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Andréanne's Journal - March

Hello ladies,

Welcome to the first edition of the Sans-Façon entrepreneurship journal! If you haven’t read my first Womance entry, I’ll include it here for you. As is the case with the Womance journals, these entries will only be available through our newsletter so I encourage you to subscribe on both sites! Obviously I’m writing the content for both journals, but you’ll see that they each include very different content. While I work on both companies from the same office, my challenges, joy and sorrows for each are far from the same. This is Sans-Façon’s first journal entry so it’s extra long, but I promise you the others will be shorter!

Do you know that Sans-Façon was almost called “Womance Cosmetics”? At first, I was certain that the cosmetic component would be an extension of Womance. When the idea came to me to create my own line, I had something very simple in mind. I just wanted the basics at my disposal, nothing too complex. I was simply looking to find myself in all the play and colour that the world of cosmetics had to offer. I was looking for something that resonated with me and that didn’t imply that I needed to change. How often does makeup suggest we need to be extra to be accepted? I wanted to create something simple to take away the pressure I always felt towards cosmetics.


Originally I thought Sans-Façon would be an extension of Womance because that’s where I found the very acceptance I was looking for. Womance offers me comfort. It doesn’t pressure me to look like someone else. It gives me clothes that makes me feel good about myself without suggesting I need to change. I often told myself that if I ever created another company, it would provide the same welcoming energy that Womance does: a simple and positive experience, without pressure.

Ultimately, we decided against “Womance Cosmetics” for two reasons:

· I didn't want to devalue the quality of the products we created. I especially didn't want you to think that these were generic products that you could find anywhere.

· Legally and financially, a merger could have caused concern. In the event that the cosmetics company didn’t succeed, it would have reflected poorly on Womance, and vice versa.


That’s when we went looking for a name. While working with a creative firm, I insisted on a name that could be trademarked both in Canada and the United States. They requested at least ten names before finding one that didn’t already belong to someone else! Names we created from scratch were already taken but we kept putting our heads together until we fell upon the name “Sans-Façon”. It means simplicity, in all ways. (To say we “fell upon” the name is largely an understatement; we worked for more than eight months to curate the perfect brand name and image for the company.) We were so excited!

Sans-Façon took three years of hard work before I could reveal it to you. It was triple the initial investment that I had planned (big thanks to our big sister company Womance for making it all possible!) When the idea of a cosmetics line came to me I naively thought “Why has no one other cosmetics provider made a name for themselves in Quebec since the great Lise Watier?” Sure, other brands have come and gone, but none that represented what I was looking for.

Finally, I understood the gap in the production of quality cosmetics. It's complex, and it’s very expensive. Sans-Façon was launched during my most stressful and challenging years at Womance (you can find more details in my first Womance journal.) I spent the last nine months before the launch pouring my energy into this new company and trying to get it off the ground after investing every resource I could into it. I’ll spare you the details of all the time and money wasted prior to the launch, the harrowing testing process and the several changes to the name and image of the company. (Let’s just say that I’ve learned not to rush into projects just because I’m excited. Promise.)

At one point, I was so stressed out that I almost regretted embarking on this adventure. Even though deep down I felt I was doing the right thing, the anxiety of the project not succeeding took over. That might seem like a normal emotion, but just because something is normal it doesn’t mean it’s easy. When I started Womance, I didn’t really know where I was going or how long it was going to take. At first, it was more of a fun experiment. I didn’t really focus on how successful it would be; I just went along for the ride. The launch of Sans-Façon was quite the opposite. My stress was intense and my plan was not really refined. How could I predict what the year would bring when I had no idea how people would react? Would they like? Was I on the right track? Was my intuition wrong? How could a woman who barely wears makeup and who is not a makeup guru convince people that she has created great products? Will they trust me?

