Funny you should ask because I was just in the mood to tell you all about it. I grew up in a suburb of Montreal, St. Laurent. We always had a country house in the Laurentian mountains where we’d go weekends in the winter and then spend the summer. Around the time I was 10, my mother decided to open a ladies clothing store in the town we’d had our country house for several years, Ste. Agathe Des Monts, which is about 60 miles north of Montreal. I don’t have very clear memories of this but I do recall that there was a process where you had to have the name approved. Not sure who had this authority, maybe the city, but that’s not important. I seem to recall she’d tried a name that was a combo of all her kids’ names but it was rejected. Someone, I think an aunt, came up with Chez Chani (house of Chani.) Apparently stores had to have a french name and Chez Chani was inspired by my mother’s Hebrew name, Shoshanna. So that was the name of the store and everyone started calling her Chani. By the way it’s pronounced Shay Sh-ann-ee. Eventually we moved there, living along the lake, Lac Des Sables. And though it’s been many MANY years since I’ve lived there, and I’ve lived in several places since, Ste. Agathe was home to me like no other place has been. I will always miss it, as well as the bedroom set I was forced to leave behind.
I found the picture above on the internet. It’s the main shopping street in Ste. Agathe. The first Chez Chani was on the right a few doors down. A second store was opened later in St. Jovite about 20 minutes north. The other picture is a new bracelet design I’ve come up with. It is peyote stitched with Delica seed beads and there is a Swarovski crystal in each little window. I’m playing with a larger one now.
Imperfection is Perfection
4 weeks ago