The Boutique Jacques Story
The story starts in 1935 in a town called Mukachevo in the heart of what was then Czechoslovakia. Jacques, our founder, just 13 years old left his home, in the village of Lochove, to go to the big city to learn a trade. There he met the Sternberg & Pasternak families who designed and tailored clothing for the elite of Czechoslovakia. They took a liking to young Jacques and offered him an apprenticeship with room and board. He soon learned the trade and it quickly became apparent that he was blessed with a golden touch. The war ravaged Europe and unfortunately he endured hell on earth. As the war came to an end, Jacques went back home and with a colleague gathered a bunch of young orphans, opened a tailor shop and worked hard at teaching them the trade to give them a profession and the ability to sustain themselves. Home, which once was democratic Czechoslovakia, became communist Russia. Many fled the country fearful of the new regime.
Jacques escaped Russia while it was still possible and landed in Holland. There he married Rose and together opened his first haute couture shop. Every item was an original, designed by Jacques and tailored by hand. Jacques and Rose quickly developed an elite customer base which included the Queen herself. The Korean War started and fear of another Holocaust encouraged the young couple with their baby boy, Leo, to flee to Canada and settle in Montreal. Jacques worked as a designer for several years and in 1958 opened his first shop in Montreal.
Jacques' first store, about 300 square feet, concentrated on made to measure clothing for both men and women. He loved his little business and his customers loved him. As time progressed he relied less on made to measure and developed quality lines of ready to wear clothing. Boutique Jacques grew through referrals from existing customers and eventually moved to its current location. Jacques never compromised on quality and his endearing personality helped him develop close relationships with suppliers who often afforded him great deals which he always passed on to his clients.
Jacques enjoyed his business immensely and knew his sons would feel the same passion, so in the early 80's, Leo and Harry, educated at McGill and Concordia, joined him to make the business a family affair. Rose, came in regularly and she developed a city wide reputation for her skill in matching accessories to a suit to enhance the image of her customer. Jacques ensured that the tailor shop produced quality that was worthy of the Boutique Jacques label. The brothers opened the door to new suppliers, more sophisticated business systems and helped Jacques extend his reach.
In 1999 Boutique Jacques launched its first website www.ExecStyle.com, likely Canada's first e-commerce clothing website, to better serve its clientele in other parts of Canada, the US and more distant locations. Later on, www.BoutiqueJacques.com was launched to showcase its merchandise. Google almost immediately promoted ExecStyle to first page status. Boutique Jacques, through ExecStyle.com, joined the fast moving e-commerce world and developed an international client base. One of the first sales was to a man from Sweden who wanted a tie from the Polifroni collection. He wouldn't leave his credit card details online and surprised us all with an envelope full of small bills and change. Another early sale was to a fisherman in Unalaska, Alaska who was getting married and needed a suit in a rush. Unalaska is one of the Aleutian Islands and it is closer to Russia than almost any place in North America. With a little help from UPS and their dog sleds, the suit arrived on time. Since, ExecStyle has delivered merchandise everywhere in the Americas, many European countries, even Russia.
Today, Boutique Jacques is run by Jacques' two sons, Leo and Harry. They enjoy greeting every customer personally especially those that call from distant places. The business today, caters to the well dressed man including many successful businessmen, professionals, politicians, famous actors and of course young men with great aspirations. Clients who find Montreal's best kept secret frequent Boutique Jacques from every continent. It is not uncommon for 3 generations of a family to build their wardrobes at the store.
Boutique Jacques is staffed with people who care and take pride in their customers' satisfaction whether their purchase is made on line or in the physical premises. Customers are almost always remembered and often by name along with their individual needs. The tailor shop is staffed with professionals trained by the master - Jacques himself. Boutique Jacques not only supplies a fine collection of clothing for men, its professionals are available to advise clients on whatever clothing dilemma they encounter.
Boutique Jacques always took an interest in students and has worked closely with HEC, the business school associated with University of Montreal. We proudly support their organization of young consultants, their stock market simulation events and several other activities. Boutique Jacques prepared a booklet on "Dressing for The Business Interview" to help the students dress appropriately for job interviews and the business world. This booklet became very popular and was the spark that inspired the Boutique Jacques seminar on "Dressing for The Corporate Environment". The seminar sensitizes individuals in the business world to the importance of dressing to create an appropriate image and how to dress to achieve the objective.
Jacques and Rose have many fond memories of the business and are enjoying seeing their boys running it with the same enthusiasm and values that made them successful. Leo and Harry are grooming the next generation to follow in the footsteps of the master... Jacques.