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Jacqueline Piron: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today's Notable Young Entrepreneur is fashion designer Jacqueline Piron, who recognized a gap in the market for exactly what she was looking for as a consumer and capitalized on it by creating a brand of unique handmade t-shirts

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is fashion designer Jacqueline Piron, who recognized a gap in the market for exactly what she was looking for as a consumer and capitalized on it by creating a brand of unique handmade t-shirts…

Elevator pitch:
I am a Canadian designer and just launched my first ultra-premium t-shirt collection. All of my shirts are designed and handmade in Toronto. They feature an organic bamboo material as the base and luxury embellishments including French angora, Japanese ribbon, Swarovski crystals and pearl in the detailing. Each shirt is dedicated to a woman in my life, including my friends, family and colleagues. I sell the shirts on my ecommerce website.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
My background is in business and I have a love for fashion. I could not find a t-shirt on the market that was luxurious, soft, and that featured unique embellishments that could be transitioned from day to night. I wanted to create a wardrobe staple that made women feel glamorous and flattered their bodies.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is combining business strategy with creativity and seeing the final product from concept through to reality. I also love seeing how women wear, dress up and individualize my t-shirts. The most challenging part of my day is being patient. The shirts go through many stages before they get into the customers’ hands, so I must remain cool, calm and collected to see each step through. That said, I’m always so excited to see the final product that it can be frustrating sometimes.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I am an avid runner and enjoy training for races, so trying to schedule training along with going to events/meetings has become tricky. I try to get a run in every day to keep myself sane!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working with my favourite major luxury retailers worldwide. New products for the line are also something to consider.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Finding the right people for the right job. Experience in the luxury market and working with luxury materials is critical, so I have tried to surround myself with a great team. Plus, working all day in sky-high heels is a challenge!

What does success look like to you? Does money=happiness?
My brother, Cameron, is a very successful medical researcher who has owned and invested in many brands. He has managed to stay humble while running successful companies through meaningful medical advances. It is my goal to become a recognized and respected name in the fashion industry. Sibling rivalry at its finest! For me, money does equal happiness – but it does help you follow your dreams, and doing that is true happiness.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My first sale. As a business owner, you never forget the first time someone loved your product and invested in your vision.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I am still learning and gathering advice from others. The business (and fashion) world can be ruthless. I have found that the key is to go with your gut instinct and learn from others in your field. You can never have too much information.

Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
La Société in Toronto. I love Paris (my first collection was inspired by Paris) so the restaurant brings me back to France. Bonus: it overlooks all of the beautiful designer stores on Bloor Street. (Order the croque madame, you won’t be sorry!)

When you’re not working how do you love to spend “Me” time?
Running and training for races. I also love travelling for business and pleasure. I get inspiration for my designs from the countries I visit.

Where is your favourite place to travel?
I love Italy, Paris and New York City. I enjoy experiencing history, museums, art and fashion, so those places combine everything.

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
“Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. In the business/fashion world, there are people who will disagree with you and try to put you down, but it’s important to stay true to yourself and your vision. And as Taylor says, “shake it off.”

If you weren’t doing what you were doing, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine doing anything else – I’m living my dream. I love marketing, business and fashion, so combining the three is amazing.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Supporting charities is very important to me. To date, I have been involved and donated to Toronto Western Hospital, SickKids and the Shoe Box project. Also, my family supports breast cancer research and other medical charities.

What to you is notable?
Being honest and genuinely caring for others is definitely notable… and hard to come by.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or other?
BlackBerry of course – I grew up in Waterloo so I am pretty sure it’s the law to own one. 


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