Many people dream of leaving their full-time jobs to pursue more fulfilling, creative pursuits, but it takes a special type of person to actually do so. Isna Kimbembe is one of them: she left her plush corporate job at Bouygues telecom in order to challenge herself personally, professionally, and intellectually. In her own words, she said “bye-bye!” to her comfortable life.
Isna’s company, Des-Kodes, provides an innovate concept for travelers with a passion for local, ethical fashion. Customers sign up online, describing their style and personal tastes as well as the type of activities their trip will entail, and Des-Kodes provides them with a suitcase at their destination full of clothes designed by local stylists. And if a customer loves a clothing item and can’t imagine parting with it, she can even buy it and take it home to keep.
While Isna’s company appeals to all of us who’ve ever lugged an unnecessarily heavy suitcase on a short trip, she hasn’t always had the self-assurance she does today to pursue her idea. She acknowledges that having confidence and finding investors were her biggest hurdles in the journey to entrepreneurship; nevertheless, through research and networking she gained the necessary conviction to move forward.
“Networking is essential to meet different people, find new partners and investors and learn useful tips from people’s experiences. As an entrepreneur today, I meet at least 10 people a week through networks such as A City for Her and I love it”.
Her favorite motto or quote?
“Craziness is behaving the same way and expecting different results”.
When she finally decided to make the shift from the corporate world into entrepreneurship, Isna cut her hair as a symbolic gesture of this giant leap of faith. Ever since, she continues to live her life unafraid of change.
A City for Her is a women’s networking community that brings together dynamic businesswomen, women business travellers, entrepreneurs, start-up founders, project initiators, freelancers, and motivated students from around the world. More than 5000 women are part of A City for Her community.