Homegrown Business: Laëtitia Damonsing from Dodo Bazaar

Dodo Bazaar is a Montréal-based business which offers services in sustainable fashion styling through the means of a curated thrifting boutique. We spoke with founder and creative director Laëtitia Damonsing to learn more about this inspiring and artistic project rooted in values like social justice and self-care.

Dodo Bazaar

What is your business called and what does it do?

Dodo Bazaar is an online and in-person upcycling atelier + vintage boutique based in Montreal. It is also a platform on the circular economy. Laëtitia, the owner, is a Mauritian-Canadian born in Montréal to immigrant parents. The name ‘Dodo Bazaar’ honours Laëtitia’s roots as it’s named after the extinct dodo bird native to Mauritius and the markets called bazaars which bring communities together. Online, Dodo Bazaar offers a variety of curated vintage + circular pieces ranging from home decor to clothing.

At the Dodo Bazaar Boutique in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood on Montreal, you can find vintage clothing, upcycled fashion + local designer goods. This business is grounded in her personal values including creativity, sustainability, racial justice, self-care, and more which she injects into the ethos of Dodo Bazaar. Coming from background in NGO, government, and social change work, I continue my advocacy through Dodo Bazaar which aims to combat overconsumption and textile waste through up-cycling and contributing to a circular economy.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve always had a creative drive and passion for art, beauty, and self-expression. During the pandemic and through a process of soul-searching and reimagining my own future, I reconnected with my playful artistic self and decided that Dodo Bazaar could be my way of contributing to social and environmental good while staying true to my passions in life.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Tackling waste reduction, promoting slow fashion, and illuminating the value of found-items is all part of Dodo Bazaar’s effort to work towards a more sustainable future.

I’m motivated by environmental and social justice, two issues that are deeply intertwined with each other as well as waste and pollution that results from the fashion industry. A large part of Dodo Bazaar’s community engagement is sharing education about these intersections, and informing followers and consumers about the power of their economic decisions. My greater mission is to create change through creativity and spreading information about human impact on the planet and others.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Dodo Bazaar places an immense value on diversity in all areas: size, race, gender, age, etc. Clients who seek out Dodo Bazaar tend to be eco-conscious, interested in luxury fashion, creatives, and small-business supporters.

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

Dodo Bazaar’s primary revenue stream comes from boutique and online sales. Word of mouth and social media are really important avenues of visibility as well as community events and pop-ups held at the boutique.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

You can find Dodo Bazaar at Dodobazaar.com or in person at 68 Rue Rachel E!

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

Question: What distinguishes you from other brands?

Answer: I am a super nerd and always have been. I seek knowledge and love to learn but what I love the most is sharing knowledge. I often use my platform to educate people on mindful consumption, the advantages of the circular economy, reducing the racial wealth gap, and other important topics I hold close to my heart. So, Dodo Bazaar is not just a vintage shop, it is an agent of change!

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

Best parts: Human connection, meeting new people, beautiful exchanges + meaningful conversations, sharing knowledge on the circular economy + mindful consumption, the community we’ve garnered over the years!

Worst parts: Not worst parts really, everything is a learning curve, things that are tough reveal your inner-strength, never a failure always a lesson and what is painful is always an opportunity for growth.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

You can spot a vintage curator/reseller in the streets by the big blue Ikea bag they are carrying filled with freshly sourced goodies.

Where can we follow you?

Website | Instagram

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

Deux Lions Jewelry, Inédit.e + Camila Gaza Manly