I was born/grew up in: I'm from Québec/Canada I grew up in a small town called St-Sylvestre.
I now live in: I still in Québec but in an other small town called St-Joseph.
I completed my training/education at: I did the auto body repair program at the CIMIC (Centre Intégré de mécanique industriel de la Chaudière).
What I do at work
When you complete the program in auto body repair, you have many different options for work. You can specialize in the repair of cars that have had been in accidents. You can do restorations on older cars and trucks. You can specialize in automobile painting or bodywork. For myself, four years ago, a coworker and I started our own business. We specialized in restoration of Heavy Duty Trucks. We did everything that needed to be done; from A to Z. We would build a brand new truck from parts. After working at this for a while, I decided to build my own business that has a focus on artistic paint jobs.
Most of the time the tools I need for work is a spray gun, an airbrush, orbital sander, and compressor. I am my own boss so I have to deal with the costumers and make all decisions. In other words, I'm in charge of everything! I have to do the estimates of how much the job will cost. I have to purchase my supplies. I have to do all the paperwork, do the financial stuff, pay the taxes, etc. My first language is French so I do all my business in French but I have no problem if I have English-speaking costumers.
My career path is
I have had a passion for cars since I was very young. I started by hanging out with my father and helping him as he restored an old car in his spare time. As a teenager, I volunteered at the garage where my father worked. I picked up a lot of knowledge and skills. I wasn’t that interested in engines as much as I was in rebuilding the body. After high school, I did a program in auto body repair. I learned how to weld, how to take dents out, and how to paint. After I completed my program, I competed at the provincial, national and international skill competition in car painting. These were great experiences and helped me push myself to be the best I could be at my trade.
Everything I'm building now is all about the dreams of the little kid I was before. I always dreamed of owning my own business. To be honest, I never thought I would have the courage to build a business as an artiste! I never thought everything would go as fast as it has in my career. However, I always been determined no matter what. I took a lot of different training just to be a better painter. I worked very hard and always believed in myself no matter what people thought! My father is the one who gave me this passion for old cars and mechanics. I worked with him since I was a kid rebuilding old car. He always encouraged me in everything I did.
I am motivated by
As I already said, painting is my passion! It’s really hard to explain, but when I'm playing with all those beautiful colors, pearls or flakes it’s magical. When I apply the last clear coat and the result is just so beautiful, and I know that I’m the person who created that result, I’m really proud of myself! I never feel like working when I'm painting. It is the best thing ever when you don't feel like you are working when you are at work! I'm building my dream life! I'm facing new challenges every day and I'm putting myself out of my comfort zone Big Time and I love it!! It's very scary to give up everything you built for something totally new. But, I'm more than happy that I've did it and I know for sure that it will be worth it.
How I affect people’s lives
I always knew from a young age that I would work in a garage. It has always been my dream. But as a young, small woman I have met a lot of people who have tried to discourage me in my dream. People told me I didn’t need to do this. They wanted me to give up without even trying it!
I think my way of having a positive affect on others is to prove to them that is important to believe in yourself and that you can do whatever you want to if you work hard. I have worked hard to get where I am today. I competed in the Skills Canada national competition in car painting and won. I went on from here to compete at an international competition in car painting. The I started my business in Truck restoration at the age of 21 and now I'm building my own business. I never gave up no matter what and no matter how hard people tried discouraging me. If I can do it, everybody can do it. They just have to believe in themselves. I hope that my efforts will encourage them.
Outside of work I
I love to be in nature, take a walk, have time for myself and reconnect. I love to travel, see the world and learn about different cultures. I love to draw and paint. I love the read a good book or go to the cinema. I do volunteer work with Compétence Quebec and Skills Canada.
My advice to others
Follow your dreams and follow your passion. Do what you really what to do in your life.