Myriam Drainville and Jean-François Noël are partners in life as in business. The couple heads the up-and-coming Quebec brand, Schwiing. Chronicle of a journey filled with travels and great adventures.
Jean-François has always had a creative side. “In high school, I asked my mother to sew”patches”on my clothes. I would choose the fabrics myself. I’ve always loved to change up clothing. Once I found out about the existence of fabric paints, I started to draw on t-shirts and I gave them to my friends.
After graduating from College, I took a trip to India. At the airport, I met a Montrealer who was making the trip to bring back clothing. We were going to houses where there were 2 or 3 sewing machines, buying directly the styles that we liked. I decided to try to sell them in Quebec. At the beginning, in 1997, I was selling my goods in flea markets, and then I decided to participate in festivals and cultural events. Schwiing was officially born in 2001. »
Jean-François and Myriam meet in 2008. “Myriam has a Bachelors degree in Art Education. She designed several garments and we made the trip to India for the manufacturing. Her designs were a great success from the beginning”, says Jean-François.
“During this period, we went to India 2 to 3 months’ time. We worked directly with the pattern makers on site. It was awesome! “recalls Myriam. “But as soon as I became pregnant, and with the arrival of our son, we changed our way of doing things. We work from here. With technology, it has become easy to work with others remotely. »
Schwiing clothes are now manufactured in China. “We deal with factories that offer good working conditions. For us, human values are important. “For this reason, we plan to make a trip to China to see for ourselves the conditions offered to the workers”, explains Jean-François.
A bit of Cirque du Soleil at Schwiing
3 seasons ago, which is a year and a half, a new designer joined the team: Sophie Truchon. “Sophie brings a breath of fresh air. She worked several years on the costumes at the Cirque du Soleil”, mentions Myriam. “We work hard to ensure that Schwiing stands out. We use exclusive prints and we carefully choose all elements used in our clothing, from the fabric to the buttons, including the zippers. We want our clothes to be practical and easy to wear for any occasion, whether for work or a happy hour.»
It is probably the most important challenge for all entrepreneurs. Indeed, several have pointed it out and Jean-François and Myriam also find themselves facing it. “One of the greatest challenges is the ability to continually renew ourselves season after season while maintaining our signature style.” And what makes the success of Schwiing? According to Jean-François, “one must provide a quality product at the right price”. “I must say that Jean-François has an eye to pick out what will work or not. Sophie and I design styles and we present them to him. This allows us to receive an outside opinion. ”
Being in a relationship and working with the same person can seem difficult for some, but not for the owners of Schwiing. “We never quarrel. We each have our own responsibilities and we trust each other, this is very important. When we have discussions, we always respect of each other” stresses Jean-François. “And we do not talk about work at home. This is a rule that we put in place from the beginning” explains Myriam.
Schwiing has a nice surprise for us this fall with the launch of the new line Uniik Tunik! We are returning to our roots with this line that includes styles selected directly in Thailand. Uniik Tunik will offer different designs at an affordable price. Not to be missed!