Lise Watier | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Lise Watier

Marie Ginette Jeanne Lise Watier, OC, OQ, businesswoman (born 8 November 1944 in Montreal, QC). Lise Watier is the founder of the company Lise Watier Cosmétiques, launched in 1972. She left the management of the company and retired in 2013 to focus on her foundation, the Lise Watier Foundation. She received many awards and distinctions throughout her career.

Lise Watier, circa 2011

Early Career

Lise Watier, an only child, grew up in Montreal, in the neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. She was always interested in feminine beauty and made it her life’s work. During the 1960s she began her Quebec radio and television career by hosting women’s programmes (see Radio and Television Broadcasting). Through listening to the needs of her audience, she decided to launch her own business and began a journey that would lead her to the top echelons of business in beauty products.

Lise Watier Cosmétiques

In 1968, she founded her beauty company, the Lise Watier Institute. It was an innovative concept at the time, because in addition to lavishing beauty care on her clients, she taught them about various topics from make-up to self-empowerment. Faced with a lack of products that responded to her high standards, and inspired by the biography of her mentor Helena Rubinstein, Lise Watier set out to create and manufacture her own beauty products. She worked in tandem with a chemist who taught her the ABCs of cosmetology.

In 1970, Lise Watier married Guillermo Andrade, of Mexican origin. They travelled frequently to Mexico and Lise Watier became interested in the aloe vera plant, widely used there and which had moisturizing and healing properties. She then introduced it into her high-end products, products distributed worldwide through her new company: Lise Watier Cosmetics. As a tribute to her husband, she named her first perfume Andrade, after him.

In 1990, Lise Watier lost her factory and warehouse located on Nuns’ Island to a devastating fire (see Verdun). Several months later, she opened a new factory in Montreal. Her products appeared in Paris, the world’s cosmetics and perfume capital, to a more than favourable welcome. They were also available in Saudi Arabia, Spain, Japan, the United States, the Philippines and Russia. Next on the market was her new perfume, Neiges, dedicated to the women of Quebec. This perfume, a personal favourite of its creator and the business, would for years be a top seller in Quebec and Canada.

Did you know?
In 1992, the Toronto-based Profit Magazine acknowledged Lise Watier’s contribution to entrepreneurship by naming her one of the ten Canadian entrepreneurs of the decade. From 1993 to 1998, she was named Woman of the Year by the Léger & Léger polling firm.


In 2007, Lise Watier sold her business to her Ontario partners, Imperial Capital Corporations, but with her second husband Serge Rocheleau, and two daughters, Marie-Lise and Nathalie, she has remained involved in the company that now offers a range of more than 350 products. In 2013, Lise Watier left the management of the company to focus more on her charitable foundation, the Lise Watier Foundation.

Philanthropy

Deeply concerned with helping women, Lisa Watier set up the Lise Watier Foundation in 2009. The Foundation’s mission is to help women and girls in need build better lives. In partnership with the Old Brewery Mission, the Foundation helped finance the creation of the Lise Watier Pavillion located in the Montreal neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Its 29 social housing units welcome the homeless, and help them overcome their problems and dependencies and make a fresh start (see Homelessness in Canada).

Awards and Distinctions

Further Reading

External Links