Melanie Ann Layer is a 33-year-old entrepreneur, founder and head of Alpha Femme, a luxury boutique coaching firm. Narcity Québec reports that in August, she made history in the Lower Laurentides with the purchase of a nearly $5 million mansion — a record sale for the Quebec subregion.
Layer spoke to Narcity Québec about her career journey, including a low point in which she had to sleep in her car.
How did Melanie Ann Layer start her career as a coach?
Layer described how, at age 25, she found herself without a job after breaking up with a boyfriend who had been a manager at the company she had been working for, Narcity writes. She relocated to Sherbrooke but initially failed to find success despite an aptitude for sales.
"I couldn't sell anymore. Everything I had always been able to do effortlessly, all of a sudden, there was nothing that worked at all," she said.
"I went from being the best salesperson in the whole company to not being able to sell a thing. Then my money started to [plummet]. I remember it was at a time with my family that it was really not going well. I was mad at everyone, I felt like everyone had contributed to the fact that it wasn't working out so well in my life."
She said she went broke as a result, eventually becoming unable to afford her accommodation.
"I'll never forget the first night I couldn't pay for my room in the motel I was staying at, and I had to sleep in my Civic," she told Narcity. "It was like the culmination of the worst time of my life."
How did Alpha Femme start?
Then a conversation with a friend put Layer on the coaching track.
"I have a friend who randomly called me to talk to me. She was struggling and what I had started to do for myself, I kind of introduced her to that." Others soon reached out for advice as well, Narcity writes.
Layer went on to start a scrappy coaching firm, charging $100 an hour. "I started my business and my name was 'the invisible coach.' It was really just word of mouth, that was the only way to find me."
In 2017, she took her business to social media. It exploded.
"I started a Facebook group and an Instagram page. Instead of being a life coach who was making maybe $100,000 to $200,000 a year, all of a sudden it started to grow. And what I was teaching was very cutting edge, the way I talk, the way I see things. It got a lot of attention."
Fast forward to 2021, and Alpha Femme is having its "best year ever," Layer told Narcity.
"What's special is that it started in 2017, and we made a million, before taxes, before all that. The other year we did $2.5 million, the other year we did $8.5 million and now we're up to $14 million in revenue."
What is Layer's advice for success?
But despite the success, insecurity can still haunt Layer. She said she has to remind herself that she deserves her success.
"What's hard is to have a drastic life change in the middle of your life and really be okay with it and say you deserve to be here."
"I didn't have a normal trajectory. I'm 33 years old, and I've lived and created a lot in those 33 years. It's trying to ground myself in the right to live this life right now and have what I have, to feel deeply that it's right and that I deserve it. That, I think, is the hardest part."
Her advice to those who will listen: "Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to anyone if you know inside you that it's right."
Narcity reports that Layer plans to move into her $5 million home in April 2022.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, accompanied by the mayors of Quebec's other four major cities, put out a statement on Tuesday imploring the Federal government to make a "firm commitment" to fight gun violence and gun trafficking.
"What we want is a clear plan [...] either we head towards an American-style society where the use of guns becomes banal and tragedies happen daily or the federal [government] takes responsibility" and acts on the issue, Plante said at a press conference.
"Cities are taking responsibility and continuing to do everything in their power to prevent violence, fight organized crime and keep our communities safe," the mayors said in a joint statement shared with MTL Blog.
"But we cannot do it all alone. We need a concerted, comprehensive, pan-Canadian effort."
The mayors cited the need to give more resources and funding to policing efforts like the border services or local law enforcement to fight against a surge of gun violence and gun trafficking.
Median condo prices in the Montreal area are up 20% compared to last August, according to a report by the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB). But some areas saw even bigger price increases.
The report looked at several general areas within the greater metro area, including Montreal Island, the North and South Shore, Laval, and the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
Of these, the report shows the North Shore saw the biggest increase in median condo prices between August 2020 and August 2021 with a 27% jump.
The QPAREB used data from Centris for the report and calculated median prices by dividing "all transactions into two equal parts: 50 percent of transactions concluded at a lower price than the median price and 50 percent concluded at a higher price."
The association noted that "some transactions may be excluded from the calculation to obtain a more meaningful median price."
The eight points are a mix of outside perspective, questions and advice for born-and-raised Montrealers. Among the advice: "it's a bagel, chill the f*** out." According to Parys, Montreal's Haitian cuisine and poutine take precedence over the much-discussed dough holes.
The Winnipegger also picked up on Montrealers' humility when it comes to their English proficiency. Often, as he points out, francophone Montrealers' English is much better than their anglophone counterparts' French.
All Montrealers might appreciate two of Parys's pieces of insight: that "you guys aren't crazy drivers, your rules just suck" (see it's not our fault!) and that "Quebeckers being rude is propaganda."
His other points include five archetypes of Montreal residents (shoutout to the ubiquitous "young men with chest fanny-packs") and, most importantly, the fact that "Celine Dion is a treasure."
We also thank Parys for bringing some much-needed attention to the revelation that is French fries with mayonnaise.
He concluded his post by thanking the city's residents.
"This is the first time I have lived outside of Winnipeg and I feel really welcomed," he wrote.
"This city strikes a perfect balance of enjoying life, economic opportunity, culture, great architecture, and friendly people."