By Nathalie Cauwet
It is in a festive, family and feminine atmosphere that the Boutique Équinoxe officially welcomed its first customers at its opening on July 3rd.
Festive by all the colors, the products available are the general atmosphere.
Familiar because no less than three generations welcome you in this superb boutique.
Feminine, because this shop is a women's story. Indeed, Maria-Elena, the owner works with her daughter Mayali as well as with her mother who is also named Maria-Elena. Also joining the team is friends such as Abigaël who was present that day.
One of the first things you notice when you enter this 1001 Nights setting are the colours. Red, orange, green, blues... The exotic is at its peak. The colors are everywhere. As much on the walls as in Maria-Elena's creations. The fabrics are shimmering, the decoration items are colourful while the jewels and the dark wood of the furniture made of exotic essences enhance the whole.
Yes, at Boutique Equinoxe, in addition to finding clothes, you can also find furniture, you can decorate your home and even try out various musical instruments.
When we ask Maria-Elena where she got the idea for the Boutique, she tells us: "I made my first fashion designs when I was 4 years old... Under my grandmother's guidance to dress my dolls. Later, I always created and transformed my clothes. As a teenager, I already had a style of my own. Later, my passion grew and evolved from my first travels. I always brought back fabrics and objects that I adapted. My friends also often encouraged me by asking me to bring them back or to create an original piece for them. From then on, I only had one step to take to become an official fashion designer. Self-taught, I worked hard to bring my first designs to light. For 16 years now, I have been creating one collection a year
I create my designs here in Quebec, then I send them to Bali where Balinese artisans reproduce them by hand on natural fabrics to create the batiks that will become my collection. The process consists of applying dye baths to the fabrics, starting with the lightest tones. Melted wax is applied to areas that need to be preserved before soaking to preserve lighter areas. After drying, the operation can be repeated with another colour as many times as necessary. In the end, a fabric is obtained in which different tones or juxtaposed contrasts are mixed together, forming all kinds of patterns.
For several years, I opened and ran the first version of the Équinoxe boutique in Ste-Adèle. When the time came to enlarge the boutique so that I could increase my clothing and jewelry collections and add decorative elements or furniture that I brought back from my travels, the choice of Val-David seemed obvious to me.
That's how my team and I created our boutique from A to Z. We built the building, erected the walls, decorated it to our taste. In short, this new Boutique Équinoxe is a reflection of us and I see it as an accomplishment
We want people to feel good here. Come and see us! Say hello as you pass by! "We feel good in this new Boutique Équinoxe
A PASSION TRANSFORMED INTO A BOUTIQUE
A seamstress at heart, Maria Elena, owner of the Boutique Équinoxe in Val-David, discovered a penchant for sewing at the age of 4.
Making dresses for her dolls at the time, this passionate woman turned her passion into a way of life that she embraces every day. One day a traveler and the other a fashion designer, Maria Elena knew how to marry these two loves to give life to Boutique Équinoxe in July 2008. A colourful universe where several exclusive collections are all the rage
It is in an exotic décor perfumed with incense that Maria Elena welcomes you for a trip out of the ordinary in her vision of fashion. Featuring a large majority of Maria Elena's signature collections inspired by her many trips abroad, Boutique Équinoxe offers you beautiful lines of clothing imported from Indonesia, particularly Bali, all strewn with decorative accessories and exceptional jewellery. Located at 2309 rue de l'Église, this small boutique exudes a family atmosphere where a mother and daughter take turns to make this place a discovery every time. << I like to offer exclusive products, that's often why I create collections that happen in Indonesia or elsewhere and that I import here afterwards >> ,explains Maria. Affordable and of high quality, Boutique Équinoxe's finds are sure to satisfy all tastes. <<From short shorts to evening dresses, I try to have an inventory that fits everyone, even men's >> exclaims this passionate woman. Proud of her work, which she has built down to the smallest detail, this owner says she is happy to offer organic fabrics and natural fibres to her clientele, who are increasingly aware of the fate of our planet. Always on the lookout for new products, Maria Elena now offers various accessories and clothing for dance, yoga and meditation. This Ali Baba-style cave is now Val-David's little jewel for a wardrobe refresher.
The batik process
Carried away by the magic of her travels, Maria Elena is particularly fond of the batik process for remarkable fabrics. This type of time-consuming garment making consists of reproducing a pattern on a natural fabric by means of dye baths of lighter to darker tones. Melted wax must be applied to the areas that the designer wants to keep more shine, before soaking. After a first drying, the operation can be repeated with other colours several times. This process allows Maria to obtain a design where tones, contrasts and colours blend together for a result that is specific to each fabric and its collections