Olivia Camplez (Dominique): "Too many people are bored in their professional lives; we need to think outside the box and find a career we like!"
At just 28 years old, Olivia Camplez (Programme Grance Ecole 2006) was working in e-commerce and managing a team of 150 people when she decided to walk away from it all and change her life!
Self-exiled in Sao Paulo since 2012, she launched Dominique, the beauty concept store hailed by Madame Figaro magazine to be "the most fashionable of the megacity."
I chose the name ‘Dominique’ as a tribute to my mother, who died when I was 29 years old, which is when I decided I needed to leave Paris. I already knew Brazil quite well, so it seemed like the obvious choice. For a year, I worked in an e-commerce company, but I felt I was done with working for major groups; I needed to launch my own project, a company that made sense. So I launched Dominique, a boutique that sells niche beauty products that are hard to come by in Brazil. For the most part we sell organic and ethical beauty products.
Does being French give you an advantage when you launch a project like this?
Historically, France is known for its glamour. So it is an asset, but it is important not to set out to conquer, especially in a country with many barriers! It is important to stay humble and not appear like a snobbish French person who knows it all.
How do you see France today?
I love spending time in Paris, I am very attached to the city, but Brazil is a very sunny country, which inspires a lot of energy. Since I have been living there, my value system has completely changed. My relationship to work is also very different. In France, there is still a culture of presenteeism and an outdated work ethic. This kills creativity. I think it is important to take time for yourself and not to feel guilty about that.
Was your original career plan to start your own business?
I never really had a career plan. However, after 15 years in e-commerce, it became clear to me that I needed a completely different model to that of a start-up. I wanted to build a business the "old" way, to be closer to my clients. The advice I give my clients is extremely personalised, I take the time to talk to them, I don’t try to sell for the sake of selling. On the contrary, each person, and each skin is unique – you have to take that into consideration. And make sure that customers have a good time when they come to Dominique.
What does Early makers mean to you?
I think people have to learn to do things on their own. Today, it seems more useful to study agriculture than finance, for example, soon this will be more important in our world. Also, too many people are bored in their professional lives; we need to think outside the box and find a career we like so that we don’t have to say "I work in the day, and live at night ". An early maker knows how to enjoy their work, which isn’t the same as having a lot of money. I currently earn much less money than when I was an employee, but I am happier. Rather than spend all my cash on the weekend, I go to the beach, I surf. There are other models to follow.
What are you plans for Dominique?
I am thinking of opening a second store in Sao Paulo, maybe a pop-up store. I don’t put pressure on myself, I intend to move at my own pace, and to go with my instincts.
A figure that inspires you?
Elon Musk. Even if his character doesn’t impress me, his bold vision does!
What are you reading at the moment ?
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Froer.
What music do you listen to?
I like a lot of styles: Ibrahim Maalouf, Eddy de Pretto, and of course Brazilian music. Except for the standards, Brazilian music is not very well known in France.