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.