"The individual woman is my inspiration. I want to express who she is and who she wants to be. I want to bring out the woman’s beauty."
For Marie Dooley, who has been creating one-of-a-kind couture and three collections a year for over 20 years, inspiration is essential to her work and also to her success.
As a young woman, Marie was drawn to fashion. She had always been interested in materials, textures and the way things fit together. She worked in the fashion industry for a few years in her native Québec City before finally launching her first line in 1986. In 1993, Marie opened her first boutique, Couloir, which later became Marie Dooley signature in 1997. In 2001, she opened Marie Dooley Le Salon.
Marie admits that running her business can be challenging. Her friends and family have been very supportive, but ultimately Marie manages everything by herself. Her business – her collections, the materials she uses and her style - also needs to be constantly changing and adapting to stay current. Her first collection was largely made up of designs for business women, but now her collections include everything from jeans to formal gowns. Plus she believes in always re-investing in her business, and has relied on credit to help her get through times when she’s expanding.
Unlike some, Marie enjoys managing her business finances, but will only do her bookkeeping at home, to make sure her ateliers remain strictly creative places.
Creativity, like inspiration, is vital in Marie’s line of work. She insists you must have vision and perseverance in order to succeed, and refuses to let anyone impede or corrupt her creativity.
Marie maintains “you can’t force the moment of your success. Knowing what you want to do comes from inside. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses. And you can never let others corrupt your vision.” It’s personal advice that has served her well - in the upcoming years, Marie is considering opening another boutique and designing a line of uniforms for a local Quebec enterprise.