Discover a fun and educational world
To beginning the New Year, we want to introduce you to an entrepreneur who has come a long way since January 2011, when she decided to enroll in the start-up training class of the Fonds d’Emprunt. Her florist job no longer suited her and she secretly dreamed of starting her own business. This is how Méli-Melo Rigolo was born and that Mélissa Paré went from employee to entrepreneur.
Her idea of a toy / games shop for children and adults was born from the fact that Melissa, a Lachute resident, was tired of having to buy toys outside the area. The offer in Lachute was rather limited and she thought that if she did not find what she was looking for, there were probably several others like her. So she opened her first shop on Principale Street on November 2, 2011. Her business is now located in the Carrefour d’Argenteuil shopping center. This new store is twice as big as before. When you enter Meli-Melo Rigolo, it’s like entering an Ali Baba’s cave. You enter a space where you can only put a smile on your face and where you make great discoveries. After eight years, she still offers local residents great gift opportunities.
Furthermore, Melissa does not want to step on anyone toes. She has the delicacy of respecting her competition. For instance, before buying a new toy, she makes sure that her fellow store owners in the region are not already selling it. There are 12,000 people in Lachute. Let’s not destroy each other, but rather help each other. According to Melissa, the retail business requires a lot of adaptation for the couple and the family by its opening hours 7 days out of 7. You have to be a champion of scheduling. The competition is well felt and in different forms: supermarkets, pharmacies that offer everything, online stores, etc.
She doesn’t regret her decision because she brings joy to her clients. She knows her clients, she knows their name, their taste, and she knows how to listen to their needs and advises them on the best choices to make. She is a specialist in toys, games and hobby items. She often sees her customers at the grocery store who shares with her the joy they have of playing with these games. It’s very rewarding to see and hear the way it makes people happy.
At first, many discouraged her and did not believe her project would survive. After 8 holiday seasons (the busiest time of the year), 2 part-time all year long employees, 2 more during the Christmas season and a fabulous inventory, she thinks back at these people and is very proud of having proven them wrong, to have carried on despite discouragement and difficulties.
An advice she would give to people who are thinking of starting their own business? Be well surrounded, seek help, either at Fonds d’Emprunt, at the MRC or otherwise.
For her, the FEL’s startup class was very helpful. Step by step, the agent helped her to complete her business plan. And once the store opened, she did not feel abandoned. She had a lot of follow up from the Fonds d’Emprunt. After all these years, she has gained a lot of confidence and is a better entrepreneur. She strongly recommends writing a business plan and conducting a full market study. “Be different, offer something new, something that’s missing out there,” she says! Interestingly for local entrepreneurs, she finds that there is a good tourist base not to be overlooked. She had the visit of Germans tourists and is very proud to know her games are being used so far away.
Looking for a board game, a puzzle, a special toy for your child or anything else? It’s a safe bet that Melissa will have it on her shelves. Otherwise, she will find it and order it for you. Did you know that there are 42,000 pieces of puzzles? Oh yes, she ordered one for a client. The man gave himself a year to achieve it … Also, she offend accept to consign new games from local creators. So what are you waiting for? Go have a look at Meli-Melo Rigolo store! You’ll be immediately convinced.