FIG_Image_LouiseArbique

Dear FIG friends,

From 2002 to 2007, I was overseeing the francization process for Canada’s largest outdoor equipment co-op, better known as Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). In order to engage its burgeoning francophone clientele, the organization had decided to invest millions in a high-quality, French communication strategy. It got me to introduce a novel approach called “linguistic marketing”—a label I coined for the occasion (and beyond). This recipe was a decisive factor in positioning MEC as a retail leader in Quebec. Its resounding success led me to believe that someone should offer a similar service to other businesses wanting to prosper in La Belle Province.

That’s how Francisation Interglobe (FIG) came about. A few months after having founded my small firm, Jean-Guy Latulippe came on board, he and I sharing the same passion for quality French in the business sphere. I had just reached the age of 55—with Jean-Guy trailing behind at 49. We decided to go all in, going forth despite the many challenges and risks. Soon after, my husband and MEC’s French Communications Director Marc Blais jumped on the bandwagon. Together, we have helped a good number of Canadian and American businesses successfully enter the Quebec market, with apropos counsel and top-grade translations to support their marketing efforts.

Since the beginning of our adventure, my son, Mathieu Brisset, has been involved in our dealings one way or another. In 2010, he joined our team of translators for Lee Valley Tools—one of our flagship clients. While being hard at work, he would often mention his interest in taking over one day the family business. All senior directors agreed on the promising level of his abilities and professionalism and opted to invest in Mathieu’s training, hoping to help him achieve his goal. He learned the ropes in management, advertising and IT, soon taking on the responsibilities of office manager and director of Internet development. One step at time, he would scale the ladder, to eventually become—in 2014— a full-fledged shareholder in the firm.

In 2015, I came to a point where it felt like the right moment to pass on the presidency to my faithful Jean-Guy—who, in turn, passed on his vice-presidency to Mathieu in early 2016. Marc and I were persuaded that we could step back (some call it “retirement”!) and let those two guide FIG towards its future. Last Tuesday, on November the 8th, all that Marc, Jean-Guy and I had hoped for came true with Mathieu officially becoming FIG’s main shareholder.

As a proud mother and entrepreneur, I feel privileged to have been able to witness—simultaneously—the growth of my son and the company I‘ve founded. Creating a business is a bit like having a child; from day one, you try to provide nurturing and education, leading your loved one towards a fruitful adulthood. I feel that’s how I’ve been with my two “babies”. And I’m truthfully happy to have my son and Jean-Guy looking after that second baby and overseeing its maturation process.

ls

Louise Arbique

Francisation InterGlobe Founder