For the 1st anniversary of l’amour est bleu, I thought I’d give you the opportunity to get to know me better. Last year I gave an interview to two students whose ten questions I borrowed for this blog post.
- Thien, what made you start your own business?
“I think the wish was partly due to the fact that my parents were both entrepreneurs and I was allowed to grow up with the mindset. It was clear to me early on that I wanted to become a fashion designer of my own fashion label. After some time in different areas of the fashion industry, I was able to gain enough professional experience. This gave me security and little by little I felt like I was ready to start my own business. It was my wish to fulfill myself, to be able to make my own decisions and thus to take full responsibility. But it was not clear from the beginning that I wanted to create a sustainable fashion label. This has only emerged with the experiences I made in the fashion industry”.
2. Speaking of goals: How do you plan them and how do you organise yourself?
“When I define my annual goals, I first break them down to 3-month goals and from there to monthly, weekly, daily goals. Preferably with Post-Its or Excel. This gives me structure and security in everyday life. As the only head of l’amour est bleu, I need this order to complete all tasks on time. In addition, my iPhone accompanies me every hour. Not only do I make calls and maintain my calendar and to-do’s, but I also do “online marketing” with my phone.
„It’s important for me to have a job that fulfills me. To practice my passion and to be able to live on it.“.
3. What is success to you?
“It’s important for me to have a job that fulfills me. To practice my passion and to be able to live on it. That’s why I’ve worked in fashion all my life, because I love fashion. I’m interested in a lot of things, but I can’t imagine doing a job other than fashion. I enjoyed my previous jobs a lot and I was happy. But since I founded l’amour est bleu, I know that this is the job that completely fulfills me. You need this feeling to be able to lead a company and above all to master stressful times”.
4. Were there obstacles or difficult periods on your way?
“In fact, the difficult period was very long, especially in the beginning. The first year before the online shop launch, I created the business plan and built up the entire corporate structure. For me that was a lot of theory, which I didn’t enjoy at all. In addition, I didn’t have a real income at that time because I hadn’t sold anything yet. The worst thing was this constant uncertainty that followed me. I worked day and night on the implementation of l’amour est bleu, but the final realization depended on whether a bank was willing to finance my venture. I remember how nervous I was telling people about my idea at the first network meetings and being afraid of their feedback. Today it’s a great feeling to be able to confidently say that I’m the CEO of a sustainable fashion label.
5. What helped you to move on?
“In general, I’m not the kind of person who gives up. I have a hard time dealing with defeats and I can only accept them if I have given everything. So I built up external pressure by telling as many people as possible about my plan. But I think that it was mainly my passion and belief in my idea that helped me to move on. And of course I had a lot of support from my family and friends. My family not only supported me financially, but also never doubted my idea.
„Honesty and reliability are important to me. That is why I put myself under great pressure regarding sustainability issues when I founded l’amour est bleu. But looking back, I am happy that I can confidently say that my fashion is sustainable“.
6. Thien, how do you deal with time pressure and which values are basically important to you?
“I am not one of those people who like to work under time pressure, yet I put myself under too much pressure, because quality is very important to me. As a result, I want to exceed my expectations and only then I am 100% satisfied with the result. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is always under time pressure because you generally cooperate with many different partners. But I learned over the last year to take the pressure off by giving my partners and myself more time. Honesty and reliability are important to me. That is why I put myself under great pressure regarding sustainability issues when I founded l’amour est bleu. On one hand, it is easier for a young company than for an established company to build up a sustainable supply chain because everything still runs on a small scale. On the other hand, as a young company you don’t have the financial assertiveness of a large company. Finding the right suppliers and producers made me desperate. But looking back, I am happy that I can confidently say that my fashion is sustainable”.
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
“There are many superpowers I’d like to have. I would like to be super fast so that I could do as many things as possible in a short time. I would also welcome a day of 29 hours. Otherwise I would find super power napping very interesting and effective in order to regenerate quickly and create clarity”.
8. What’s your morning routine?
“I’ve become an early riser. You probably have to with a family. My morning routine starts with a breakfast with my husband and daughter. Afterwards I take her to the Kindergarten and start work. I can become an extremely unpleasant person in the morning if someone dares to disturb my routine and my “relaxed coming into the day mode”.
„Managing family and an intense job is not easy and women often tend to overload themselves“.
9. How do you deal with stress?
“Basically I try again and again to integrate smaller breaks into my everyday life in order to create a balance and to fill up on energy. Balancing is very important and keeping the balance is sometimes a challenge. Yoga is an important element for me to find myself again. But there are also stressful phases in which I hardly get to eat and sleep. Since I became an entrepreneur, it actually happened to me twice that my body pulled out the plug itself and I couldn’t do anything at all. Managing family and an intense job is not easy and women often tend to overload themselves. It is important for me to listen to my body, to give it peace when it needs it and to live healthy”.
10. How do you deal with your fears?
“Of course, there are situations that make you insecure. But I always tell myself that I never want to stop growing. I have consciously gone into many unpleasant situations in my life, because I have learned from them every time. Be it just that it wasn’t half as bad! The learning curve is amazing. Everything is possible, you just have to dare and have confidence”.
Still questions you like to ask me? Don’t hesitate and leave a comment.