Timininous: an environmentally friendly brand that helps kids enjoy nature

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What happens when a young communications professional, fuelled by adrenaline, starts making children’s merino wool clothing. Starting an innovative business to solve a problem was the impetus behind Marie-Renée Grondin’s business project. Here’s the story of Timininous.

The tipping point in the life and career of Marie-Renée Grondin, president of Timininous, has a date and a name: Jules, her little boy, born in the summer of 2021.

Before Jules was born, the young businesswoman was in charge of digital communications for the premier during COVID, a job that was slowly and surreptitiously burning her out.

Work was her life. Jules brought her clarity, pointing her in the direction of her true priorities.

Marie-Renée loves the outdoors, and cross-country skiing in particular. During a trip to Portugal, when their baby was a few months old, the new parents walked from north to south and were struck by the range of temperatures. In a single day, they went from blazing sun, which demanded short sleeves, to cool, almost cold, weather, which required a warm sweater and windbreaker.

Marie-Renée knew from experience that the best fabric under such circumstances was merino wool. Merino clothing for adults is readily available, so she was surprised to learn that there was virtually nothing available for babies and young children.

A solution to every problem

Since she couldn’t find the merino clothing she wanted for her son, she decided to make it herself, founding Timininous, a children’s clothing business with a credo as clear as the water from a mountain stream: consume less, but better.

But the road from idea to reality is long, and obstacles soon sprang up in the budding businesswoman’s path. As a communications specialist, she knew nothing about the world of fashion, fabric, or manufacturing and marketing clothing.

Like the proud woman from Beauce that she is, she rolled up her sleeves and drew on two of her greatest strengths: her thirst for learning and her perseverance.

She quickly learned the tricks of the trade, weaving together a network of suppliers (for design, manufacturing, and the wool) and stitching together a business that reflects her strong values.

Sustainable development in her DNA

One of her values is sustainable development, which is central to Marie-Renée’s entrepreneurial venture.

This is evidenced in her desire to produce locally: every step of manufacturing — ideation, pattern design, handiwork — is done here in Québec.

Merino wool

The fabric that stars in Timininous products is merino wool. Marie-Renée chose it for its performance, eco-friendliness, and durability. Coming from sheep mainly from Australia and New Zealand, merino wool has the incredible property of regulating body temperature: it protects from the cold in winter and is cool and breathable in summer.

Three times finer than a human hair, it is fine and soft, and its antibacterial, anti-odour properties allow for extended wearing without frequent washing.

The perfect qualities to protect babies and children!

Clothing that endures

With its exceptional quality, Timininous clothing is built to last. It is scalable, keeping up with toddlers as they grow.

Its unisex design makes it easy to hand down from brother to sister to cousin, and it comes in classic colours that never go out of style.

What it comes down to is that Timininous clothing is designed to last and offer comfort and well-being to multiple children.

Favourable winds

Favourable winds are blowing for Timininous, which is in its second year of operation. The excitement is real: customers are enthusiastic, and demand is growing. The business, which sells mainly online in Québec, has set its sights on the English Canadian and European markets.

A great big playground that needs protecting

Marie-Renée Grondin sees nature as a great big playground: we need to enjoy it and reconnect with forests, parks, and mountains, all while protecting them. It’s essential!

And for our climate — which swings from tropical temperatures in the summer to Siberian cold in the winter — merino wool is the best friend to lovers of the great outdoors. Adults have long had brands that cater to them, and now kids have their own logo – Timininous.

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Thanks to the engagement of invaluable partners: Économie Québec, through its agent Investissement Québec, the Government of Canada, National Bank, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Fondaction, Evol has a large envelope to support, through conventional loans, businesses with inclusive, diversified ownership that generate positive social and environmental impacts in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG).

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To find out more about Timininous