As a young man, Édouard Garneau seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. First a bike route and then a manager route at Louis Garneau.
Then one day he had enough of racing and that moment was pivotal for the rest of his journey: it led to the founding of Connec Outdoors in 2018.
“A friend introduced me to migratory bird hunting and I was very proud to bring a bird for dinner. Since then, I’ve been spending all my weekends in the forest,” says the 30-year-old young entrepreneur, who dispels all fears as soon as he invites himself out into nature.
His new found love for hunting and fishing gave birth to the idea of designing clothes better suited to these activities. Soft, technical clothing that breathes, stays dry in a variety of conditions, and then stays quiet and odorless.
First a division of Louis Garneau, Connec Outdoors could count on solid expertise.
“We always said to my brother and sister that one day we will take over the family business. But we realized that working as a family is more difficult than we thought. We couldn’t agree on certain things,” he admits.
fly with your own wings
In the major restructuring that saved Louis Garneau from bankruptcy in 2020, Connec separated from the parent company to become self-employed.
Édouard was able to keep one employee and eventually send home the team he wanted to grow his business with.
From his father, he says, he learned the need to look at the periphery and look away from operations to focus on goals.
“I also learned that it’s better not to drive too fast. Winning one goal per season is enough. And we mustn’t try to please everyone, that would deviate from our DNA,” he says.
Édouard completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance in Vermont.
When he was with Louis Garneau, he worked in sales in the United States. This experience made him dream of conquering the American market with Connec Outdoors from 2024. Standing up to the competition of giants is a challenge he takes on with confidence.
“We have the know-how to keep up with the big guys, even if we’re small. It doesn’t intimidate me. It’s not my goal to reach their scale, but I want to meet the needs of more and more enthusiasts,” he says.
Édouard believes he inherited his father’s creative and energetic side, but also his mother’s even-tempered and perceptive nature.
As a hunter, he has certainly honed his patience and perseverance, traits that are also very useful in a business leader.
Can we imagine seeing him return to Garneau when his father retires?
“I don’t know if I can imagine going back… I really like what I do,” he reflects.
Édouard has rediscovered the joy of collaborating with his designer sister, but at the moment he and his father each have their own team.
But the path of an entrepreneur is never a straight line. Its destination is also never fully known. We’ll see where it leads.
♦ Connec Outdoors, Louis Garneau’s son’s business, supplies hunters and anglers with equipment.
“The freedom to let your creativity run wild. »
What are your inspirations?
“The coaches throughout my career that made me grow. I learn from the experience of others, I can listen. »
If you could change one thing in the world, would it be…?
“I would eliminate starvation. But my achievable goal: to help people detach from the stresses of society by helping them reconnect with nature. »
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