As this magnificent country of ours approaches its 150th birthday, I've been reflecting a lot on what it means to be Canadian, and also what it means to run a Canadian business - or more specifically, a company that still manufactures and produces goods right here in Canada - in an era where that is becoming more and more of a rarity.
As many of you know, the Au Lit Fine Linens story goes back thirty-five years, when my mother opened the first Boutique Au Lit in Montreal. Her mission was to bring the incomparable sleep experience of European linens to Canadians. She was so driven to accomplish this goal and fulfill her vision that she opened her own factory in an old warehouse in St. Henri, Quebec - stuffing goose down pillows on her hands and knees and making her own sheet patterns. Fast-forward three and a half decades, and that same factory - albeit in a new location - is still humming under the leadership of one of my mother's first employees, Ghislaine Dion, and her daughter, Martine.
We use the slogan 'Made in Canada by People Who Truly Care' in our marketing, and we mean it. We design, cut, sew, iron and package each item with pride. We stuff every pillow and duvet with pride. Pride that we're still doing this work on Canadian soil when so much manufacturing has moved overseas; but also pride in being Canadian.
Never before have I felt so grateful and blessed to live in this country. Being Canadian is so much more than being polite, loving hockey and saying 'Eh?' (Though all those things are true!) The Canadian identity as I see it is generally one of of generosity, consideration and humility. Until recently, I never would have described myself as "patriotic" - do Canadians ever? - but I'm just going to say it out loud right now: I LOVE THIS COUNTRY.
In the spirit of Canada's upcoming birthday, we want to do something special to celebrate this momentous occasion. In fact, we want to celebrate our Canadian-ness with you. So in honour of our 150th, we're giving you a chance to win a set of our Canada 150th Monogrammed Sheets. We want to keep it fun! To enter for your chance to win, simply share with us your favourite Canadian brand (besides Au Lit!) Tweet it, Facebook it, or Instagram it @AuLitFineLinens with hashtag #AuLit150 by end of day July 1st to enter (Update: contest is now closed! Thanks to all who participated).
- Joanna Goodman, CEO