While I’ve never met her in person, I’ve spoken with Johanne Cadieux from Mode & Distinction on the phone many times over the years. There is something very different and wonderful about her. She has the most lovely French accent but there is more to it than that. She has that unmistakable warmth to her voice that instantly puts a person at ease and you can’t help feeling a sense of comfort when you speak with her. After hanging up the phone I would always find myself smiling. Johanne has been my customer of Diane Kennedy clothing since 2010.
So, what’s the story of Johanne Cadeaux?
Johanne owns a beautiful store in the Hull area of Gatineau, Quebec called Mode & Distinction Plus. It’s just across the river from Ottawa and indeed many of her customers come from there. Johanne caters to the plus size shopper although she is not a plus size woman. This is something I find very intriguing. It turns out there’s a very sweet reason why Johanne decided to open a shop for larger women. Many years ago, Johanne lost her sister Diane in a tragic car accident. Diane was, in Johannes words, “a beautiful, confident plus size woman.” The spirit of her sister inspires and guides Johannes decisions still. She considers her a business partner.
Johanne finds beauty in women of all sizes. She makes it her goal to create a welcoming environment. How does she deal with women making negative comments about themselves?
“It’s at that moment, says Joanne, “that my training in psychology helps me. Women feel included. I help them to show off with a modern contemporary style and they end up being beautiful.”
We think the women in Gatineau are so lucky to have Johanne, her team and their lovely store to shop in. We also feel very lucky to be part of that. To be on the receiving end of Johannes wonderful energy is a gift.
Thank-you Johanne for being such an awesome customer all these years!