What fascinates me has been clear to me since I was a child and yet it will have taken me nearly 25 years to access it. My passions are in two distinct and yet non-dissociable parts: my family and home decorating. These two passions are part of me and consume me on a daily basis. They make me the woman I am, and give me the courage to persevere against all odds. In both cases, my passions are clearly not easy occupations.

Being a parent is an exceptional gift that I cherish on a daily basis and yet it is also the most difficult job in the world. Giving a child all, he/she needs to flourish and become the best version of an adult, he/she can be is not easy at all. You need to put rules in place and to reinforce them, even in front of soft eyes and crocodile tears. When you are a parent, you also need to put Band-Aids on skinned knees and try to heal broken hearts. You sometimes need to see them fail and feel helpless. But most of all, being a parent is for me, by far, my greatest pride and what defines me in the depths of my soul.

Vacation photos of Vanessa Sicotte with her husband, two daughters and her son

 On the other hand, this passion for my small tribe remains incomplete without my professional passion. I could use the same adjectives here to describe how much I am attached to the company I created in 2009. Yes, it will be 10 years in October that Damask & Dentelle exists and I just cannot believe it! When I thought about this project, around a good dinner with a group of friends, I saw a dream that could eventually become reality. But I do not think I really realized that these ideas, hastily scribbled on a piece of paper on the corner of the table, would materialize as they did.

Decorating has always been a passion. I remember as a child cutting all of my mother’s magazines to create scrapbooks full of decor inspirations and "dream rooms.” I chose patterns and textiles, colours and materials, for my scrapbook. Then, I grew up and studied something else completely. I put aside, for a short moment, my first passion. I think that at the time I did not imagine being able to make it a job.

A family picture of the Sicotte's and a photo of Vanessa on Montreal's morning show Salut Bonjour

It is only when I was pregnant with my second daughter that I decided to return to my old love and do what was necessary to be able to live off of the decorating business. A few months later, my 4-year-old daughter welcomed her little sister Madison and, on her first birthday, I started Damask & Dentelle while I was pregnant again ... with their little brother this time. You can now understand why I say that my two passions are so intertwined.

The moral of this story is clear: our life is the sum of our passions. Whatever they are, and even if they are far from easy, our passions drive us, push us to surpass ourselves, encourage us to keep being the best version of ourselves and, they inspire those who follow us or those who grow up with us.