At Chico, we are committed to promoting our franchisees. Without them, our company would not be what it is today. To mark International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight the career of one of our franchisees and the development manager for the Quebec City area, Mélanie Auger. Here is a portrait of this ambitious entrepreneur who does not back down from any challenge.
Upon graduating from a physiotherapy program, Mélanie Auger quickly realized that this field was not what she aspired to. She was always interested in entrepreneurship, so she decided to change direction and dove headfirst into a new challenge. Although her professional career goes back over 10 years, her journey with Chico began about three years ago when Mélanie’s sister-in-law opened a boutique in Boucherville. That inspired her to open her very first store in Blainville. Then she opened three more branches in the Quebec City area in just over a year.
Mélanie is self-taught and learned everything she knows by doing it herself. She is also grateful to the mentors she encountered over the years. For her, a lack of business management experience has not been a deterrent. She has the entrepreneurial spirit within, and she has to use it.
As an animal-lover, Mélanie saw herself as a perfect fit with Chico. “I love selling happiness. It motivates me in my work, seeing people come into the store and feel happy to be there,” says Mélanie. The company values immediately appealed to her, especially the freedom franchisees receive to manage their own stores.
In addition, Mélanie has always had an interest in the retail sector. She loves human interaction and surrounding herself with passionate and inspiring individuals every day.
The highs and lows of entrepreneurship
As a woman, being an entrepreneur has never really fazed Mélanie. Her outspokenness, her ambition and her determination helped her circumvent the prejudices and misconceptions sometimes still present in our society. No matter what obstacle or challenge stands in her way, she is not afraid to take the plunge.
As a full-time mother, Mélanie says the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur is finding a work-life balance. “It’s not always easy to run a business seven days a week while also caring for a family,” explains Mélanie. “You have to find the right balance. But we’re getting there!” Her guiding principle as an entrepreneur is to be daring. It takes a lot of courage; you have to take it step by step. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made; it was my dream. When you take risks, it pays off,” she says.
Mélanie brings passion, perseverance, and optimism into every day as a mother, a businesswoman and the many other roles she fills.