I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about a great set of sheets that brings me THE MOST joy these days. When I decided that I needed a gorgeous set of linen sheets in my life last summer, I soon realised the hunt for what I was looking for wasn’t going to be as easy as I had hoped. I wanted something stylish, well made, and high quality at a reasonable price point. Soon enough, my Instagram feed was filled with ads from a gorgeous-looking brand called Maison Tess., which I later learned is Canadian-owned and based in Montreal with products that are all produced in Portugal. Easily ticking off pretty much every thing I was looking for in a bedding brand and more, I needed to know more about them.
Keep reading to learn more about Maison Tess. of Montreal and its founder, Laura!
Business Name: Maison Tess.
Name & Title: Laura Nezri Chetrit, Founder and Creative director
Education: Psychology Masters.
Edit Seven: Tell us about your brand, what do you do?
Laura Nezri Chetrit: Maison Tess. was born out of the need to create a home linen brand with aesthetic driven values. We offer bedding in three major fabrics (Percale Cotton, Washed Linen, Coco-linen–an exclusive blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton) in basic and seasonal colours. We want to bring a high quality product with a fashion twist to your doorstep.
E7: How did you start your business? What inspired you to start?
LNC: I lived in Paris for four years where I met and married my husband, We moved back to Montreal where I worked in real estate for a short while and then had 2 kids in two years. That being said, I was home a lot. Being the avid online shopper that I am, I realized that style and practicality in the home were close to inexistent. I wanted to create an online home linen brand which was aesthetic-driven and made the lives of couples today easier and more fun.
E7: Why do you love what you do?
LNC: I adore what I do because I get to tie in family and fashion. The home for me is a sacred place, one where we are real and authentic. Fashion is the way we want to be portrayed in society. Maison Tess. lets those two worlds collide in that we offer high quality and authentic products to families who want to have homes that are in line with the trends of today.
E7: What makes your business special?
LNC: I think that the aesthetic-driven collections as well as the premium fabrics used are the two key elements that set us apart.
E7: What makes your product special?
LNC: All our goods are produced in Portugal by a 4th generation family owned manufacturer. They have the oldest mill in the region and have an outstanding reputation in the products they produce. All the colours they produce are exclusive to TESS. I am in charge of that and will usually bring them clothing with key colours from the runways up and coming trends which are later produced under our ‘seasonal’ collections.
E7: What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from running your business?
LNC: Things take time–creating something from scratch requires a lot of trial and error. It tests your character and challenges you in all sorts of way. I’ve also learned to keep my eye on prize and not let myself be discouraged by bumps in the road. If this was easy, everyone would do it.
E7: What have been some of the pros and cons of building your business in Montreal?
LNC: Montreal is a fantastic city with a community of people who are genuinely proud of seeing one of their own succeed. The fact that it is small makes for easier networking and I feel like real and human relationships are developed. I’m not going into the bad stuff cause I am more pleased than not.
E7: How do you manage your Montreal-based business with a manufacturer in Portugal? How did you find them?
LNC: A LOT of work—it took me about 8 months to find them. The how is a secret; I guess the universe sends things your way when you line up your energy to one main goal. Now I travel there at least once a year if not more.
E7: What is your #1 piece of advice to keep in mind when starting your own business?
LNC: Stay focused on your goals, be determined and have a clear vision of where you want your business to be in 3/5/10 years.
E7: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting your business?
LNC: No, because if I did I maybe would not have done this.
E7: What is a challenge you’d tell future entrepreneurs in the direct-to-consumer bedding business to prepare for?
LNC: You are the tiniest fish in the sea. You have to be persistent, test all your strategies, and realise that most of them won’t work. It’s the marriage of all the strategies in different fields combined that create magic
E7: How do you stay organized, balanced and motivated?
LNC: I am organised in my own way–keep in mind that our motto is #TheBeautyIsInTheMess. It says a lot about me! I do have a clear vision of what needs to be done and I get it done. They say that the most organised people are the messiest (and) I may be living proof of that. I’m very determined and will move mountains to get what I need. Motivation goes without saying–this is my 3rd baby, nothing stops me.
E7: Who are some of your mentors/role models?
LNC: My father, who was the head of a retail company for years. He is a real visionary–his advice and blessing in all my achievements for Maison Tess. are priceless.
E7: Where do you go or what do you do to look for inspiration?
LNC: I am privileged enough to travel a few times a year, and that is a huge source of inspiration for me. it usually sets the tone for the next few months to come. People (also) inspire me; faces, words, music, elements that are out of the ordinary, people who don’t conform–who are eccentric in there own way–I love what stands out.
E7: Who is the Maison Tess customer and where can your designs be purchased in Canada?
LNC: She is mainly female and between 25-35. She can purchase online at maisontess.com
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)