This week we interviewed Anouk to talk about the story behind I AM, our new collection launching on January 24th. We had so much fun getting to know her on a deeper level and we know you’ll love her just as much as we do!
We feel so lucky to finally be launching our very first capsule collection, an opportunity we could not be more grateful for, and wanted to share with you the behind the scenes of this amazing collaboration with Anouk. So let’s get started!
DRAE: So, Anouk, since not everyone might know who you are and how did we end up creating this new collection with you, how about explaining how this all started? How did you first hear about us?
A: I had the chance to meet Aurelie for the first time, 4 years ago in 2018 (time goes fast !). She introduced me to her jewelry brand and I could tell how passionate she was. I immediately loved the entrepreneur vibe. It was a real crush! Since then, I’ve followed the brand on Instagram in their daily life and evolution.
DRAE: We couldn’t agree more, this is definitely our founder’s vibe! And so, what made you want to work with us?
A: Easy question! For me, DRAE is a company where you can be your true self and where “the sky's the limit”. The team is composed of girls that I can relate to because of their hard work, creativity and human personality. There’s nothing more essential for me than to work with a team where I feel 100% at my place and respected. I just knew that our collaboration would be a real success, it was at this moment I said “Lets go!”
DRAE: We’re so grateful to have our first collaborative collection with you. So now, could you tell everyone how this idea started?
A: It all started with a simple Instagram DM from Aurelie (DRAE’s founder). I remember when I opened the message, I was super hyped, because I was offered the opportunity to do a collection of what I really want : my choices, my ideas, my concept. It has always been important for me that every project reflects who I am, and with DRAE it was possible. As I’m also a “feeling” kinda girl, I just had a good feeling about it. This is where it all started.
DRAE: Of course, we wouldn’t want to do a collection with you where you’re not included in the whole process. Speaking of which! What would you say you loved the most about working with us?
A: I’ve honestly always felt part of the family. With the girls, the atmosphere is always pleasant. It’s like they’ve always been MY girls!! Whenever we see each other at the office or in between our 10000000 voice messages, the vibe is always super positive, respectful and fun. I feel lucky that I can now consider these girls as my friends.
DRAE: Aww! This is so sweet. You’re definitely now part of our family and there’s no word to describe how we all feel about this beautiful collab. I don’t think our readers are ready for what we’re about to show them. Could you tell us where the idea of I AM came from?
A: It’s super important for me to have concepts when I do projects. I think the more meaning you’re giving to a collection, the more interesting it becomes, and even more people can identify themselves to it.
I AM wasn’t my original idea. Initially, I wanted to include a powerful word on one of my necklaces. So I asked my community which word they most identify themselves to. When looking at the answers, I realized that there were so many words that I couldn't choose only one. That’s when I came to the conclusion that choosing a word would be similar to imposing something on my community. I also told myself, "We’re constantly changing, evolving and learning every day. So it's impossible for one word to be enough."
That's when I told myself, "the only thing that is certain is that we’re a whole of our own. We are, WE and just that, should be enough to love ourselves." Then I brought up my idea to the team and, instantly, it was a no-brainer for us. We found our collection’s name: I AM.
Take a look at the collection here
DRAE: Isn’t it a beautiful philosophy?! So now that we’re just a few days before the launch of the collection, what would you say was your favorite part in the process of this collaboration?
A: The Photoshoot, without any doubt! DRAE’s team was IN-SA-NE
Whenever I do projects, it's important for me to include my friends, to encourage them and mostly because it's simply fun to work with your friends. As for the photographer, I went with my best friend, Guillaume Landry. I'm pretty picky when it comes to my photos and Guillaume knows exactly what I like. So for me, it was the perfect match and the pictures are INSANE!
DRAE: I think I can speak for the team to say that we CAN’T wait to share the pictures of this photoshoot! To let everyone understand why we’re so excited about the shoot, can you tell us a little bit more of how it went, what was the concept of the shoot. I’m sure they would want to know!