The sleepless nights piled up and two weeks before the official launch, my grandmother started to feel very ill. We were worried. In front of the camera, I only showed positivity. I talked to you about all our new products with vigour and excitement, but in reality I was tired, exhausted and terrified of losing my grandmother, the only grandparent in my life that I’d ever really known.

I credit my grandmother as the reason that I ever got into the clothing and makeup business. She was a beautiful woman who was always well dressed. I don’t know a single person who loved makeup and clothes as much as she did. She was classy but never extravagant. Always simple, but uniquely perfect. Every time I saw her she looked neat and fashionable, dressed in her own style. I always complimented her to which she replied with “oh I haven’t done anything special”, but I could see that she’d taken the time to apply a little bit of bright blush or a touch of lip colour. Sadly, my grandmother passed away just days before the launch of Sans-Façon. I was planning on seeing her to give her a box of all my products and missed her by only one day. On October 10th, the same day that we activated the website and made Sans-Façon products available, we held her celebration of life. It was one of the strangest days of my life. I was a mixed bag of emotions: excited about finally launching SF, anxious about seeing your reactions, and so sad about losing this pillar of our family, this quiet strength which left an immense void behind.

I often say that she did it on purpose, that she chose her moment to leave. The one who unconsciously sent me into the field of cosmetics made sure that I remembered her every year, on the anniversary of Sans-Façon’s launch. And you know what, grandma? I don't blame you. At the launch of SF I felt sad, but this year on our second anniversary, I smiled all day thinking of you.

- Andréanne Marquis, founder of Womance & Sans-Façon Cosmetics

5 comments

Elise

😢🥲 c’est avec les larmes qui coulent sur mes joues que j’écris ce message. Andréanne, à chaque fois que je te lis, que j’utilise un des tes produits, que je porte un de tes vêtements, je sens tout le travail et le soin que tu portes à ce que tu crée. Merci d’avoir créé SF, malgré la tâche colossale que cela a été de le faire. Ces produits sont exactement ce dont j’avais besoin: simple, beau et d’une efficacité incroyable!
Ta mamie les aurait probablement porté tous les jours avec une si grande fierté. Merci de nous partager ce qui t’a mené à créer SF et de nous parler de ce que nous ne savons pas mais qui est derrière ces beaux produits que nous consommons. Bonne journée à toi 💫 et encore bravo à toute l’équipe derrière SF, c’est juste wow!
———
Sans-Façon Cosmétiques:
Salut Élise!

Merci de lire le journal d’Andréanne, on est content que tu aimes! On apprécie beaucoup ton commentaire :)

Catherine

wow wow wow, tellement beau ce que tu as écris, j’adore te lire! quelle belle histoire, c’est tout en ton honneur! c’est sur sur sur que ta mamie est fière de toi et qu’elle veille sur toi.
———
Sans-Façon Cosmétiques:
Salut Catherine,

Merci de lire le Journal d’Andréanne!

Anaelle

C’est tellement beau de te lire ❤️ Merci de te devoiler avec autant de transparence et d’authenticité, c’est touchant 🙏❤️
———
Sans-Façon Cosmétiques:
Salut Anaëlle,

Merci à toi de lire le Journal d’Andréanne, on apprécie 🩷

Bianca

Authentique et percutant, les larmes au yeux. Comme c’est beau! Merci pour ce beau texte, j’ai déjà hâte de lire les prochains!! :-)
———
Sans-Façon Cosmétiques:
Allo Bianca,

Merci de lire le journal d’Andréanne, on se retrouve le mois prochain!

Geneviève

Comment finir les yeux plein d’eau… en direct de mon travail! (Oups!) J’adore ton écriture, merci d’être toujours aussi authentique. C’est en grande partie pourquoi le sentiment d’appartenance est si grand pour Womance et Sans façon d’après moi. Déjà hâte de lire les prochains!!!
———
Sans-Façon Cosmétiques:
Allo Geneviève,

Merci de lire le Journal d’Andréanne. On est désolé pour les larmes au travail!

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