LAUNCHING: ANNE DELMAS

Current Employer:

Anne de Lafforest

Time at the company:

3 years

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

My professional title is owner, but you could also say artistic director or creator as well. I am never sure how best to label it!

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

On a day-to-day basis I design the collections, I choose the materials with which we will create the new dresses. I also organise all the photography and advertising for the brand. I spend a lot of time with clients, designing their perfect dress and following the creation and evolution of each unique project. There is also, of course, the administration side of things that takes up a lot of time – certainly the accounts – but I am not the biggest fan of that…!

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

I believe that deep down I always wanted to be my own boss. When I was younger, and used to play with my sister, I was always pretending to be a working woman who smoked cigarettes and had a successful career while she was always playing the married woman with loads of kids. I have always loved designing and fabrics, so fashion was the ideal path for me.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

Having studied fashion, I can’t really say that I have real academic aptitudes. You don’t learn many academic things in those kinds of schools. However, you do learn to push the boundaries, think for yourself and create new and unique things. My experience as an entrepreneur is forcing me to learn more and more about law, accounting and communications. It is a beautiful way to learn such things, and in my opinion much more effective than being in business school.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Best advice: Do the best that you can and don’t listen to what other people say.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

I don’t have a role model I can talk about per say. I don’t like the idea that we should follow in someone else’s footprints to feel fulfilled. I often think of my grandmothers, my mother and my aunts. All these women who have dedicated their lives to their families and who are all heroines! But I don’t consider them as role models either. I make my own decisions with every step I take, following my intuition and goals.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

The best thing every day is being free!

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

If I had to choose something it would be to work longer days, to have a 35 hour day not a 24 hour day. We would get much more done!

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

My professional project is directly linked to my personal life. I hope that in five years, my associate and I will have succeeded in making our little business stable and in employing some people we can pay a decent wage. And I also hope we will have succeeded in finding a happy balance between being the boss and being a mother.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

I am completely different! As a business woman, I have to incessantly take the initiative and be sure of myself, carrying lots of responsibility and see through the fog. When I am with my husband and my family, I am the complete opposite. I have a tendency to go with the flow and like being looked after.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

There are only two of us and we have the top posts: owner and managing director !

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Of course it is very important. In every way. In the wedding dress industry we are often only women. It is the opposite of the wider world of work. It is not very healthy either!

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

It’s not yet very balanced but that’s the price to pay at the beginning to get everything off the ground. But I am patient, it will come with time!

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

I think you have to strongly believe in your project and have plenty of stamina. The rest of the necessary skills will come by themselves: knowing how to question yourself, getting over defeats, believing always in your project and pushing it forward at whatever cost. The people around you are always really, really important. You can’t get there alone.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANNE DE LAFFOREST

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