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Profile of a Freelancer - Marie-Claude Toutant

<p><img alt="Image blog Momenteo" class="aligncenter size-full" src="" /></p> <p>Freelance Profile - Meet inspiring people who have chosen to earn a living by being self-employed. Through a very humanistic perspective, discover their story, unique lifestyle, and challenges.</p> <h3><strong>1. Tell us about yourself.</strong></h3> <p>My name is Marie-Claude Toutant and I am an event florist and the owner of Fleurs &amp; Cie. I design floral arrangements for weddings and corporate events. I also have another job that few people know about. When I&rsquo;m not preparing for an event, I travel around to different regions in Quebec to give a hand to florists. I help them with corporate restructuring, manpower, parties, and training for employees. This is my nomadic side and I love that this opportunity allows me to interact with people who do the same job as me! One of the most important aspects for me in my company is to include my environmentally friendly values. Our priority is to use local flowers, provide fair prices and not use any plastic in our workshop. We also donate our surplus flowers to associations or seniors&#39; residences.</p> <h3><strong>2. Where does your immense passion for flowers and your profession come from?</strong></h3> <p>I have always been a lover of art and nature. Floristry work for me is the perfect combination! I did my education a little impulsively. However, for almost 20 years now, I have continued to flourish in what I believe to be one of the most beautiful trades in the world. We sell a product that brings happiness and joy to our customers. We are a part of important moments in people&#39;s lives and for me, that is very rewarding.</p> <h3><strong>3. How did you become self-employed?</strong></h3> <p>In 2010, after living in France for 3 years, I moved back to Quebec. When I came back, a former employer offered to develop the event side of his/her business, but the salary was not suitable. Events have always fascinated me and the challenge was intriguing. In a very spontaneous way, I created Fleurs &amp; Cie. It was quite a challenge since the concept of event florist did not exist or there were very little 10 years ago.</p> <h3><strong>4. What is the most difficult part of self-employment?</strong></h3> <p>Definitively accounting. I had to learn to be disciplined and orderly since I do everything myself. I am a passionate artist and the paperwork bores me a lot. That&#39;s why I use programs like Momenteo. Everything is so much simpler and more effective!</p> <h3><strong>5. Which part of being self-employed do you like the most?</strong></h3> <p>So many things come to mind ... Mainly, I think it&#39;s about the ability to create my own schedule. It allows me to have a lot of freedom and manage my time as I want. I serve my clients by appointment. Which means in a day I can make time to pick up my flowers directly from my supplier and work in the evening. The 9 to 5 model just does not suit me!</p> <h3><strong>6. Tell us about your work routine.</strong></h3> <p>My routine changes depending on the season. From December to June, I mainly spend my time meeting with customers to plan their events, providing cost estimates and ordering flowers. July to October is wedding season. On Wednesdays I get my flowers from my supplier, Thursdays and Fridays we make the flower arrangements. Saturdays, we deliver and do the installation (I often have several weddings on the same day). On Sundays we have to take down the decorations. October and November: I go around the province of Quebec doing freelance contracts.</p> <p>My quietest time of the year is typically December and January. I often take the opportunity to close the shop and go on a trip. I can meet with clients via Skype and provide cost estimates wherever I am at. Another benefit of being self-employed!</p> <h3><strong>7. What are the online tools you could not live without?</strong></h3> <p>Momenteo is without a doubt my favorite program for billing. It&rsquo;s simple and efficient.</p> <h3><strong>8. How did you learn about Momenteo and how long have you been using it?</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp;I think I&#39;ve been using Momenteo for over 4 years now. I needed a simple and efficient way to manage my billing. I did an internet search to find the most popular management software for SMEs and Momenteo was on this list. I tried it for a month and saw how fast and perfect it was for my needs. Since then, I only use it!</p> <p><strong>9. What makes Momenteo different from other accounting programs? </strong></p> <p>It&#39;s so easy to use and the program offers a lot of management options. Many that I have not seen elsewhere.</p> <h3><strong>10. How do you find your new customers?</strong></h3> <p>When I ask my clients how they found out about Feurs &amp; Cie, they typically tell me by someone who used our services or by an internet search (website or social networks). Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for a company like ours. Visuals are very important so we try to take a lot of pictures so that our clients can see our work.</p> <h3><strong>11. What are your tips for someone who would like to get into freelance?</strong></h3> <p>Know your own value! It&#39;s easy to evaluate the price of a flower, but the value of our work is more difficult to quantify. I was fortunate to be part of a team of trainers for Quebec florists. The team was mostly self-employed like me. We exchanged a lot about our rates and our experiences. It&#39;s very rare in our field. It allowed me to see how much to charge my clients and to know my true value.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>12. Which project are you most proud of?</strong></h3> <p>The creation of my company is one of my greatest achievements, of course. The part I&#39;m most proud of is that Fleurs &amp; Cie is an eco-friendly company. Ten years ago, ecology in my field was almost never spoken of and yet we work with nature! To have persevered through this and made my customers aware of fair trade and local flowers, for me it is one of my best achievements.</p> <h3><strong>13. Do you have any big plans for this summer?</strong></h3> <p>WEDDINGS-WEDDINGS-WEDDINGS and more WEDDINGS. The summer is going to be filled with lots of beauty!</p> <h3><strong>14. How Can We Contact You?</strong></h3> <p>By email:</p> <p>By phone: 819-701-8034</p> <p>Facebook and Instagram: Fleurs &amp; Cie.</p> <p>On my website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>