What’s Her Secret? Vicky Scalia, Co-Owner of L’Intervalle

Starting a business takes guts. Starting a business that, within a year, has expanded from one store to five, is opening a flagship store on Montreal’s biggest shopping street, boasts a thriving online shop and is now sold in stockists across the country”that takes some mad skills. We sat down with Vicky Scalia, owner of L’Intervalle, a shoe company out of Montreal that is poised to be the next big Canadian fashion brand, and tried to figure out what it takes to craft a company the likes of Aritzia and Lululemon. Unsurprisingly we discovered it takes a whole lot of time, passion and business savvy.

lintervalle-home

How did L’intervalle get started?

My husband Sam and I opened the first location in Montreal’s Plateau area in March 2015. We chose the plateau because it’s such a young and vibrant community, and we thought if the brand could make it anywhere it would be there. My husband Sam had been working in the footwear industry on an international scale for years, and he decided it was time to bring back his own brand. We work as a team. He puts collections together and does everything from product design to marketing research in factories in Europe and then I do all the management, operations, logistics and PR.

And what do you think made L’Intervalle so successful from the start?

We found that a lot of shoes on the market were either very cheap or very expensive. L’Intervalle means the “space in-between two times,” or certain areas, and our product is about bridging the gap between high and low fashion”we’re responding to a gap in the market. It’s a mid-range affordable product, but still on-point with fashion. Even though our company is very young, we have loads of experience behind us. The quality and design is there.

Did you always know that you were going to work in fashion?

Definitely not. I often laugh about this and say it happened by osmosis. I have a health background, and Sam was the one in the fashion industry. So even though it’s out of my area of expertise, somehow it seemed like a natural progression to be in this environment. For me my work has always seemed like business first and the fashion follows. I love it though.

Do your feel like your personal style has become part of the brand?

Definitely. All of the coolest shoes are a reflection of Sam. He is very fashion forward and knows trends in advance, whereas I’m more conservative. If you see any shoes with classic bones, those are more me. It works really well because we complement each other.

You seem like you do so much for the brand, how did you learn to run such a large successful company?

I studied business at Concordia a few years ago, but I’ve always just thought that the entrepreneurial spirit runs strong. I’m passionate about what we’re doing and that gets me through a lot. I always say that business is about passion and if you follow yours, the rest will come. Honestly, people sense passion in what you do.

I’m always curious about the morning routines of successful business women. What does yours look like?

This is a tough one because I’m a runner and I love running up Mont Royal, but I’m also a mother and this means that I usually don’t get that much time in the morning anymore. Most mornings I’m busy getting my kids ready for school, then I make coffee and then I work from home. I like working from home because it lets me achieve a balance between family and work, and balance is everything.

Do you have any advice for women looking to start a business?

Yes, and this is something I always remind my 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son: follow your dreams. When you follow your dreams and do things you’re passionate about, happiness and success come throughout that journey. There is no end prize; all the rewards are part of the process.

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