Meet The Maker - Sylvie Roy from Eclair Lips
Our featured business on this week’s Meet The Maker blog series is Eclair Lips. We got a chance to talk with owner & director of quirkiness Sylvie Roy to learn about how she got started.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Owning a business was something I dreamt of since I was a teenager, but it was always one of those faraway, “someday” dreams that I thought only came true for other people and I had no idea where to start. As a creative person, I worked in marketing for 15 years and loved it, but often felt that I had to tone down my quirky ideas and try to fit a mould. I so wished I could just be myself and jump down that rabbit hole of ideas that I had without having to get someone else’s ok first – becoming my own boss seemed to be a great way to do that!
One of my very first jobs was in the cosmetics industry, but I had never dreamed of actually making my own products – I come from a generation that only saw Google really take off in our late 20’s, so the idea that I could just use the internet to figure it out was a pretty foreign concept until I was in my early 30’s. I’ve loved lip balm since I was a tween and one day, as I was searching for a natural lip balm that smelled like chocolate, I couldn’t find any to buy, but there were a lot of recipes to make them myself, so I started experimenting. I loved every minute of it and was so excited when they turned out. Family and friends I had shared them with loved them, and I knew I wanted to start a business selling them. I hesitated about it for a while: we’re all worried to fail at things, and a business where the only product is lip balm doesn’t sound like the most viable idea to a lot of people. But my passion for it was so much stronger than that critical voice inside of me, and in March of 2015, Eclair Lips was launched from my kitchen table in Mississauga, ON.
What has inspired me the most is seeing others from many different and sometimes unlikely backgrounds go into business and figure it out for themselves. It’s great to have a formal education, but there used to be a time where a lot of us (myself included) felt that not having a degree in a particular field meant we had a roadblock towards pursuing it. I really believe that if we have the will to do something, there is so much information out there today to help us learn what we need to know. I’ve been particularly inspired by business owners who are really transparent and authentic and don’t hesitate to share what happens behind-the-scenes, their lessons from tough moments and the ideas that helped push them forward. Marie Forleo is a business owner whose advice has helped me over the years, and I particularly love her quote “Everything is figureoutable”, something I remind myself of almost every day. I’ve also been surprised and immensely inspired by the collaboration that happens between small business owners, whether it’s face-to-face or online with people from around the world. Having mentors and other business owners answer questions in a way that Google can’t has been life-changing, and I try to be as generous with the knowledge I’ve amassed over the years when people approach me too. There is really a sense that the small business community wants to help others and see them succeed, and that really helps fuel me. The idea that the universe is conspiring to make our dreams come true is an idea I love and believe wholeheartedly, and I see proof of it every day in the people that surround me.
What are some of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur?
In my eyes, there’s only really one challenge I face, and that’s my internal critic. It’s the voice that tells me my ideas aren’t good, that this project is too risky, that I’ll never succeed, that there’s not enough money or that I’m wasting my time – it’s as creative with its criticisms as my quirky side is with ideas! It’s a battle I face every day, often in the middle of the night (pro-tip – you’ll have fewer late-night battles with your internal critic if you don’t drink anything past 8pm! Haha!). But it’s true what they say: the best way to beat your opponent is to really get to know what makes them tick, and I think it’s the same for all of our inner critics – they’re terrified for us. Getting to the root of each of my fears isn’t always easy, but it’s a game-changer when I can clearly see what’s freaking me out and look at it more objectively without having my Mean Lady (haha, that’s my nickname for my inner critic!) blasting me. I’ve also made peace with the fact that this will be an ongoing process, because there are always more and more fears to slay – it helps to see it like playing a video game, and I can’t wait to see what badass level I’ll be on when I’m 90!
What advice would you give to others looking to become maker or creators?
Just start, one step (as big or tiny as you want) at a time. Whether that means ordering supplies, making stock to sell, or even just allowing yourself to dream of what this business of yours could look like without your inner critic telling you how far-fetched it is. Also, don’t hesitate to brainwash yourself! Haha! I know it sounds funny, but it’s really helped me a lot to fill my head with the ideas and thoughts I want to believe instead of what my inner critic has to say. There are so many amazing podcasts and audiobooks out there - I love listening to them when I’m in the workshop, and I swear it works! It’s all figureoutable, sometimes even while your hands are busy making!
You can find Sylvie's products in our Moncton location & also online in our self-care section.