#WhatDrivesHer: Maude Rondeau, Founder of Luminaire Authentik
Follow Maude’s journey in the Cadillac XT5 on Instagram @rondeau.maude and @luminaire_authentik
Maude had a brilliant idea.
She was going to walk away from a 15-year fashion sales and marketing career to start a lighting business, with little to no expertise on how electrical circuits worked. “People thought I was crazy,” laughs Maude. “Deep down, I knew that I wanted to create something of my own, something where I could be creative. I couldn’t let fear get in the way of my dream.”
Always the design enthusiast, Maude discovered a void in the Quebec market after decorating her new home. Discouraged by the lack of quality and choice, she saw an opportunity to combine her passion for lighting and architecture with her experience in European fashion. Thus, the idea for Luminaire Authentik was born––a lamp manufacturing business that specializes in made-to-measure contemporary and industrial-style lighting for commercial and residential spaces.
“If I was going to risk everything, I was going to make sure it was worth it.”
Maude bet on herself. She resigned from her career, uprooted her life and moved from Montreal to Quebec’s Eastern Townships to devote her efforts to building her business. “You can’t do something half way,” explains Maude. “If I was going to risk everything, I was going to make sure it was worth it. I sacrificed a career, a lifestyle, social outings, sleep, everything. It was the best decision I have ever made. It doesn’t feel like work.”
It was in the Eastern Townships where Maude’s dream really started to take shape. She studied the ins and outs of wiring under the guidance of a local electrician and was able to express her creativity through her moulds and hand-made fixtures.
“I was always attracted to lighting and its power to steer a person’s mood with the right ambience,” confesses Maude. “I was determined to learn, and once I understood the inner workings of the lighting fixtures, the possibilities became infinite.”
“We are daring in a big way.”
It wasn’t long before Maude’s supply started creating a demand in the market. Luminaire Authentik hit the ground running, and they haven’t looked back. In three short years, LA (as the brand is stylized) has been able to carve out a pretty place for itself. But Maude isn’t satisfied. Like most forward thinkers, she has her sights set on what’s next. “We are growing so fast, that we are daring in a big way,” she says. “Bigger space, bigger markets, bigger opportunities.” In addition to its strong restaurant and hotel partnerships, the upstart brand has a few notable creative partnerships in the works, and a strategic expansion is planned for the rest of Canada, and the United States.
Despite her personal achievements, Maude is quick to praise her team. “The key to success is finding the right people. I am surrounded by creative individuals who inspire me to be better every day. I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve in three years.”
When asked if she had any regrets, Maude had just one.
“When I look back, I should have done this years ago.”