A: Absolutely! So the shooting was separated into 3 parts. We first arrived at the studio and let me tell you, it was… FLABERGASTING! We could not have found a better place to do the shoot. Then after settling in, we first took photos just with me and my beautiful jewels. Then, in the second part, we recorded a video of our concept with different people. After that, since we had extra time, we took some pictures of the people who came for our video. When I tell you that the team was INSANE, it's true.
DRAE: What a day! And can you explain where you found these people?
A: Yes! For the promotional video, it was important for me to use people from my community. “Ordinary" people, like me. I AM is a community. That's why I made a call to everyone on my network. I received more than a hundred applications. Among them, I chose about fifteen people to be part of the video. I then added my best friend, 3 of my friends (because I wanted men too - jewelry is not just for women), my sister and my mom. The cast was AMAZING!
Before the shoot, I even created a group chat on Instagram so we could get to know each other and that group was a true success. Also, the models were unfailingly professional, generous, kind and INSANE (again)! I can't thank them enough for trusting me with this project.
I have no words to describe the energy of that day. However, I did get a few chills (a lot) on that day.
DRAE: I think we still all have chills from that day! OK. Now, could you tell us what can people expect from this collection?
A: I AM is a true and unique concept, just like you. Everyone will be able to recognize themselves through this collection.
DRAE: We’re so excited and can’t wait for people to see it for themselves! Now, since not everyone necessarily knows you, how about some more personal questions to get to know you a little more. Starting with telling us what’s on your bucket list?
A: I'm not really a "Bucket list" kinda girl because my bucket list would always change. The only thing that has never changed is that I want to go to Italy and Spain. I'm more of a mood board girl since II like to focus on things one year at a time. If you want to know what’s on my list this year. Well, I would love to skydive and go on a trip with my sister Maude!
DRAE: Traveling is also on our bucket list this year, I think! So what’s in your travel essentials bag?
A: Besides my passport, cards and money, it’s certain that I bring:
DRAE: Bikinis and a concealer is for sure a must in every woman's life! And we’re all about feeling elevated at all times. When we look at you, we can tell you’re a beautiful confident woman. What would you say is your success to be this confidant?
A: I’ll tell you a story!
Still in elementary school, in grade 3, my mom bought me colorful, flowery (but intense flowery) pants. When I arrived at school, the guys in my class laughed at my pants. I remember being embarrassed, wanting to disappear. As the day progressed, the comments continued. I was so fed up and humiliated that I told a boy in my class, "I like my pants so if you don't like them, look elsewhere. I don't talk about your dragon shirt, so don't talk about my pants" and he stopped.
I shortly realized that you have to own up for yourself. If you take ownership of yourself, people can't feed you with negative comments or even bully you. The only reason people criticize negatively is to get a reaction, to diminish someone, and to come in and shake a person down. When these people don't succeed, they move on to the next one.
It is also important to be well surrounded and to have healthy friendships that accept you as you are, 100%. Toxic little comments like: what you're wearing is funny, what's with the style, I'm thinner than you but it doesn't matter, your feet are so ugly, you have a lot of pimples compared to me, etc. It's a NO!
The key: know yourself, take responsibility and be well surrounded.
DRAE: Such great advice. Thanks for sharing this story with us. And how about your favorite staples right now?
A: I would say the candles. There's not a day I don't light a candle.
DRAE: Right! Especially these days, with COVID who turned us all into homebodies! How do you like to relax after a stressful day of working from home?
A: Light a candle, put on a jazz playlist and do a skincare routine.
A: SELLING OUT the collection I AM by Anouk !
DRAE: I think that also applies to us! We just can’t wait for it to be available. Let’s finish with one last question before we let you go. What best piece of advice you’ve received you would like to share with us and our customers?
A: My father recently said to me, "Daughter, you only have 24 hours in your life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Do what you want to do now. Don't wait."
If not, I often tell my friends, "Everything happens for a reason. Life is good. Trust life."
Shop I AM by Anouk Lauzon