Sandra, can you tell us a little bit about your journey before Ilado?
I was born in the southwest of France, and I spent my childhood in Africa, surrounded by my three brothers. I studied abroad before settling in Paris. I worked for 7 years in the jungle of L'Oréal! And when I became a mom, I decided to quit my marketing manager job to start Ilado and create my own playground. Today I am a happy mother of two baby tigers—Mila, who's 5 years, and Paco, who's 2—and a passionate entrepreneur!
Sandra is wearing the color rosewood 683 "Make Your Mark"
What's your jungle today?
It's my family; I could live anywhere as long as I'm with my people.
And for the last three years my playground has been Ilado, the brand of pregnancy bolas I created. When I started, I was the only one who believed in it. I had to fight to make this ancient tradition of the bola known and convince today's moms of its usefulness. More pregnant women wear our bolas every day to relax thanks to its soft tinkle, but also to connect with their baby.
I lost a few fights too, like when I was not accepted into certain entrepreneur networks, or when I lost my manufacturer along the way, but I did not let anything stop me. When you are an entrepreneur, you are forced to go above and beyond every single day, to find different paths, to go even further so that your product can exist, be liked, and talked about. It is a daily challenge.
Are there times when you feel like a queen of the jungle?
When I put on my sneakers to go jogging, when I come out of a meditation session with the sensation that everything is possible, when I imagine the thousands of babies lulled by the jingle of my pregnancy bolas, from Tokyo to New York!
What is your connection to other women?
When you become a mother, you join a great community where there is no more room for rivalry. What we live, with our moments of wonder as well as doubt, connects us with moms from all over the world. There is only room for help, support, and sharing.
So what is a tiger for you?
For me, a Tiger is a woman who believes in herself, in her dreams, and who does not set any limits.
Like all tigers, there must be times when you bare your claws...
I have a real protective instinct for my children and my family in general. Don't touch my pack!
More broadly, I am repulsed by extreme individualism, which makes us forget the essential: respect for others and for the planet.
And what makes so happy you could roar?
What touches me most are the little pleasures of everyday life, the extraordinary in the ordinary... Like uncontrollable laughter from the whole family because our daughter is acting like a clown around the dinner table, a "Mama, I love you" from my baby, a one-on-one dinner with my husband, a good yoga session, a walk in the midst of nature, a nice comment from a client on our Instagram account...
Your Instagram is also a perfect immersion in the universe of Ilado. There is something very soothing about the brand, a real quest for balance. Ethical consumption, eco-friendly, is that an important aspect of your daily life?
It has become important to me in recent years. I pay much more attention to what we put on our plates by focusing on organic, carefully selecting the cosmetics that are used at home, only buying the clothes I absolutely need... I also had a real revelation regarding my daily work: now it's only recycled and recyclable packaging, I only walk or travel on the Metro, and I try every day to make Ilado a more transparent and ethical brand.
We haven't talked about lipstick yet. Is this important to you?
It is essential! Putting lipstick on for me is like brushing my teeth... It's been part of my routine since I was 15 years old and stole my mother's lipsticks. I can not go out without it, otherwise I am not me...even a little nude color to go on a run! [Laughs] Yes, it makes me look good and it makes me want to smile!
Do you have a favorite lipstick color?
Red, pink, taupe... I switch colors depending on my desires and mood. I have a little weakness for the ALL TIGERS Rosewood, which is perfect in all circumstances!
We're so glad you like it. Like every tiger, you have to choose your mantra. What would you say?
Cool Tiger: Quiet Strength!