Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Andrea Ali, the founder of Femme Faire. I am passionate about the world and want to change it for the better. I always try to find light in darkness. My first love was travel and I’ve had the pleasure of journeying to over 30 countries and counting. I love fashion and am a big believer that looking good means feeling good. I’ve been working in education for the past 10 years and recently working with newcomers to Canada. I have a two year old daughter who inspires me to be as fierce as I can be. I believe in making conscious ethical choices & living life authentically.
What exactly is Femme Faire?
Femme Faire is an ethical fashion brand which features luxurious handmade products for women to cherish. I started as a curated online boutique and have evolved into creating Femme Faire’s first Canadian Made Collection of Headbands. I am so proud to say that you can find Femme Faire products in retail stores and online boutiques across Canada.
What inspired you to start Femme Faire?
A fundamental need to feel connected to the world in a positive way. I’ve always dedicated some part of myself to volunteering in local organizations or abroad and after having my daughter, I was overcome by a deep rooted need to empower and support women in my community and globally and to model this for her. Femme Faire started as a passion project and I am proud to say its growing everyday into so much more. I am so grateful that women are connecting with my journey and feeling inspired by our story and our products. I am especially proud of my newest project partnering with Newcomer Female Refugees, to launch our first Canadian Made Collection!
How did you come up with the name?
I had emotionally committed to starting Femme Faire while traveling through Costa Rica with my then 6 month old daughter. The name just kind of came to me. I wanted the name to represent women in a strong, feminine way. I wanted to reflect my French background and play on the words ‘Fair’ as equitable practices along with ‘Faire’ the French verb, to make. I wanted people to hear and say Femme Faire and have many ideas and emotions resonate such as Fairness, Handmade, Equity, Sustainability, Women, Power, Fashion, Empowerment, Authenticity and Global Community. I was very ambitious!
You donate to women shelters; can you tell us about that?
Growing up, my mother has always been my biggest mentor when it comes to charity and community involvement. I can remember being very young when she began volunteering with the women’s shelter in our community. When starting Femme Faire I knew that paying women equitably for their work was the foundation of my business, but I also knew that being a part of my local community was a top priority. Supporting women and giving back is truly why I created Femme Faire. Through my journey I have supported many non-profit organizations in our community and I specifically donate to my local women’s shelter. As Femme Faire grows so do my contributions.
Is there a favorite product?
Femme Faire’s products are constantly growing and evolving. I truly adore and stand by every product that I carry from our Wayuu boho bags, our stunning tassel earrings and now to Femme Faire’s first Canadian Made Collection of Headbands. I am nothing but grateful for this growth and all of the support from our customers!
What is your favorite part about running Femme Faire?
Collaborating with other female business owners, connecting with customers and the community. Traveling. Living creatively. I could go on and on. My newest project is near and dear to my heart. But also just the daily surprises of where this business leads me has truly been incredible. I’ve met such an incredible community of women who support and uplift one another through business and this is everything Femme Faire stands for.
What is your least favorite part about running Femme Faire?
I am still trying to find a balance, between working full time, running Femme Faire full time and being a great momma and partner. It’s not always glamorous. I’m still figuring it all out while making tons of mistakes along the way.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Social Media has been a great tool to build mybrand. Along with the support of other business owners and friends. My very loyal customers continue to spread the word. I’ve also had a lot of success with local markets, pop ups and other events around Ontario. Which I intend to continue, so keep an eye out and make sure to come by and say hey!
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Work hard. Say yes. Surround yourself with like minded people.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
Nothing is as it seems.
Unbow your head, sister.