Breaking out of that comfort zone in 2016, a promise kept!

In December 2015, I promised myself I’d break out of my comfort zone. I’m not a natural risk-taker but I dared to try.

2016 was one of the best years for Béké-Bobo and for me. Many wonderful things were accomplished. It’s thanks to you, dear customers. Without your love for our company, we wouldn’t be here!

I’d like to thank my dream team from the bottom of my heart for giving it their all, day after day: Joannie, Guylaine, Junior, Irène, Audrey, Sylvie, Marie-Noëlle, Gilles, Lisette, Jérôme, Audrey-Anne and the Granby team. Thank you for staying the course while I was away from Quebec.

Looking back at Béké-Bobo in 2016

  • January to March: Research and development of a new bear.
  • February: From this point forward, we’ll have a subcontractor for the outside of the new bear. This will ensure production continues to be in Quebec without limiting us to a certain number of units per year.
  • March: Return to France with the Fondation de l’Entrepreneurship’s Mission France 2016.
  • April: Official launch of the Sublime Bear, which was very well received.
  • May: After months of work, we obtained medical device CE marking for Europe. This marking opens European doors.
  • On May 26th, I won the Classe Export Exportez-vous ! competition, highlighting the soundness of my strategic export plan. A new member joined the team. Jean-Junior Brisebois was hired as executive assistant.
  • June: Launch of the Supreme Bear in June, which met a need expressed by customers whose children grew up with our bear.
  • July: Launch of the playful pacifier clip inspired by our Sublime Bear.
  • August: A production manager was hired. Guylaine Veilleux joined our ranks and we obtained CanExport funding.
  • September: Béké-Bobo partnered with the Héma-Québec Milk Bank. Mothers who donate breastmilk receive a special Sublime Bear as a thank-you for their donation.
  • October: Return to France to meet stakeholders in childcare and pharmacies.
  • November: Assignment in France with IME Quebec; a program in which I participated for 18 months and which ended with a 7-day assignment in France.
  • December: We must ensure we are in a position to produce bears for the French market. Researching financing and partners for making the products as well as starting to reorganize the company for growth.

Many new challenges await us in 2017 and I am sure that 2017 will be as amazing as 2016. The gamble of exporting is not an easy or simple thing but I am confident that we will succeed with flying colours. We won’t be alone because 2016 allowed me to develop a solid network through IME, the Fondation de l’Entrepreneurship, RéseauM and the many people I met here and in France, not to mention partners such as EDC, the BDC, the National Bank, CanExport, the QGO in Paris and the Canadian Trade Commissioners.

Maggy-Nadyne Lamarche
CEO and Mom of Béké-Bobo