Meet Zohra | Portraits of merchants & professionals of Côte-des-Neiges
As part of the Portraits of merchants & professionals of Côte-des-Neiges project, we invited Zeineb Khalfallah (@zeineb_conscience on Instagram) to join us in our visit of 11 businesses of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges who have participated in the project. In addition to the exhibition on Promenade Jean-Brillant of the pictures taken by Drowster and Gaëlle Leroyer, Zeineb shares with us the moments she took with the owners and managers. Learn more about your merchants and professionals of the Côte-des-Neiges district! // Find out more on Zeineb talks and meet Zohra, the owner of Lunetterie Côte-des-Neiges!
Zohra Bensenouci is originally from Algeria where she taught biology. After immigrating to Canada at the age of 34, she studied optometry which led her to launch Lunetterie Côte-des-Neiges. Since 2000, Zohra has been welcoming customers from all cultures to examine their eyes and beautify their look with eyewear that caters to all facial styles and morphologies.
“The freedom to work at my own pace and the desire to be an entrepreneur led me to open my own business.” Tells Zohra to explain the reasons that led her to start her own business.
At the beginning of her career, a large part of the citizens of the borough were English-speaking, whereas the optician spoke mostly in French. Despite the language barrier, the businesswoman was able to build strong ties with her clients who became loyal over time. “Basically, I’m French-speaking and I used my basic English to communicate with my clients. I had no difficulty maintaining discussions and communicating about my profession.” She clarifies.
To launch her business, Zohra chose Côte-des-Neiges, where she has always lived. Its multiculturalism and the open-mindedness of its inhabitants have meant that she has never left the neighbourhood since her arrival. “The people who live here are friendly. I’ve even made friends through my clientele!” Zohra exclaims to share her enthusiasm.
The entrepreneur heavily relies on the relational aspect and this is what differentiates her from her competitors. “I offer a personalized service. We speak the language of each customer and we make a lot of effort to humanize our consultations and the experience within the business. Customers enjoy talking with us and often end up sharing aspects of their personal lives with us.” Emphasizes the owner of Lunetterie Côte-des-Neiges.
Writer-journalist-reviser: Zeineb Khalfallah | Photo credit: Drowster
Complete the experience by visiting the free exhibition on Promenade Jean-Brillant from September 15 to December 5, 2021. Info: here
ABOUT THE PROJECT: Portraits of merchants and professionals of Côte-des-Neiges is a project aimed at connecting citizens with businesses in the territory of the Société de développement commercial (SDC) Côte-des-Neiges. Through a series of portraits taken at 11 businesses and businesses, we discover 16 owners and managers of businesses in the area. This social and cultural project is intended to be a real encounter with the people behind the professional. Through this very first edition, you will discover women and men, young professionals and experienced entrepreneurs, from different cultures, from different backgrounds, offering a varied commercial offer and all having in common their love for Côte-des-Neiges. Discover the exhibition section here on the Promenade Jean-Brillant and continue the experience online thanks to the touching interviews carried out with each of them and available on the SDC Côte-des-Neiges blog and via QR codes on each panel. This project is an initiative and is under the artistic direction of the SDC Côte-des-Neiges. The exhibition component was produced in collaboration with the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges and the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.