Julie Houde is co-owner of Queensberry Rules Boxing Studio in downtown Dartmouth, and one of the newest directors on our Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission Board.
Julie brings an international perspective to our dynamic downtown Dartmouth team. When she is not teaching folks how to box in the studio, she runs a consulting firm focused on developing international trade strategies. Julie’s specialty is building connections between Nova Scotia and China. She speaks fluent Mandarin, French, Spanish and English.
“I didn’t really speak English until I was 16 years old! I was born and raised in Laval, Quebec, but I moved to Detroit with my dad for a year when I was 15. While he worked for General Motors, I attended a special high school for ESL students and picked up the language pretty fast.”
Julie lived and travelled around the globed but ended up settling in Nova Scotia in 2008 and more recently moved to Dartmouth.
“I found that Dartmouth was walkable, vibrant and had a good vibe. It reminded me a bit of Montreal, and a bit of some of the places I’ve visited in Europe.”
Aside from travel, Julie says her other passion is boxing. Ever since she first learned to throw a punch as a teenager, she has enjoyed the physical and mental release boxing offers. Julie met her current business partner, Laura MacPhee, through boxing at the now defunct Palooka’s gym. The two women realized they both lived in Dartmouth and had children at the same day care. They got to talking and thought the time was right to open Queensberry Rules boxing studio in 2018.
“No one does what Laura does with the way she coaches. And with my business sense, we knew we could create something great.”
Queensberry Rules continues to draw folks interested in boxing from all over HRM. There are classes for everyone from absolute beginners to competitive fighters. Julie says the majority of people who come to Q Rules for the first time have no former boxing experience, but their classes and programs allow members to push their skills as far as they want and even get in the ring if they wish to do so.
In co-owning Queensberry Rules and running an international consulting business, Julie brings a unique global perspective to our business community. She sees potential for Downtown Dartmouth to be a destination in itself; a place one must experience when visiting Nova Scotia.
“As a DDBC board member, I’d like to see if we could cooperate with cities like Berlin to see if there are projects we could potentially collaborate on, especially with public art. I know there could be synergies that would help bring greater global awareness of downtown Dartmouth.”
Julie says she has been all over the world and has chosen to live, work and raise her family here. Her dream is for downtown Dartmouth to continue to attract unique businesses and to continue offering festivals and events that draw locals and tourists alike.
“When I close my eyes and imagine the future of downtown Dartmouth, I see diversity – people from all walks of life grabbing coffee, sitting on patio tables, strolling about, shopping... I want the energy of a big city, but the feel of a small town.”