An entrepreneur looking to bring capital to Quebec

When he played football, Jean-Philippe Robert charged at his opponents with intensity and determination. Today, he and his two brothers run their high-quality winter coat company, Quartz Co., in the same way.

The 39-year-old discovered his entrepreneurial spirit during his studies by selling printed T-shirts for student and sports clubs. A little experiment that gave a foretaste of his future.

“I wanted to be at the head of a brand,” says Jean-Philippe Robert in a long interview. I wanted it and I was ready.”

In 2015, he found an opportunity that matched his search criteria. After doing his homework, he decided to buy a winter coat company whose factory was in Saint-Hyacinthe.

“I knew nothing about takeovers,” explains the Montreal native. It wasn’t a model that I had much to do with. The examples were not numerous.”

When he arrived at the helm of the company with his brother Xavier, he resisted the temptation to shake things up.

“It was a profitable business. The company needed a renewed image, but I was told that I had a jewel in my hands,” explains Mr. Robert.

In the first five years he made a name for himself by gradually changing the collections so as not to disrupt consumer habits too much.

“They have an existing customer base and a recognized product. You have to recognize the things that work well. You want to add your spices, but you have to measure when to add them to your sauce during cooking.”

GEN portrait of Jean-Philippe Robert, boss at Quartz in Montreal.

Photo agency QMI, Mario Beauregard

In recapture mode

Robert will have a lot of work ahead of him in the coming year. He would like to rebuild and strengthen his company’s international business relationships.

“Since COVID, the cards have been reshuffled. With a stronger product and a broader collection, we are going on the offensive for the markets of France, Germany, Scandinavia, the USA and Asia.”

Wholesale sales in the Canadian market and internationally account for half of Quartz Co’s sales. E-commerce and sales in its stores are the other sources of revenue.

For Robert, there is a personal mission behind this: to bring capital back to Quebec.

“We lack income. We need to encourage companies to export. If we do this, we will bring capital to Quebec that will fund education and health. It raises the tide for everyone.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to go outside. Boundaries are easier to cross.”

GEN portrait of Jean-Philippe Robert, boss at Quartz in Montreal.

Photo agency QMI, Mario Beauregard

A family affair

Robert did not hesitate to surround himself with a strong team that included his brothers Xavier and Guillaume.

The first handles the company’s finances, while the second manages production at the Montreal factory. The qualities of each member of the family trio are used to the maximum.

“We have very different profiles,” explains Jean-Philippe. We are aligned with the same values ​​and interests.

“I have two very good wingers. On the other hand, according to the files, we change positions in the trio. I knew it would work because we learned in the same place.” Robert wanted to share his adventure with Quartz Co to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in Quebec.

According to him, there will be many opportunities in the coming years.

“It requires interest and a down payment comparable to what you have to pay to buy a house,” explains the boss of Quartz Co. The companies to be acquired are small and large. There is something for every taste.

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