September 14, 2010

My fabulous first interview: Keepin' it real with Catherine Lapointe

When I first met Catherine Lapointe, i thought she was a girl my age, a skater maybe? No...A student in fashion? Nah. Designer, yes. Multi-tasker, indeed. I don’t know exactly how to describe this girl. I would say Martha Stewart, but different...cooler, more laid back, and hasn’t been to jail! There’s just something about this Lapointe girl (who is from Granby, by the way). Just having her on Facebook is an entertainment by itself, as her status updates go from sarcasm to random thoughts to pure comedy, going from “beyonce’s perfume surprisingly doesn’t smell completely horrible” to “some jerk cut me off and then showed me the finger this morning at decarie circle, so i gave a dollar to the crackhead panhandling at the red light to have him tell the guy he's an asshole. little moments of joy”. Nice!

But see, I want you guys to get to know her better -See previous post on why I chose her for my first interview on this blog. Designer, mother of a grey eyed angel named Nathan, hard worker, comedian on the down low are only a few words I could use to describe her. After a few e-mail exchanges, I finally got to sit down with her (after pizza and pepsi) to finalize this interview. Good people deserve good attention! Enjoy as we talk about food, fashion, beauty and a whole bunch of random stuff!


-When did you fall in love with fashion? 

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but I do remember being about 6 years old and drawing tshirts and dresses. I remember loving Barbie, not really to play with them, but to coordinate her outfits. My nieces now play with them and I catch myself changing the outfits they put on her.

-Did you study fashion? Do you encourage people to study fashion?

I did  the Fashion Design program at Marie-Victorin, which I never finished. I moved away to Victoria BC on a whim to live there for a year but I came back a month after. I was broke, so I didn’t go back. Instead I took private sewing lessons and learned on my own. I do encourage people to study fashion to learn the techniques and terminology, but if you don’t have a passion for it, you’ll drop out fast. Those are usually the people that went into fashion because they love to shop. They should go in merchandising instead.

-When did you start your clothing line? Why? How do you feel it represents you? 

I started HairSprayMafia in 2005. I was doing custom orders here and there, but nothing too serious. I wanted to brand the clothing I was making, but didn’t want to put my own name. The name “HairSprayMafia” comes from my graffiti days. Some guy was saying that girls can’t hold paint cans so I then replied that we can hold more than hairspray cans. My friends and I start writing up HSM around town. I feel it represents me because it has a feminist ideology behind it, it’s non-conformist and, well, I just use a whole lot of hairspray.

-Who is your target market? 

Young women with a sharp sense of style, that don’t conform to trends, don’t care what Elle or Vogue tells them to wear yet look more stylish than anyone on the block.

-Where do you see your brand in five years? Any upcoming projects? 

I’ve been giving sewing lessons for a few months now, I really enjoy teaching and would love to open a sewing studio where I could teach and have a workshop to design and create.

-Can you give advice to young girls trying to be fashionable on a budget? 

Shop around for deals, go to sample sales, organize clothing swaps or trade with friends. Learn how to sew to alter your clothes since fit is the most important part of anything you wear. No matter what the cost of the garment, if it doesn’t fit properly, it’s not worth it. A little tailoring can go a long way. Also, don’t knock on Village, it has crazy finds for accessories.

-What was your worst fashion mistake? 

My prom dress. I had made it myself the week before. It was a long empire waist dress with a red stretch satin skirt that had a high slit, the top was bright blue swimsuit fabric with a red trim around the neckline. I wore it with white and red striped leggings. Everyone was calling me Supergirl that night. (See picture below)

-How did you come up wih the idea for Marmoset? Why that name?

I create bibs with old t-shirts (it started because all the bibs I had were too small for Nathan) and belts for kids. A Marmoset is a little monkey that bring their kids on their backs and it inspired for the name of that brand. I came up with this idea especially for safety reasons; finding a cart with a safety belt at the supermarket is a hassle. I also wanted to make them stylish:  Some are Gucci inspired, Polo inspired, girly or boyish, etc.

-COOL! Where do you sell them?

