At the beginning of the year I was talking to an old friend Judy Mullins who makes wildly popular, one of a kind Santas. For years she used to be on the Tour Des Arts and various local artisan boutiques and fairs (and was one of the founding members of the former Quoi De Neuf Artisan sale) but for the last few years she’s been selling her Santa’s almost exclusively at Lambert & co. right inside Château Frontenac in Quebec City. I asked her almost jokingly if she thought they might sell my products there and she said why not try, do a painting for the labels that might appeal to them focusing on Quebec City instead of the Townships and she’d put me in touch with the people who own the boutique and see what they say.
So over the next few months late at night I would painstakingly work on my painting of the Château itself under a night sky with a few of the other landmark buildings around it, and early March I sent it to Judy, she sent it to them and they seemed interested. During March break I took my 9 year old twins to visit the Castle and leave off samples of my products for the owner to try (we sneaked around and explored as much of the castle as we could get away with and had hot drinks in the basement Starbucks!) I couldn’t afford to stay overnight at Frontenac itself but we did stay in town (the indoor pool was all the twins cared about anyway) and we explored the old city and had a delicious supper near the castle at a place called Cafe du Paris/Omelette. The next day after a long morning swim we spent all afternoon at the Citadel where actors were giving an historical tour, and then we came home. A week later I heard from the owner that I was in!
It’s taken months of waiting and preparation but today my parents and I and the twins went to Quebec City for a day trip and dropped off the soap and the display! We managed to park right inside the castle itself and set up the display in the boutique, we had a really good lunch at the same restaurant, walked around the old city a bit and then left for home so my parents could get back to their dogs!!
What a great day!
Kara Needham is the founder and creator of Savonnerie de L'Estrie, a small manufacturer of handcrafted, all-natural and affordable artisan skincare in unique folk-art packaging.