Spotlight on Our Graduates

Alexandra Simard

What is your career, achievement (your position, the company, etc.)?

I am the founder of Primerose soins des ongles. Primerose is a new type of neighborhood salon, located in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, that provides nail care with non-toxic products that are not tested on animals. I created the company and oversee the brand image, the design of the space, as well as the types of services and products used. I also manage a team of three technicians. My job is to make sure that the Primerose experience is always flawless.

What is a typical workday like?

In the morning I arrive at the salon early, at least an hour before opening time to prepare for the day, assign clients to the technicians and make sure that everyone has a clear game plan. I also provide nail care services. When I take a break between clients, I answer requests for appointments, manage social media, do accounting work, prepare my employees’ paychecks, send out newsletters, etc. Those are my daily activities. At a higher level, when I have time to reflect, I focus on creating nail care services that go beyond the ordinary, with products that are always more exciting than the rest. My goal is to offer different kinds of treatments, always based on natural aesthetics. Yes, I’m responsible for the salon, but also for the Primerose brand. And that responsibility requires constant reflection.

Can you outline your career path?

I have a BA in communication and journalism from Concordia University. I worked in marketing and advertising for the SID LEE agency. My background allows me to think about aesthetics differently, because I am not originally from this industry. Primerose emerged from the idea that nail care should strengthen your nails and not damage them. That’s why we only work on natural nails, with no gel, UV lamps or other toxic products. It’s a little different from other salons that use more traditional products.

What is your favorite memory from your time at LaSalle College?

The final exam. I couldn’t wait to get my degree and start working on my project. The outcome was wonderful.

What advice would you give to a student who is currently enrolled at the College in the program that you were in?

Take the course seriously and don’t hesitate to make contacts. You meet people there who will be part of the industry in which you want to work. You never know. Your next colleague or boss may be sitting next to you.

What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is finding employees. It’s surprising to see how much of a shortage there is in that area.

What are the essential qualities required to succeed in your industry?

Patience, dedication, passion, the willingness to push yourself. In this field, we have to work hard to earn our salary, but the days go by quickly. We make people happy. What more could we want?

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