On the web, you can find them on my website They are also sold on, a website for people doing arts and crafts selling their stuff. Also, there are two stores in Pointe Claire selling them: Belles Mamans (trendy baby shop) and Le Baby Shop


-Your favorite meal? 

Pretty much anything Mexican. Gimme spicy any day!

-A cool recipe?
My secret cookie recipe. (see previous post)

-Did you like to cook before becoming a mom?

Yes, I’ve been cooking and baking since I’m really young, my parents encouraged my brother and I at a young age to help out in the kitchen. I don’t have as much time as before, but I still love to try new things. I don’t follow too many recipes, I usually just use them as inspiration to pair new flavours together.

-I see that you have a garden, which is often unusual for people of our generation. Tell me more about it please!

I know! I have cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, zucchinis, mint, coriander, oregano (by the way I make a great homemade brushetta). I guess people don’t take the time anymore, but when you think about it, it’s only a 20$ investment followed by an afternoon of work. And in the future, you get five huge batches of vegetables almost for free when one small pint of tomatoes would have normally cost you 5$

-Do you believe in the whole organic food trend?

For some things it’s valid, but not for everything. But for meat, you can definitely taste the difference. Organic food from local farmers’ markets is not even that expensive and the merchants are fun to talk to since they give you a lot of information about the products.

-Which flavour of Kool Aid do you prefer? No I’m joking! Any cool ideas for people trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diet? I’m assuming that since you have a garden…..

A MAGIC BULLET. I make puree out of practically any vegetables, and add it in sauces.

-Did you have the “student phase” where you were more limited to your food choices? If you did, how would you turn shit into gold?

I used to eat pita with cream cheese and sunflower seeds in it, with a side of watermelon. Oh I ate lots of watermelon...I also made cucumber-ketchup sandwiches and I used to do this “pizza”: mayo, sliced onions, “au gratin”.  My old roommate Nathalie and I would also eat a ton of Lipton Sidekicks. It’s supposed to be a side dish, but we’d just eat the whole thing as our meal. For 2$ that’s some cheap eats.


-Do you have a beauty routine?

Well I do a scrub once a week: It’s a mix I made for myself with brown sugar and olive oil. It’s practically free! I also dab olive oil on dry skin areas in winter. I don’t really have time in the mornings, it’s shower, Jamieson Vitamin E body lotion, makeup on the red lights and I do the rest (if necessary) at work!

-Are you scared of aging?

No, its all about how you feel! By the way, I still get carded so that’s a good feeling.


-Anything cool you did you your home recently?

If you have a painting that you don’t like, or blank canvas, you can buy fabric and STAPLE it on the  canvas (see picture). I also used the remaining fabric to create a cool cushion. (Sassou note: amazing amazing amaaaaziiingggg can't wait to try this!)

-The song you can't get enough of?

“Dipset Anthem” by Diplomats. 

-The song that makes you wanna smash your radio? 

You got 2 hours?? That damn Fatman Scoop mix they play in clubs. If it plays, I leave. I’m not even kidding. Anything Sean Kingston/Akon/Pitbull and reggaeton in general. (Sassou note: Okay I almost died of laughter when she said that)


-3 words to describe you 
Resourceful, independent and no-nonsense

-Top 3 must-haves in your closet 
Black beater tank top, Adidas track jacket, dark skinny jeans

-Top 3 cheapest but cutest items 
10$ heels from Urban Planet, 6$ YSL belt found at VDV, 1$ Cazal sunglasses found at VDV

-Top 3 favorite makeup items 
Rimmel lipgloss, Diorshow mascara, Dior concealer (I don’t get much sleep)

-Top 3 beauty items that you love but that are expensive
Mascara Dior show, Nailpolish China Glaze (keep nailpolish in fridge), Miss Dior Chérie perfume

-Top 3 good but cheap beauty items
Lip gloss Rimmel, Palmer’s cocoa butter, Personnelle eyeliner.

-Top 3 favorite Montreal or International brands/designers
Only 3?? Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson and Rick Owens.

Note of the editor (me): As a wonderful gift, Catherine has given me a plant of basil and a plant of mint. I would like to confirm that both plants are still alive and growing. 


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