From high schooler to new business owner

She may only be 19-years-old, but Zoe Simard already has a successful business.

She may only be 19-years-old, but Zoe Simard already has a successful business and is continuing to find ways to grow it.

Simard is an acrylic artist. She paints anything from canvases, glassware to currently, ornaments. Entering her studio you’re greeted to various different paintings and artwork. However, painting wasn’t always a passion for Simard.

“I didn’t always like painting,” Simard said. “In grade three we did Picasso. We had to copy one of his paintings. I thought mine was garbage, but once we put them on the carpet with everyone else’s, mine ended up looking pretty good.”

That was her first taste of art, but it didn’t stick then and she didn’t revisit it for a few years. When Simard entered grade nine, she attended the Golden Alternate School. There, Janice Dyck of the College of the Rockies came in and taught them different painting techniques. Simard said it was then she realized she had a passion for it and she went out and bought canvases and brushes and went to work.

In her senior year, she was required to do an independent study in order to graduate. She had to do 100 hours and she picked painting. After graduating she used her artwork to work towards getting a business loan. It took a binder full of paperwork, but she got the loan and her business was born.

She called the business Les Belles Affaires, translated to mean, The Beautiful Things and it was specifically chosen to highlight the fact that there are a number of different types of artwork available and not just one specific style. In addition to purchasing her artwork, she also teaches a class for children wanting to learn different art techniques.

“It’s cool to have a group of kids look up to you and are excited about doing the same things,” Simard said.

Looking to the future, Simard hopes to have at least one piece to sell outside of Canada. While she has artwork in Victoria, Ontario and Quebec, she thinks it would be a great accomplishment to have one art piece to go international.

Simard said she also hopes to teach more classes in the future including a parent and tot class, similar to the parent and tot skates that are held at the arena. A class that parents and kids can do together.

Coming up next month, Simard will be holding workshops from December 18-22. The Christmas break begins a week early and Simard said she thought she would create an option kids could have during the week leading up to Christmas.

“I thought it would be fun to offer something for people who want something to do during that week.”

Each day has a different focus with Monday having the participants working on two hand painted glasses, Tuesday will be a personalized wooden signs, Wednesday a personalized Christmas ornament, Thursday will be an Acrylic Painting Class, and Friday will be dream catchers.

Overall, Simard said painting just makes her happy and she hopes she can bring that same joy to other people.

“At the Starlight Soiree the girl who bid the highest on my painting came up to me afterwards and hugged me and told me how excited she was to put the picture on her wall and it just makes me happy, making other people happy,” Simard said.

For more information on Les Belles Affairs and the upcoming workshops, you can check out the Les Belles Affairs Facebook page or visit the studio at 1115-9th St. South.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Gabrielle Clarke is an art therapist in Golden who works in mixed media art. Clarke’s art will be on display downtown at the Go-Lab. (Gabrielle Clarke photo)
Mixed media arts show comes to Go-Lab

Clarke’s art will be on display until Nov. 6

The view from Donald Bridge, looking east on Highway 1, about 28 km north of Golden at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 18. (DriveBC)
UPDATE: Expect delays on highway east of Revelstoke

A vehicle incident occurred near the Quartz Creek bridge

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read