Marguerite Ducharme was a plumassier (feather-maker) and fleuriste (flower-maker), one of the last in Quebec. Her passion for the profession began in 1941 when she was hired as a secretary/accountant for the millinery Petit et Lefebvre, a major producer of artificial flowers and ornamental feathers.
The young woman asked her employers if she could make some hats during her break. Her creations quickly became popular with retailers and she was subsequently appointed head of the workroom.
In 1966, Marguerite Ducharme purchased the company, which employed approximately thirty workers at its Bleury Street studio in Montreal. She produced one or two collections of hats every year until the late 1970s. In 1981, she closed the atelier because hats had fallen out of favour. However, she continued to craft silk flowers and ornamental feathers in her home, selling her creations to department stores, specialized shops, and renowned milliners, including Yvette Brillon, Irene Burstyn and Anita Pineault. Marguerite Ducharme also worked with the costume departments of organizations like the Grands Ballets Canadians, the Théâtre du Rideau Vert and Cirque du Soleil.
In 1999, the Centre national de recherche et de diffusion du costume in Montreal presented an exhibition of Marguerite Ducharme’s work. Marguerite Ducharme continued to ply her trade in her Sainte-Rose basement until she was in her 80s. She died in 2005.
« Ducharme, Marguerite » Généalogie Québec, https://www.genealogiequebec.com/necro/accueil, 14 July 2005, https://www.genealogiequebec.com/necro/quebec/a-travers-le-quebec/la-presse-montreal-qc/50188/DUCHARME-Marguerite/avis-de-deces.
« Les journées de la culture : Vivre de ses plumes », La Presse, 22 September 2003, (récupéré dans Eureka)
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor