Your Job / Company Name:
CEO, Alavie SAS (March LA.b)
Your Field of Profession:
Luxury Goods & Jewelry
Your Company (Idea) in 2-3 Sentences:
Simple elegant affordable watches made in France
Careerwise, what have you been doing before you got self-employed?
I was a business unit manager in the Quiksilver group.
What was your motivation to found your own business?
I could not see my product vision anywhere in the watch business as this kind of product range had not been fulfilled yet, especially not in the way that I was thinking, so I wanted to bring it alive. Also, I was frustrated by the lack of vision and missing reward and recognition with my ex-employer. Having this outlook, I was thinking that my passion and vision should be used for myself instead of someone else who does not care enough at the end of the day.
How did you move from an idea to a business success?
Well, let’ say 10 years, minimum. With baby steps including lots of meetings, little successes, big failures, and a huge amount of work and positivity.
What, in your opinion, makes a successful entrepreneur?
Someone who listens a lot and knows his own weaknesses. Someone who moves fast and stays focussed on his primary vision.
How do you think is it different to start an entrepreneurship 40+ than in your twenties?
Well, family and kids increase the pressure to succeed. But 40+ is probably the best moment to start your own business as you combine experience and network. And you are still full of energy to conquer the world!
For a lot of people, the fear of failure is the reason not to start their own business. What would you say to someone to convince them to go through with it anyway? Which impact did fear have on you?
I never really had any fear to fail. Leaving your comfort zone is the best thing you can do as far as your personal evolution is concerned. You learn so much and stay so much younger in your heart, body and mind at the same time.
Saint Augustine said something similar. It goes somehow like “The fear to loose what you have should not prevent you from becoming who you are.”
How is your daily life as an entrepreneur?
Coffee at 7:30 in Paris to talk to people, handle some work before the team arrives at 9:30, and then managing my team and meetings all day long with a lot of shops to stay close to the market.
What’s the biggest reward(s) of having your own business?
That’s easy! When people are sending me messages saying how happy and proud they are to wear my watches! After 10 years, it is still a very intense feeling. Those words give meaning to the whole adventure.