I decided to write this series to liberate myself from certain aspects of my life that were roaring inside my head, in other words all of them. Hahaha! It’s better to laugh than cry! Everything seems to be happening at once and I have a tendency of moving all my projects forward at the same time. I could talk about one subject at a time, but I felt like sharing everything with you as it comes to me. Like fireworks! Are you ready for this?
Social networks are showcases that are fascinating but worrisome. Life can’t revolve around social media. But I really appreciate your enormous interest in this series – and for letting me know which subjects you’d like me to talk about. But who’s actually behind Madame Labriski? Who is this woman-mother-runner and visionary businesswoman who sweetens everything with date puree? How does she manage to do it all?
People often tell me that I’m inspiring. I’m moved by these words. These words, your words, give me energy. But behind this notion of “inspiring Madame” lies a path that was paved by the impetus of a vision, determination and many compromises.
My family life.
My kids know that mommy works really hard. Did you know? They certainly do. But they also know that I love what I do. I’m constantly telling them that in life, it’s important to choose a job you enjoy. Whatever it may be.
I have two children and when they each came into the world, it’s as though I gave birth to a new facet of myself (the same thing happens when I prepare for a marathon. There’s a five-year age difference between my two children: 59 months to be precise.
When my daughter was born, I also gave birth to this intense desire to fulfil my potential professionally. At the time, I was in advertising. I liked my job, but I felt that I could push myself further. During my maternity leave (a short-term one), I laid the cornerstone and foundations of the world of Madame Labriski: I decided I was going to work with date puree to create snacks that were both tasty and healthy. When Antoinette was one and a half, I ran the marathon that changed my life and the way I believed in myself and my possibilities (Chicago 2012). One month later, I’d stopped waiting for something extraordinary to happen and posted my first recipe online. BAM! I had this clear-cut vision: one day I was going to change the world with my innovative way of preparing pleasure food.
The birth of Adrien (my baby) coincided with the release of my first cookbook, which has sold over 135,000 copies in Quebec (you know that a bestseller is only 5,000 copies, right?). I’m not saying that to show off. I created Madame Labriski to meet my own needs as someone who likes to indulge in treats and, obviously, it seems that I put my finger on a need in our society.
When my cookbook Ces galettes dont tout le monde parle was released in 2016, Adrien was nine months old. In May of the same year, I remember going to see my mother for Mother’s Day and crying, crying with exhaustion. I was still breast-feeding and creating my cookbook (just following my instincts without having been told how to go about it) and, because I was also the co-founder of a start-up advertising agency (21 grammes – Agence d’idéation), I’d gone back to work while simultaneously tackling all these challenges. The spring of 2016 was momentous. In 2016, I realized that my life was in tune with my deepest desires and was testing me. (I could talk about our inner strengths in another article).
I often jokingly say that I’m the people’s choice… because that’s just how it is with Madame Labriski. I’m not a media celebrity. I’m a woman working hard to make a difference. My energy inspires me to always push myself one step further because I love what I do. Ok, I admit I’m trying to build an energizing empire that has no added refined sugar and is bursting with wholesomeness. The businesswoman I’ve now become and the one I will turn into over the next few years (and has always been lying dormant within me) can confidently say: I’m building an empire. But how will it be perceived by others?