PHOTO YVES LACOMBE
For some people, like Mélissa Lambert, maternity leave provided creative energy, and helped her launch her business. Up until then, she had been working as a brand manager for a major corporation, a job she had landed after earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and a post-graduate degree in marketing and communications from HEC.
As a new mother, she found herself searching for a practical, elegant backpack to carry her personal items and baby needs, but all she could find were conventional diaper bags; there was nothing stylish available. Of course, one person’s market gap is another’s new niche, and Mélissa got down to work. With business in her blood—her father owned an auto repair shop and her mother was a general construction contractor—she did a market study and launched her business with confidence.
Lambert Design was Mélissa’s bid to reinvent the backpack. She hired a talented designers to help her create ergonomic, fashionable pieces with lots of practical compartments, and a great graphic designer to produce a classic, contemporary logo. Then she researched manufacturers in Canada and Asia, settling on the one that produced the finest quality. The result is a collection of comfortable, multipurpose bags with easily adjustable straps that can be worn by men and women alike. To show her commitment to the environment and sustainability, Mélissa also chose vegan leather, which has the added benefit of being tough, and easy to care for.
She started with online sales—perfect for managing a baseline inventory—adding the occasional ad hoc pop-up shop. She’s already imagining new bag styles, as well as additional product lines, such as wallets, briefcases, and other accessories. Her designs are sold in more than 10 boutiques, and she has plans to expand across Quebec. Clearly, Mélissa doesn’t know the meaning of “time off”!