Virginie Calmels and Céline Orjubin, the taste for risk, Podcast

Through their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, they have moved the lines and managed to make their mark on their worlds: Virginie Calmels in the main entertainment and media groups, but also in politics, and today with Futurae, her school dedicated to professions of tomorrow, and Céline Orjubin, with My Little Paris, a medium that has become an important brand in e-commerce.

Marie Eloy, founder of the Women of the Territories networks, Move your box and Move your group, receives in the podcast These two entrepreneurs dared, who both chose a career different from the one that was all attributable to them.

Fork to undertake

Graduated from leading business schools – Sup de Co Toulouse and Insead – in accounting and auditing, Virginie Calma intends to pursue a career in auditing. But this is not the path she decides to take. At 28, this native of the Bordeaux region decided to go abroad. “The staff sometimes guide the professional,” he analyzes. Virginie Calmels, then chief financial officer of Numericable, is offered to become chief financial officer of Skygate BV, a high-tech satellite start-up based in Amsterdam. “I’ve always worked on impulse, without having a career plan. Besides, it was also a personal change, “she says.

A first risk taking that marks a turning point in Virginie Calmels’ professional life. With this international experience, you have perfected your knowledge of the English language. A plus of her that will help her in the rest of her career, when she returns to France to lead Canal +, Endemol France then Endemol Monde, before embarking on a political career and becoming, in 2020, an entrepreneur and founder of the school. futurae, dedicated to the creative industries and digital marketing. Today his school has no less than 200 students.

daughter of the baker, Celine Orjubin he also went to high school and began a career that seemed entirely mapped out before branching out. Prépa Hypokhâgne and Khâgne then at McGill University in Canada and HEC Paris, this Breton woman has multiplied her international experiences – in Montreal, Hong Kong and Dakar – and joined Morgan Stanley in London, in 2006, as financial analyst in luxury and retail. Just before the financial crisis and a massive layoff you will be a part of. “The great luck I had, that I never dreamed of doing this job,” she confides. But her student side of hers might have kept her there for a long time, instead of daring to venture into a field that suited her more. “During the next nine months, I ran the risk of saying no to McKinsey and other investment banks, not yet knowing what I would say yes to,” continues Céline Orjubin.

Finally, he meets the other four founders of My Little Paris and with them in 2008 he starts a newsletter project, which will become the now cult brand. Today My Little Paris brings together a community of 5 million people – mainly women – and is present in three countries: France, Japan and Germany. The brand explores an entire universe that is declined in many offers (My Litlte Box, Gambettes Box, My Little Kids, My Little World, etc.). Returned to the TF1 group fold in 2018, the company employs 145 employeesit ships around 250,000 boxes per month and generates several tens of millions of euros in turnover, of which 30% international.

Dare to take risks

If their early careers show Virginie Calmels and Céline Orjubin are fearless, what follows attests their taste for risk. Starting with Virginie Calmels who turned to politics in 2014 and experienced a meteoric rise. First deputy mayor of Bordeaux, then vice-president of Bordeaux Métropole, head of the regional list of New Aquitaine, Virginie Calmels has risen to the vice-presidency of the Les Républicains party. “I said to myself ‘if I say no, I’ll regret it'”, she comments to explain her decision.

Céline Orjubin also took considerable risks by bringing her My Little Paris media into e-commerce, with a box system inspired by goodie bags and the Barbie Club. In December 2011, My Little Paris prepared 2,000 test boxes sold in just 45 minutes. A real success. “Today e-commerce represents 90% of our business. This completely changed the configuration of My Little and our works ”, explains Céline Orjubin.

But ultimately it is the desire to commit that motivates these two entrepreneurs. After politics, Virginie Calmels chose education and decided to create Futurae in 2020, a school to prepare young people for the jobs of the future in the creative and digital industries. Céline Orjubin opened in 2017 monaa free coworking space dedicated to female entrepreneurs.

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