The story of Joanie

Joanie, participant of the Let’s Start Up program and founder of Repos pour Maman.


Balancing professional dreams with being a mother of 4 children

Joanie has always been driven by the desire to become a mother, without putting aside her professional projects and her desire to achieve her full potential. In a society where balancing these two spheres of our lives may seem difficult, it is not without obstacles that she succeeded.

Pursuing her projects during motherhood

It was during the completion of her master’s degree in biology that Joanie became pregnant with her first child. After graduation, she started working in her field of expertise, and it was only a few months later that she learned that she was expecting a second baby. Whether it was burnout or postpartum depression, she had the distinct impression that she was hitting a wall. She decided to start her own daycare to better balance her work and family life. It was at this time that she met other mothers who had similar needs to exchange ideas and develop a network. 

When she became pregnant with her third child, Joanie decided to create a small community of mothers around her daycare. She started collaborating with other local organizations and businesses to offer them services and simplify the lives of mothers (help at home, respite for moms, home hairdressing, etc.). In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic stroke, she had no choice but to close her daycare.

With the obligation to provide for her children, Joanie did not hesitate to reinvent herself by creating the web platform Repos pour Maman, which lists all the resources available in Quebec serving the needs of moms. However, this much appreciated platform did not prove to be profitable… She wondered if she should give up.

The Let’s Start Up Program

In the fall of 2021, she discovered the Let’s Start Up program, and it was during her maternity leave for her fourth child that she decided to enroll. The free program offered her the flexibility she needed. She could follow the courses virtually at a distance and its benevolent and human approach really stood out to her.

The Let’s Start Up program allowed her to develop her entrepreneurial skills: developing her goals and long-term vision, operations management, financial management, marketing, etc. She was finally able to understand how to grow her business and ensure its profitability. Through the SuccessFinder psychometric test, she also learned a lot about herself, which allowed her to capitalize on her strengths and align them with her entrepreneurial project.

Finally, the Let’s Start Up program allowed her to believe in her skills and to gain confidence:

When I entered the Let’s Start Up program, I was lost, I wondered if my project was worth it, and I questioned my skills. The Let’s Start Up program made me realize that if I don’t believe in myself, who will? To see that other people believe in me, helped me to believe in myself and to push my project to the end. I am proud to say that the Let’s Start Up program helped me bring Repos pour Maman to profitability. I am now in a better financial position.”

Repos pour Maman

Today, Joanie is proud to have set up the Repos pour Maman platform, whose mission is to give moms a little break. This platform allows them to easily find help, support and accompanyingment resources available in Quebec: help for moms, family coaching, doula services, massage therapy services, etc. 




Graduate of the Let’s Start Up Program

The Lise Watier Foundation offers the Let’s Start Up program in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, the Laurentians and Montérégie. More than 200 women a year are committed to taking action through the Let’s Start Up program. They graduate with a better understanding of their strengths and skills, as well as the knowledge and tools to implement their professional project. Women thus begin a new journey towards financial independence through entrepreneurship, a return to school or a more fulfilling job.

Major donors

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Fondation J.A. DeSève
Succes Finder