Homegrown Business: Aïcha Bamby Ndoye of Cherish Demure

Cherish Demure is a small, locally-owned business making a big impact on women’s fashion. Specializing in stylish tote bags and activewear, this brand stands out by challenging conventional notions and promoting comfort and confidence over societal expectations. Beyond tote bags, Cherish Demure has ventured into activewear, addressing the need for clothing that goes beyond stereotypes. We spoke to Aïcha Bamby Ndoye, founder of Cherish Demure, to discuss her vision more.

Cherish Demure

What is your business called and what does it do?

My company is called Cherish Demure, with “Cherish” representing caring deeply about someone or something we love, and “Demure” reflecting the simplest and most modest approach possible. We believe that expressing love doesn’t require extravagance or fireworks; it can be done in a simple, genuine, and honest manner. “We cherish those we love”, that’s what Cherish Demure wants to demonstrate. Cherish Demure is an environmentally conscious and ethically driven activewear brand. We initiated our business with the pre-launch featuring eco-friendly tote bags—simple and modest accessories designed for all active women. Soon, we will be unveiling our inaugural line of clothing.

What made you want to do this work?

I wanted to launch my activewear clothing business to challenge stereotypes surrounding women’s fashion. Instead of emphasizing the need to “dress to impress,” my focus is on helping women feel comfortable in their bodies.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

As a woman who leads an active lifestyle, I struggled to find the perfect activewear outfits. Drawing from my personal experiences, which include overcoming psychological challenges from my past and enduring criticism suggesting that women should avoid certain types of clothing to avoid negative attention from men, women’s health has become a cause close to my heart. Making women feel comfortable and confident is my top priority. Women are my number one priority and driven by my journey, I aim to make a real impact by reshaping activewear fashion for women, all while maintaining an eco-friendly approach. I believe in the strength to bring about meaningful change, and this endeavour is my way of contributing to that change.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our primary clientele consists of women aged 18 to 30 who lead active lifestyles, are financially comfortable, prioritize eco-responsibility in their lives, and are predominantly located in Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Luxembourg—countries where an active lifestyle is emphasized.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We are currently generating revenue through the sale of our eco-friendly tote bags at CAD 20 and our gift cards at CAD 10. Our substantial profit margin is because our environmentally conscious tote bags are produced in Canada (Toronto), where we are based, eliminating the need for expensive transportation costs. As for our upcoming activewear line, we have partnered with a 100% eco-responsible manufacturer in Bali. We negotiate reasonable prices to ensure sufficient profits to sustain our business operations, with a primary focus on offering high-quality and durable products. We adamantly oppose fast fashion, opting not to produce in large quantities. Instead, we conduct market research to understand the genuine needs of our customers. In alignment with our values, we plan to give back a portion of our profits to Women for Women International and Women in Global Health (WGH), non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting women’s health globally. Eventually, Cherish Demure aspires to establish its non-profit organization to further propagate its movement.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are currently based in Montreal, where I work from home while pursuing my pre-university studies in the International Baccalaureate program at College Jean-de-Brébeuf. Depending on my future university projects and where I will be heading for university, Cherish Demure would like to have its own office space to manage its inventory.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

The best question a potential customer could ask would be: “What values does Cherish Demure emphasize for progression?” I would respond that Cherish Demure is in constant evolution and aims to uphold its values by always seeking to go further and continually improve. Our ultimate goal is for every woman worldwide to find comfort in our company, whether through wearing our clothing, using our tote bag, or experiencing our customer service. We are always ready to assist others, as this is what truly matters for our progress and our mission to bring about tangible changes in society. While we have significant plans for our business, our foremost priority is to communicate to each of our customers that our humanistic values, centred on respect for women and the protection of the environment, will remain unchanged. As the name suggests, Cherish Demure cares about “her” with dignity and modesty.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best thing about what I do is the freedom to have 100% control over my creativity and ideas. I am someone who likes to dabble in everything, exploring and creating all sorts of things that are sometimes as original as they are crazy but contribute to the future of Cherish Demure. As an independent woman, both in the process of creating my business and in its direction, I find it incredible to have started from absolutely nothing to form a project that has a real purpose, a deep meaning in the eyes of all women who dream of being as free in their bodies as I am. One of the challenges lies in effectively managing my time. Being a full-time student is crucial to me as education plays a significant role in my intellectual and personal growth. I have a passion for learning and staying informed, yet at times, especially in a rigorous program, striking a balance between academics and managing my business proves to be demanding. Nevertheless, successfully navigating both running a business and pursuing studies necessitates a certain level of discipline. With my unwavering dedication, I am confident that it is an achievable feat.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Running a fashion brand is a bit like being a chef who never eats their cooking—except at Cherish Demure, we not only create the fashion, but we also savour every stylish moment!

Where can we follow you?

You can follow our business on Instagram and my account. We also have a TikTok account, and you can visit our website.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

A local business that I admire is Safran Collection, which stands out for its simple and modest jewelry that is both original and of incredible quality. Plus, it’s a small business, just like us, based in Montreal!

 

About Emilea Semancik 64 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: