Meeting with Katee Boucher, founder and owner of Kassiopeia par la Bohème
I love meeting people who are passionate about their work, whatever their domain may be. It challenges me, it reminds me how important it is to love what you do, and it motivates me with my own projects.
I have to say, meeting Katee Boucher, founder and owner of Kassiopeia, captivated me. Allow me to introduce you with an impassioned entrepreneur who will never cease to amaze you.
Aiming for the stars
Katee Boucher creates and sells interchangeable handbags that allow women to create many different styles with only one bag. The bases are reversible and you can choose different flap styles for each.
There’s something for everyone, whether classic or colorful, and different bag types – handbags of different sizes, backpacks, wallets, etc.
I visited Kassiopeia’s warehouse and workshop in Notre-Dame-des-Pins in the Beauce. That is where this adventure began and continues.
I love a good story, so I asked Katee to tell me hers:
“Since 2011, I had a clothing store named La bohème urbaine (Urban Bohemian). I was also an educator and I began designing my bags when I was pregnant with my fourth child. I launched Kassiopeia on social media in 2016, one order at a time… I closed my store to open my online store, but the bohemian is still around!”
What about the name Kassiopeia? “That’s my daughter Cassiopée’s name in Greek”, she explains. “It’s also the name of a constellation. In fact, my bags show that there’s a thousand ways women can shine, just like the stars.”
Kassiopeia’s customers get it. Katee Boucher has been able to create products that connect with her clients, and her business’ constant growth for more than two years proves it.
Many subcontractors, seamstresses and three full-time employees later… Kassiopeia has positioned herself in the Quebec fashion market.
How to shine
To get there though, Katee has worked very hard. An entrepreneur myself, I understand that starting a business is no fairy tale.
One needs to find a niche and know how to differentiate.
Katee slowly started at home, designing her bags and selling them by word of mouth, but she quickly leveraged the power of social media to make herself and her creations known.
In 2019, inevitably, engaging with social media, Facebook and Instagram in particular, is a must in order to sell.
Katee is not content with only displaying her products. She connects with her followers through live videos characterized by her amusing and vibrant self, her goal being to create a community of women (men are welcome too) who share her business’ values.
Indeed, Kassiopeia bags are unique, vegan, made in Quebec with materials bought locally by people from here. More than 50% of the fabric used is also made in Quebec by a graphic designer or in collaboration with artists in order to promote our local talents.
What Katee really wants is for people to realize not only the importance of consuming less, but making better and more responsible choices. Just to hear her talk about it, she is very convinced!
“Buying local may cost a bit more, but it’s a quality product, and we offer a level of customer service and a warranty that a manufacturer abroad just can’t match.”
Having visited Kassiopeia’s premises, I can assure you the product you will buy is of good quality.
It's no surprise that Kassiopeia was nominated at the 2018 gala of Beauce businesses, won the Mother of the Year award from Quebec’s Réseau des mères en affaires in 2016, and was selected as ‘Coup de coeur’ at both the Central Pop Expo and the Salon des Artisans du Québec.
Katee Boucher doesn’t only use social media to promote herself, she also helps others to shine!
Indeed, she now gives conferences in primary and secondary schools on the importance of believing in your projects, and aims to develop an entrepreneurial spirit in youths. Her conferences are also available for adults.
She launched a Facebook group named Bohémise ton entreprise where she gives advice to entrepreneurs, whoever they may be, and offers online mini-training sessions.
“I think entrepreneurs ought to help one another instead of being jealous of one another.” I agree 100%.
Katee now recommends Buster Fetcher to businesses who are not yet acquainted with our services.
I have to say, she did tell me she finds Buster Fetcher to be a brilliant idea (thank you very much!) that allowed her to recoup money without doing anything, and this has been no less than a blessing for her business: “You never have enough money to run a business. Every dollar counts.”
Her husband would track her packages once in a while, but it was way too time-consuming. Now Buster Fetcher handles it, and we sure are happy to partner with such a vivid and lively business.
Building a circle
Trusting Buster Fetcher really aligns with Katee Boucher’s vision of entrepreneurial success.
According to her – I think she is right – you cannot succeed on your own. You must have a good circle, build a network, find mentors, and never stop training.
Though she offers training for others, Katee never stops trying to improve herself to succeed further.
“A mentor may help you to manage the growth of your business for example, make the right moves, become a good leader.”
Success is good… It must also last!
And Katee has found the key: “You have to launch your business with a passion, otherwise if you don’t really believe in it, you might quit. You also need to know why you are doing it. You need a goal, an objective.”
Don’t you think this is food for thought? I sure do…
Believing in yourself
Passion is essential, but what struck me with Katee Boucher is her genuineness and transparency. She believes in her product, she is upfront with her customers. This is not a game. She IS her business. Bohemian always, but most of all, determined and persevering.
Or course, she is very proud to have succeeded where some told her she would fail. She knew the work was cut out for her, she worked hard at it, and now she enjoys a brilliant success.
Of course, all is not easy. Running a business is a real multi-tasking challenge, especially with four kids!
Even though she has delegated a good portion of the production and that her staff takes care of customer service, shipping and handling, Katee wants to be present every step of the designing process, and she continues to create her bags and to carefully select the fabrics and materials.
She also manages her social media content, her website, photography, while keeping an eye on messages from her customers, and developing collaborations with other entrepreneurs and designers. All in all, balance is important, but Katee admits she appreciates the liberty that comes with her career, both on a professional and a personal level.
In a nutshell, Katee Boucher is truly inspirational! I wish her the best in all of her future projects: entering the European market, becoming a reference for among e-commerce entrepreneurs, and soon launching her collection for men… Keep an eye on this!
True, there are a thousand and one ways of shining, but Katee Boucher of Kassiopeia has found her own, and I think her star is not about to fade!
“You have to launch your business with a passion, otherwise if you don’t really believe in it, you might quit. You also need to know why you are doing it. You need a goal, an objective.”
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