Florist Laura Campanelli of Atelier Flora caught my eye for her beautiful arrangements. I was so happy when she agreed to answer my questions about her beauty routine, her favourite restaurants and how she gets a good night’s sleep.
What stuck with me most though? Her advice to her younger self. Yes, Laura, I agree!
I am Laura of Atelier Flora. I’m just about a month shy of 30 and living in Town of Mont Royal with my husband Davide and our dog Mia. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of our son in early spring!
I was born and raised in the west-end of Montreal, but spent most of my schooling in the city. After two years at Vanier College in their Arts Program, I did my Bachelors at Concordia in Liberal Arts, while working part time. After graduation, instead of pursuing my passion for languages and arts, I stuck to an environment I had grown to be comfortable with that promised lots of opportunity and chose to make a career out of my part time job in banking.
The industry offered me a lot perspective, gave me a great business sense and exposed me to the notion of creating a corporate culture and brand. After about 8 years, I realized that there was a creative side to me that had never been given the chance to flourish. And so I took a part time hobby and turned it into a business.
In it’s first year, Atelier Flora was the proud provider of floral arrangements for over 30 weddings, collaborated with top brands for events, photo shoots and press previews and graced the homes of so many people that chose to support me. We are now a staff of 3, cater to custom designs for weddings, events and private homes and are very excited to see what is in store for us next.
What’s your daily beauty routine?
I am a loyal and longtime user of the Methode Physiodermie line carried at only a few places in the city – namely spas or salons (I get mine at Spa Diva). My three step routine is/has been the same since as long as my skin calmed down and grew up! I start with their Deep Cleansing Milk (which also acts perfectly as a make-up remover), followed by their one and only toner Physiodermie Stabilizing Lotion pH Balance and end with their Physiodermie Hydro-Control Cream. Recently, I’ve added the Khiels Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado to the mix, both morning and night.
Do you wear makeup and if so what do you do?
A little like my three step morning and night routine, my make-up routine also consists of a short three-step process. I use Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation (I swear by this product), Chanel’s Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in No.30 and Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara.
Any favourite products you can’t live without?
Khiel’s Crème de Corps is by all means a huge splurge (my skin drinks it, especially at this time of year) but something I cannot live without. I buy the industrial size and even have my husband pumping away post-shower to indulge in that little bit of heaven. It’s unscented and gives your skin a super pretty shine.
Do you carry anything around in your bag?
I carry everything in my bag! My three-step make-up routine is always in my bag. I always have a pair of sunnies (currently Ray Ban’s black rim classic aviator), my planner (can’t go anywhere without it) and a notebook and pen (I keep all initial meetings with clients old-school, strictly paper and pen!) Aside from those basic items, I’ve always got a hand sanitizer (cant ever be too careful), a loose change bag for parking meters, a measuring tape and flower cutters (you never know!) and plenty of business cards.
What do you do to style and care for your hair?
I have very thick, healthy hair. I could get away with washing it twice a week, and often do. One of those two times, I generally visit my friends at Barberella’s Salon on Queen Mary. I am a firm believer that we can never wash our own hair as well as the hairdressers do! There, either Cassandra or Steph will give me a blow dry, often followed by some waves with the hair wand to keep things exciting. My hair will last and look fancy all weekend, and I’ll usually wash it, blow-dry it and curl it myself early the following week. But it’s just never as good as when they do it…
Do you have a beauty philosophy?
I generally have always been the type of girl that put effort into how I looked. I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever over done it, or underdone it either. I’ve also always felt that if I looked good, I would feel good. Generally, that has remained consistent. I think we walk with a little more confidence and have a little more presence when we radiate a good vibe, which to me starts with ourselves.
How do you get a good night’s sleep?
Lately, I don’t at all being 7 months pregnant! I have always been an easy sleeper, sticking to one side in my own little corner and now there is no position that is comfortable! I very much took for granted how easily a good night’s sleep would come to me. Personally, in the past I would always get a good night’s sleep by listing the ways I would seize the next day. Usually the list itself got so long it put me to sleep!
Has there been any moment in your life you felt especially beautiful?
If I would have read this question at month four of my pregnancy, where I was still at an awkward in between stage somewhere between a bump and gut – I probably would’ve answered very differently! Today at 7 months pregnant, there is no doubt in my mind that 17 lbs heavier, a new blemish almost daily as well as bags under my eyes from the no-sleep situtation, I’ve never felt so exceptionally pretty. There is something unique to the way every woman’s body transforms differently. There are downsides but the upside to being able to carry your child within you – it makes you feel that at this time, you’ve never looked better.
What are your favourite restaurants?
I am not much of a breakfast/brunch connaisseur but have a few notable experiences in the city – namely brunch at Lawrence, Pastaga and recently at the Laurier gem Barbounya. It’s a Turkish take on classic breakfast that was fabulous.
As long as I can remember, my go to pizza in the city has been and remains Bottega Pizzeria on St Zotique in Little Italy. The hospitality, home cooked quality and over all welcome that my friends and I have always been shown in this establishment is nothing short of spectacular.
Only a few streets away, you can find Impasto. Undeniably the best pasta in the city, they also have other starters and mains that are always impressive and have never disappointed me.
Another favorite of mine (non-Italian this time) is the Syrian restaurant Damas. After closing for a short time last year after a fire on Parc Avenue, they’ve moved to a bigger location on Van Horne. They have the same rich flavors and same generous portions.
Do you have a favourite salon?
My go to for my hair are the girls at Barberella’s on Queen Mary. Both Cassandra and Steph own the place and treat everyone like family, where every visit is paired as equally with a great time as with gorgeous hair. From casual waves, cuts, colours and updos’ it’s a one stop shop for everything hair you could possibly need.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I look back and think of my younger self (and can’t help but laugh), I often find myself wondering how I got by. I was responsible, but reckless in some of my decisions – living by YOLO long before that was a thing… But when I look back and wonder how or why I came to making some decisions or how or why I ended up in certain situations, I now know something for sure. Every single one of those decisions somehow led me to today. If I met my younger self now, I’d reassuringly pat myself on the shoulder knowing that the lessons will come and make me better and stronger. I’d tell myself that every path, whether career, love or friendship will lead its way to a bigger lesson or to a greater good – even if in that moment or in that year or even in the following five years it doesn’t seem that way – because every day my older self is thankful for my younger self.
What’s the favourite thing about what you do?
My favorite thing about what I do is that there is an opportunity to create, through my job. There is an opportunity to put things together and to make something beautiful that in turn will make someone else happy. Whether it’s a bouquet to be delivered as a surprise to someone special or a piece to sit comfortably on your coffee table for you to admire while you sit in solitude, both bring happiness. There is something peaceful amongst the chaos of running your own business when the bottom line of what you do is really to bring joy to other people.
Header Photo and Maternity Couple Photo Credit: Monique Weston Photography
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