Cascades is putting the spotlight on young entrepreneurs who stand out with their responsible practices and environmental values. This month, we’re pleased to introduce you to Julie Martel, graphic designer at Norampac – Drummondville and designer at Vie d’Ange, a business that creates eco-friendly lighting collections.
- Service offered: Lighting up your walls… and your life! (commercial, corporate and residential projects)
- Number of employees: 2
- Workshop location: A hidden corner of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover
Tell us a bit about yourself, Julie. What’s your background?
I was born at the age of 16. I had a devoted father who was in the military and loved the environment, and a mother who is still convinced that there are wonders right on her doorstep. I completed a degree in fashion design and worked as a designer and trend forecaster in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. I lived for a while in New Delhi, India, and monitored the development of fashion collections. I also worked as an industrial designer for doors and windows, as a product development project manager, and as a designer of bulletproof vests for SWAT teams and costumes for Cirque du Soleil. Now, I’m a graphic designer at Norampac and I’m very proud to promote Cascades through my business, Vie d’Ange, by using recycled industrial materials in my designs. I’ve always loved Cascades’ environmental vision and how the company is so committed to the community. Pierre Poirier, a carpenter by profession, was interested in my crazy idea and decided to join me to create Vie d’Ange, our eco-friendly partnership. Since we began working together, I’ve embraced craziness on a professional basis and am now a full-time lunatic, part-time artist.
How would you describe your designs?
Our pieces are unique and sometimes custom-made, with an industrial look. They’re sometimes rustic and always poetic. Plus, they’re eco-friendly and dreamt up, designed and made in Quebec!
What materials do you use?
Anything you’d normally find in a dumpster. My favourite materials are things that factories throw out—they have a ton of potential! I’m never without my notebook and waste recovery gear.
Where do you get the ideas for your original designs?
If you ask me, they sometimes come from divine inspiration. Otherwise, I look for ideas online.
How much time goes into making such beautiful products from scratch?
Time!?! I don’t understand the meaning of the word! But I can say that there is nothing more engaging than surprising one’s self.
What eco-responsible dream do you cherish?
My Dream with a capital D is to design and build an eco-friendly cottage in harmony with nature. I plan to build it on a magical bit of land in St-Joachim, next to the river. I have to dream quickly, because I have a deadline. I hope to include a green roof and a miniature observatory space. It’s an idyllic and mind-renewing landscape with a bike path, an Arbre-en-arbre site, an educational farm and a market garden nearby. My dream is that everyone will be able to enjoy this eco-friendly abode. It will be a real antidote to the monotony of life—if you take off your glasses around eight o’clock on a summer night, you can see an entire family of gnomes lounging under the hundred-year-old oak trees. Then, who knows, maybe I’ll start beekeeping.