On October 25th, my photographer Thierry Levasseur and myself had the opportunity to make a photo shoot session at the house of Julie-Anne and Jean-François, for the Family Portrait section of Atelier ëdele.
Profoundly engaged in their community
Some people wonder on which criteria we guide our choices for these family portraits. Well, they are very simple. Of course, Julie-Anne and Jean-François are Atelier ëdele’s customers and they have an unquestionable taste regarding interior design. However and most importantly, they share our values of social engagement and they believe that "all the children deserve to have a chance and a support to continue to learn without being hungry, to dream and to realize their biggest aspirations ".
They believe in it so much that in 2009, and in spite of their respective careers, they founded Les Amis de Samuel (Samuel’s Friends) with the mission of helping disadvantaged students of Quebec area by offering them food and other basic commodities such as clothes or even winter boots. Moreover, on December 22nd will take place the ''Merchants of Happiness Operation", a vast campaign involving an important army of teachers and young volunteers. Their objective: to provide hundreds of disadvantaged children (and their family) with food for the Christmas Holidays. This campaign comes in addition to their organization's all year round support.
In Quebec city, due to a flourishing economy, we tend to forget that poverty exists and that it weakens our children. This poverty is maybe less noticeable, but always there and never very far. The list of children in need grows every year and requires an increased support. In 2014, in Quebec, too many families are still struggling to put food on the table, a situation which compromises their children’s opportunity to develop their full potential.
On December 22nd, we are thus transformed into ''merchants of happiness'' to bring some relief to these children and to share the feeling that we have made a difference with everyone engaged with us in this beautiful venture. (Julie-Anne)
The Samuel’s Friends Foundation is the natural continuation of Julie-Anne’s implication within the Young Philanthropists of Quebec whose mission is to promote philanthropy beside young professionals of Quebec and of whom she is one of the co-founders. Encouraged by Jean-François’s father (who refuses to open up his Christmas presents if his family did not help anybody before), they both wanted to do more and to become themselves merchants of happiness.
Another reason brought me to choose Julie-Anne's family to make a family portrait : her surprising capacity to juggle with a prestigious career (Julie-Anne is a partner at National - Canada’s largest public relations firm), two young children, her couple and her physical personal balance (she even trains!).
While they have just moved in their new house and given birth to their second child, a beautiful girl named Eliza Rose, Julie-Anne continues to occupy approximately 20% of her job tasks and has just started to jog again!
Some people will say that it is too much and that she should make the most of these precious moments with her newborn child. But for a very busy mother like me, and being surrounded by working mothers, I can tell you that she comforts me and inspires me a lot. For me, she is the proof that a woman can be a good mom and have a beautiful career.
Well, I admit it, Julie-Anne is a woman full of energy and her partner Jean-François is fully involved in the family life! For now, she works from her home with her little girl next to her, she stays involved in the Samuel’s Friends Foundation and she jogs on a regular basis…
Here's their son Noah in his big boy bedroom!
For Noah’s bedroom, Julie-Anne chose the Rocket duvet cover and married it to tints of grey and black and white, which highlights the magnificent design made by Irène Lumineau. For the walls, she chose a very pale aqua color and the rest of the decoration is simple and aerated.
I want to say a special thank you to this amazing family for opening up their home with so much generosity!
Photography copyrights: Thierry Levasseur