Sunday, May 15, 2011

Donna Robichaud Custom Draperies - fit for a Queen

When Donna Robichaud was growing up under the watchful eye of protective parents, she had no idea that one day she would help create restful spaces for visiting dignitaries, especially the Queen.

She tried working at a bank for a time but as Donna says, “A creative person just can’t survive in a black and white world.”

She and her husband Don Robichaud of FloodLight Consulting moved around Central and Eastern Canada. It was when they were in Ottawa, two young daughters in tow, that Donna decided to create her own income. Naturally talented at arranging anything to look good, Donna put some flower arrangements together and approached the manager at the Hudson’s Bay Company. “He loved what I showed him and I got the contract to display my work with the Hudson’s Bay.” She loved working from home as she could make her arrangements and be with her small children.

After flower arrangements came curtains; Donna needed new ones for her home so she made them. She discovered she was very good at it and began making them for friends. Her simple pair of curtains turned into the opportunity of a lifetime.

While working part time at a fabric store she was introduced by one of her curtain customers to the “Decorator of Official Residences” in Ottawa. She was impressed with Donna’s work and quickly signed her to a contract.

Donna was now part of a team that decorated, revamped and revitalized such residences as Rideau Hall and Rideau Guest House as well as the residences of the Governor General, the Speaker of the House and the Prime Minister.

In 1997, in preparation for the Queen’s visit, Donna was part of the team called in to update a room at Rideau Hall. The rooms are redone approximately every 15 years yet need to maintain their classic style. For the Queen’s room, Donna was responsible for the bedding, including bed skirts, covers, pillow coverings etc.

Donna was again involved with the update of the Residence of the Speaker of the House which was the original residence of Mackenzie King. This residence is better known as "The Farm" and it rests in the beautiful Gatineau Hills of Quebec. “Because of the history of these homes, it was like having the ghosts of everyone who made Canada great watching you. It wasn’t spooky; in fact it was quite comforting knowing how much history was there.”

Donna and her husband moved to the Okanagan in 2003 and she now “works with regular people.” She looks back on her past experience and knows she wouldn’t change a thing. “My girls learned that you can raise a family and be self-sufficient. They’ve seen me do it and now I see them all grown up and very self-reliant and independent.”

Donna usually doesn’t like to tell people about her past work. “I don’t want people to think I’m out of their price range. I know all to well how to work within a budget for myself and I can easily do it for others.”

In the fall of 2011 Donna brought her business back to the Ottawa Valley and settled in the Historic town of Perth Ontario, nothing fancy, just a woman helping other people make their homes look and feel as wonderful as their owners.

Donna Robichaud Custom Draperies and Design specialize in Custom Draperies and Curtains serving the Ottawa Valley from , Perth, Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, Almonte, Arnprior, Stittsville, and Kanata.
You don’t have to be a Queen to gain the benefit of her experience; however, once she’s through with your home, you may feel like you are.

For more information contact:

Donna Robichaud
Custom Draperies and Design
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada