Many people have asked me “What is a loulou?” I explain it is someone for whom you will become a better person, someone that inspires you to push past limitations and follow your passion. Your loulou makes you strong and fearless because you would do anything to protect them, care for them and return to them all they’ve given to you. A loulou can be your support system, your muse, someone you have a soul contract with – which is unique for each individual.
My first loulou was definitely my mother. She was the kindest and strongest woman I’ve known, always smiling no matter what was going on. Mom worked hard from morning until night, sewing or knitting and taking care of a family of 5 boys and 4 girls. She taught my sisters and I everything she knew about garments. In the 1960’s fashion industry in Paris, she was known as a “petite hand”, meaning a seamstress that specialized in the tiny finishing stitches and trims of a garment.
When I was 20 years old, I left France to immigrate to Canada, leaving family and friends behind. I was a young entrepreneur looking for work experience and business opportunities to achieve a dream that my mother could never pursue, as she was always putting her family first in all she did.
I brought together a few French investors to partner in some untapped markets (at that time) such as plus size lingerie and clothing. This included many trips overseas, to implement production solutions for companies we worked for or partnered with – building a network of factories over the years.
It was on one of these trips I met my another loulou. She was 7 furry pounds of pure love, my muse and constant companion. With my loulou by my side in Canada, I continued to build brands for others, as if they were my own, helping them set up their network for domestic and overseas production.
As the years passed, through a series of life changing events, only my loulou remained to provide comfort and inspire me to keep going, which led to my final move to the US.
I made my new home in California with my loulou, and soon started my own product development business providing fashion consulting, branding and manufacturing of private label lines for companies ranging from startups to department stores.
After 21 years of devotion, my loulou passed away, but our soul contract inspired me to push the limits again. I decided to honor the unconditional love of my loulou by sharing with other loulous of the world through fashion and fragrance. I returned to my roots to develop my first Fragrance at the world renowned les parfums Galimard, in Grasse, France, then started designing the LOULOU DAMOUR fashion collection.
If we look back on our lives we can find many different kinds of loulous, such as someone who patiently teaches us a skill that benefits us for life, or someone kind enough to pass on their passion or talent to us, so we can see it through their eyes. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Milo and John who were my pattern makers in Montreal, and Enzo, known as “il capo” who taught me everything about garment production and planning. I must also mention Ina and Howard, who shared their wealth of Sales and Management expertise with me. All these amazing people were so passionate about their work, their quality and attention to detail was like no other.
As the youngest in my family, my 3 older sisters taught me many things with their creative skills in knitting and sewing and inspired me with their beautiful fashion choices. My big brothers had my back as only brothers do. Another special Loulou in my life is my Chinese “sister” Shelley, who’s worked with me in China for over 15 years, then became my partner in 2017, and helped bring LOULOU DAMOUR to life.
LOULOU DAMOUR remains true to its inspiration, with all items in our collections designed with a memory of a special person, moment, or place in mind.