On July 12, a wonderful and dynamic group of 35 A City for Her members spent a fabulous evening at the chic and classy ElssCollection Concept Store, which is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
During this inspirational evening, Pascale Guasp and Déborah Soudry shared their stories about their switch From Employee to Entrepreneur. They explained in detail how they started their own business and what their motivations behind this big life change were. They also provided us with a great number of practical tips on how to start a new venture.
After a 20-year career in strategy consulting, Pascale Guasp took the decision to start her own business in luxury Women’s Ready-to-Wear rental. She wanted to create something from scratch.
How did she find her business idea?
During her corporate career, Pascale travelled a lot, and around the world. She was always away for business in order to attend important meetings, conferences, and workshops. Each time she had to dress up, she felt like she had nothing to wear.
And every time she asked herself the same question: ‘Why do I need to buy clothes?’
The sharing economy: a growing trend.
In today’s world, you don’t need to buy things anymore in order to use them. If you need a specific product or service at a given time, renting and sharing are becoming increasingly popular alternatives. (Read more here).
ElssCollection Concept Store – What is it exactly?
Renting dresses, whether for a wedding, a cocktail party, a ceremony, a professional event is the solution to wear beautiful designers dresses at a affordable price. Rental also provides the ability to vary one’s dressing room at the whim of trends.
Renting or buying designer outfits, to be at the forefront of fashion, during a private shopping session in a unique place in Paris: the Concept Store located at 5 Rue Beaujon. Website: ElssCollection.
Pascale became aware of this very specific market need and decided to take this business opportunity – even if the path was pitted with difficulties and with hard choices to be made.
This career switch from corporate employee to entrepreneur meant a huge change for her:
– She left her job in a big and renowned company in order to start her entrepreneurial odyssey with a small team.
– The number of tasks she had suddenly to deal with was multiplied by ten; one of the main difficulties there is simply to figure out where to start and in which order to do things.
Pascale shared her business idea with her family and friends, asked their opinion. Of course, at this crucial time in her life, their support was essential. But at this stage, one organization played a decisive role in Pascale’s project, i.e. “Paris Pionnières”.
The Parisian incubator gave her the tools she needed in order to launch her start-up.
What have we learned from Pascale during the event? What are the keys to success according to her?
- Having a vision: everything has to start with a clear and concise vision. Once you have that vision you can move on.
- AND at the same time, translating this vision into reality, into something that really works.
- Being positive: you must believe in yourself and in your project.
Pascale’s favorite quote?
“An Entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.”
(Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn)
Déborah Soudry @L’Esprit Français
After realizing that the job she was doing at that time was not the right job for her, Déborah decided to go abroad for one year. By doing so, she found new inspiration and the business idea of L’Esprit Français came to her. The concept of L’Esprit Français is to experience French lifestyle thanks to a beautiful & connected gift set, which contains ‘Made in France’ products & exclusive contents available through a NFC tag.
At the beginning of the event, Déborah showed us a delicate gift box in which you can find chocolates, perfumes, bracelets, stationery and other surprises. During her talk, we could see her commitment and all the efforts she made in order to develop her business idea. That includes the collection of thousands of feedbacks from tourists and experts, a huge amount of hours spent at the library in order to get more expertise in marketing and the regular participation to networking events.
“Never be discouraged,” “Believe in yourself,” “Family is an incubator.” It’s her self-confidence, her courage, and the support from her family that encourage her every day to keep moving forward.
Thank-you gift from L’Esprit Français
In order to thank all A City for Her members who participated to this fabulous event, each participant gets 15% discount with the code lefpfh2016 for a minimum 60€ of order on L’Esprit Français. This offer is valid until October, the 16th, of 2016!
After the talks and an enriching questions/answers session, all participants stayed and had the opportunity to continue networking and enjoying a nice buffet.
Thank you so much to all A City for Her members for coming, for participating so actively and for your interesting questions and input.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur doesn’t happen overnight. In any event, a vision, an endurance, and a positive work & life environment will certainly help you move forward, faster and better.
See you very soon again!
Your A City for Her Team
A City for Her is an innovative startup dedicated to dynamic business women, women business travellers, (aspiring) women entrepreneurs, startup founders, project initiators, expats, and freelancers from around the world. A City for Her aims to facilitate face-to-face meetings, simplifies how women from many different places and sectors of industry do business, and helps them build a stronger network.