explain the higher cost of her products.

"It's great to raise awareness and have people say encouraging things, but we need them to buy our products too if we want to stay afloat."

Lila has also started bundling sales to help keep her business profitable and sustainable. She knows there's strength in numbers. Twice a year, designers can order fabrics from her company with no minimum number of rolls required to start production.

A legacy to protect

Canada was once a major player in the textile industry, but things have changed since international markets opened up. While much of our traditional knowledge lives on, our industrial heritage is eroding. Lila thinks that Canada—like the European Union and the United States—should take action to crack down on disposable fashion and give local businesses a competitive edge.

The right mindset

Good things are worth fighting for, but it's important to pick our battles. We don't always have to compromise on what we offer, but we only have so much power to change things. There's only so much we can do. Some things are out of our control, no matter how hard we work. Lila agrees: "You can't put everything into your business. At some point, you have to take your business hat off for a while and dive into something else to get what you need."

Broadening your horizons

The business support experts at PME MTL steered Lila toward the Créavenir program when she was just starting out. She thought she only needed financial support, but she got much more out of the program than a line of credit. "There's someone on hand to advise and support you from day one. That's nice to have when you're starting a business on your own."


To learn more about the Créavenir Youth Entrepreneurship Program, check out the information session about funding your startup. What are you waiting for?

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