Hello love! Tell us a little about you.
Hi! My name is Joëlle Paquette and a Montreal-based fashion and beauty journalist and founder of VERY JOËLLE
, which is a blog dedicated to conscious fashion and clean beauty. My story is a bit unusual, which, ironically, has become quite common amongst my generation.
Really early on, I knew exactly what I wanted to be: a fashion designer. After completing my degree at Lasalle College in Montreal, I flew to London to study at Central Saint Martins where I had a huge existential crisis. I’ll spare you the details, but suddenly, it felt like I wasn’t good enough to take on such a huge task. I started doubting myself like never before and eventually decided to come back to Montreal and enroll in the Fine Arts program. One night, I bumped into a friend at party, who was then working at a media publishing company and told me they were looking for some extra help for photo research, editing, etc. I got the job and, quickly, they learned about my interest for fashion, so I started writing for two of their magazines. And I’ve been writing freelance full time ever since.
Your IG feed is so beautiful & well curated - how would you describe your aesthetic?
First of all, thank you! I used to put a lot of effort in it looking cohesive, but right now, I have more of free-spirit approach. Visual identity is still important, but I put just as much effort in the overall content quality. Maybe it’s my journalistic side, but for me, it’s really important that a post is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also informative. Especially now that I exclusively focus on conscious fashion and beauty, there’s greater information to be passed on than just pretty visuals.
From where do you feel the most inspiration?
I try to get my inspiration outside of the fashion and beauty content that is already being created. Otherwise, everything starts looking the same. On Instagram, I follow many photographers, visual artists, food accounts, home decor, etc. When it comes to finding subjects for articles, I read a lot of magazines to get a sense of future trends and hot topics. Business of Fashion is amazing for that. Chatting with my friends is often a gold mine for inspiration. They’ll often come up with a question or a thought and I’ll be like “I should write about that”!.
When did your passion for writing come about? What do you tend to focus on?
I’ve always liked writing, but it only really became a possibility when I started working for magazines when I came back from London. Now, writing is everything. I think I’m so passionate about it because I’m genuinely curious about people, their creative process, why things are what they are. And writing allows me to share all those discoveries with the world.
Over the years, I’ve also become increasingly aware of the environmental and health impact of the fashion and beauty industry, so my work has shifted in that sense. A lot of people tend to think of conscious fashion and beauty as boring or too hard to adhere to, so my role is to give the plain hard facts while also making it approachable and fun. Style and makeup can easily be very shallow, but making it an environmental and social mission gives me a grander purpose.
So you're also a clean-beauty advocate; which Everyday Minerals products would you have on your wishlist?
I’m a big blush fan because I love using it both on my cheeks and eyelids to create a monochromatic look. Everyday Minerals has so many pretty shades of peaches and pinks, so blush it is!
And, while we're on the topic, how else do you show yourself some love in the form of self-care?
Since I work from home (quarantine or not!), I try to give structure to my day so I don’t end up in PJs at 5pm wondering if it’s even worth brushing my teeth now. That, for me, is self-care. It’s showing up for yourself. So every morning, I try to get ready for work even though I’m not going anywhere, which means that I’ll do my makeup, hair, and put on something that is not sweatpants. During the day, I’ll go for a run around my neighbourhood and do some stretches at home. It clears up my mind and helps with stress management a lot. At night, when possible, I try to stay away from my computer and cellphone as much as possible. Otherwise, I feel like I’m always working. I love cooking with a glass of wine, doing multiple face masks one after the other and reading. I always read at least 15 minutes before going to bed to help me fall asleep.
Can you name a few of your favorite sources for conscious fashion?
The Good Trade is definitely my number one! I also really like goop, which is amazing for clean beauty too, and Man Repeller, which often features small indie brands. And Instagram in general. I’ll often search for different hashtags, like #consciousfashion or #sustainablefashion, to learn about new brands and bloggers.
What was the pivotal point for you, when you knew exactly what you wanted to dedicate your life to doing?
Ask me again in ten years, haha! I ask myself so many questions all the time, I’m almost always going through a mild existential crisis. But I have to say that, since I’ve made informing people about conscious fashion and clean beauty, it’s given me a grander purpose. Matching my professional career with my personal values is the most powerful motivation.
And along the way did you face any obstacles, doubts, etc? How did you get through it?
Oh yes, all the time! I consider myself to be an artist, first and foremost, so as an entrepreneur, I’ve really had to develop my business side. Right now, my main challenge is how to make a good living from what I do, which might seem like a weird question to ask after 10 years of working in the industry. But my problem, and it’s going to sound super cliché, is that I love what I do so much, that I tend to fall in the trap of giving way more than receiving. Also, the other challenge is that I deal with a lot of small-scale companies, which don’t always have the means to afford my content creation and copywriting services. “How do I keep advocating for ethical brands while still making a decent amount of money?” is what I’m working on right now.
Follow Jöelle on Instagram! @veryjoelle
SHOP WHAT'S CURRENTLY IN JÖELLE’S COLLECTION:
Jane Lip Gloss
Hurraw! Green Tea Lip Balm
Pomegranate Lip Scrub
Sea Berry + Pomegranate Face Oil
Insta Naturals Vitamin C Toner