EN - Interview de Stéphanie
Tell us about your life facets!
I am Stéphanie, I am 43 years old, I am a bioplastic entrepreneur / future farm business manager / mother of two little boys / teacher / passionate about art in general.
Can you tell us your story?
Before all that, I had a fairly varied background. After an internship at the Met in New York I started working with an expert in old paintings.
After an MBA, I moved to the luxury industry and held various middle management positions for ten years, in marketing and media, in Paris and Hong Kong.
Then I managed an agency working on international high-end press at Publicis.
And finally, with the birth of my first child, I decided to build my own path, and I am very happy!
The company of which I am co-founder is my second start-up, the first was in the field of affordable-art.
‘‘ We must keep a part of innocence, otherwise living is not very fun!’’
What is your secret mantra which keeps you moving?
I am inspired by the powerful belief that you only live once. I like to try anything that interests me!
So I aim to keep a great curiosity of mind, and always a child's gaze at things.
But it is impossible to seize every opportunity, otherwise it would be necessary to have much more than one life!
You must have faced a real big challenge, moving from the world of luxury to the industry ...
Yes, it was a bit of a necessity for me. I worked in the support functions of luxury, far from the manufacture of the product. I felt frustrated that I was sometimes disconnected. I love the industry because we are faced with the reality.
‘‘I like the challenge to make possible technically complicated things.’’
Tell us what is bioplastic?
Our challenge was to make beautiful plastic products, but without plastic. Our products look like traditional plastic, but there is no oil inside. The material we use is based on a 100% vegetable plastic, composed of molecules derived from plant sugars rich in starch, and natural additives.
We make toys of it. Bioplastic is an alternative to traditional natural toys that is easy to use everyday (easy to clean) and has very bright colors that appeal to toddlers.
Our products have been certified 100% Biobased by the USDA, the equivalent of the US Department of Agriculture, and Made Safe®, which certifies that none of the components of our product is harmful to human health nor for the environment.
We are the only ones in the field of toys! This is a really good chemical safety guarantee for parents.
Now, we are looking for other uses for this plastic, it is our next challenge!
What is the project you are most proud of?
We started by buying a large part of the material from subcontractors but we did not were not satisfied: too many quality changes from one batch delivered to another, and a real headache at each production iteration. So we decided to make all the material mixture ourselves; a whole new challenge for us.
And now, we are both a producer of materials, a processor and we also sell products! It gives us another development potential for our company, we can also produce for others.
When you are an entrepreneur, you have to know how to constantly reinvent yourself.
‘‘The life of my loved ones is inspiring just as life can be read in novels.’’
What is your definition of audacity?
Not to be afraid of being judged. Launching your projects when you feel it, following your own impulse.
Does a woman's career inspire you particularly?
A very important person for me was my grandmother. A very elegant woman, with whom I particularly liked talking about fashion.
But also many friends who had the opportunity to reinvent their lives, by choice or by obligation. Change job, country, and each time find a kind of harmony. Falling on their feet gracefully like a cat!
These are "real" models that inspire me, not paper models, because I have a feeling, emotions with those people who touch me.
Was there a click that made you say "Now, I start”?
No. I have always thought of entrepreneurship.
In my immediate environment, there were mostly entrepreneurs. In addition, the rigid framework to follow in the wage, where we progress step by step on the hierarchical scale, it did not suit me very well. I always wanted to go faster than the machine, or to do things that were not necessarily planned by the machine ...
Rather than believing all your life that you do not have the profile, it is much simpler to be an entrepreneur. You can create your setting, the way you are, in your own way and at your own pace.
‘‘Rather than believing all your life that you do not have the profile, it is much simpler to be an entrepreneur.’’
In the midst of this hectic life, how do succeed in remaining feminine?
I am working today in an industral sector, far from the luxury codes where I used to work. My appearance, or the fact that I'm a woman, sometimes surprises.
Sometimes it's unpleasant to pass for someone superficial, but at least it often causes a good surprise!
Often women are afraid to work for indutrial companies, it is a sector traditionally seeming hard, with dirty environments. Girls are often destined for more "housewife" activities, clean and well organized ...
But do not be afraid, you have not been raised only in pink!
Tell us about perfume in your life...
A fragrance is like someone's signature. I changed a lot of activities, but very little of perfume.
I spray perfume as soon as I come out of my shower, and I reperfume again several times a day!