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Influence MTL: A Conference Like No Other

A talk from 11 of Montreal’s most influential individuals

First launched this year at the Sheraton Hotel in Montreal, InfluenceMTL is a seminar where entrepreneurs take the mic to share their knowledge. Co-founded by Montreal born and raised Thierry Lindor, many of Montreal’s most influential personalities partook in this one day seminar: From Olive and Gourmando’s Diane Solomon, the founder of PUR Vodka Nicolas Duvernois to the woman empowering graffiti artist MissMe. It’s an understatement to say that this event was vibrating with some of the most unique minds of the city.

If you’re one who tends to be inspired or moved by words, then this conference is for you.
We’re all aware of the power of words and their impact on our way of thinking. Words shape our universe. I thought it would be interesting to share some insight from minds that I consider to have touched base with their uniqueness and are truly one of a kind.

Here are some quotes taken from these affluent individuals

Nicolas Duvernois- The creator of PUR Vodka

Lively, charismatic and a true storyteller, here’s a couple wise words from the man who’s vodka was named the best in the world’s, before he had even sold one bottle.

« You can build an empire from an idea.

« If you’re not in love with your product, forget it.

« Behind every product, there’s a story and I believe that if we knew the story behind every product, it would change the way in which we consume.

On the subject of digital marketing and entrepreneurship

Olivier Kult- One of the masterminds behind Maison Privée

Redefining the way that barber shops operate, this young ‘entreprise’ has pushed the traditional model and created spaces that offer an experience around a service. The limits pushed by the young entrepreneurs behind Maison Privée can be a source of inspiration for whoever. Here’s are a couple words from this influencer.

« I branded myself because I chose my public. You have to know for who you’re working for from the beginning.

« Being an influencer is the first step in being an entrepreneur.

« If you’re the influencer behind your brand, nobody is going to steal it from you.

Chuck Lapointe- Co-founder & CEO of Narcity Media

Behind Narcity and Montreal Blog, plateformes that are essentially creating content for millennials, Chuck Lapointe sheds a light on what being an influencer means to him.

« For me an influencer is someone with a unique brand and a unique message.

« It’s about owning your audience, creating something different and going with it.

Influential with a feminine touch

Michelle Shnaidman- Porn from a woman’s perspective

Mcgill graduate Michelle, decided to throw herself into a male-dominated industry, with the mindset to change the underlying message behind porn. She created a platform called Bellesa: It’s porn made by women and for women, making sure that it tailer’s to women’s sexual desires and fantasies. It’s pretty kick-ass to say the least. Dear females, here is a piece of advice from this bold, empowering entrepreneur.

« Be unapologetic.

Dot to the line.

Dyan Solomon- Advice from the heat of the kitchen

An expert of all that revolves around the kitchen, the co-owner and creator of Olive & Gourmando has created one of the best re-known restaurants in the city. But don’t ask her for her recipe for success, she rather views her first restaurant as an ‘‘organic monster’’ . Here is a look at some raw and authentic advice on owning a business.

« You have to be very much involved with your employees if you want them to stay.

« It’s tricky to keep people. It’s about fostering those relationships.

Luc Laroche- From fashion to Le Richmond

Having a particular path of his own, Luc started off his career in fashion, making men’s underwear. His life choices somehow brought him to creating one of the most beautiful spaces in Montreal, Le Richmond restaurant. With a set of skills ranging from being a creative director, marketing director and communications manager, here is some knowledge that he has to share.

« Once you feel the location, you can pump up a very interesting concept.

« People that are the pillars have to know who they are.

In other words, people who play an essential role within your company, have to be communicated this importance.

Jeremy- The chef at #Foiegwa

Born and raised in France, the talented cook has incorporated elements of typical french cuisine and added a culinary touch of his own. Let’s see what the creative mind behind ‘‘ Chicken and Waffles’’ for Sunday brunch had to say about leading a team.

« I’m trying to motivate them so that they get better. You have to lead by example.

Danièle Henkel- A strong-minded influential woman who created an empire

This influential female and founder of Danièle Henkel Entreprises Inc. decided to leave the corporate talk aside and discuss on how to better use your words. She incited a deepened questioning on the importance of focus on a everyday basis, inspiring us to act out to the fullest extent of our potential. Here’s a minor glimpse of some of the phrases she said, that show us the power of mindset.

« Who are you really? What are you going to do with this life?

« To be balanced, to be proud is to look at yourself everyday and ask yourself what you do today.

« Talk about challenges instead of problems. Because every challenge has a solution.

« The past is the past, but the present is foundation for the future.

Change your words, change your world.

Influential creators

Adam Vieira- The artist at the source of Station 16

This art gallery situated on St-Laurent started as a creative silkprint shop and has turned into a beehive in the art world for all that is graffiti and street art related. One of the creators of this unique immersive space, Adam, shared an interesting light on what it’s like creating a piece of art, saying that once it’s created, well it’s time to let go because it no longer belongs to you. Here is what else he has to say about being a business owner.

« When you run your own business there’s no punching in and punching out.

« I think people feed into honesty. We’re here today because of everyone else.

MissMe- A woman who’s identity you’ll never see

Feminist graffiti artist MissMe, advocates for women by wearing a mask on the face when she is representing her artistic persona. This stand is taken for two reasons: One being that her art is illegal and she wants to preserve her identity, but mostly because she considers her physique as being irrelevant to her art and to her as a person. Believing that women are judged on elements that are irrelevant such as beauty, the conscious decision she took to mask her face is a stand for herself as a female artist but really for all women. Here are some empowering notes from her.

« I consider myself an artful vandal.

« Being a woman, what you look like really matters.

« Those things and people, small little people, small actions did make a difference globally. And It’s important to recognize that we all have that power within ourselves and to be responsible with it.

« In everything what you do, how you dress, how you present yourself, how you dress yourself, to understand that it does have a power around you. And that is what influence is.

Sandra Chevrier- A rising start of the contemporary art scene

Having thought to have given up on her aspiration of being an artist, when Sandra got pregnant with her first child and found herself working and being a single mother, she decided to put all other things aside and give her desire to become an artist all that she had. She now has expositions all around the globe, from New York to Hong-kong, this Montreal based artist took a risk at herself and won. Though she is a rising star, she had much to say about her gratitude.

« Every day, I never want to forget that it’s a passion first.

« I have a passion and it’s the best gift i’ve received.

Words are my greatest motivators. This experience left me vibrating with a hunger to verbalize my greatest learnings from this daily escapade. It’s without a doubt an event to suggest if ever the opportunity comes your way!