Mum at work #9 : Hélène

Helene Altenbourger, French Mômes, Sweet Cabane

Mum at work #9 : Hélène.

In this month of April, we meet Hélène, a 41 years-old Parisian mum of three kids. Last fall, she launched a website dedicated to made-in-France children brands : French Mômes. 

This is a high-in-vitamins and full-of-projects interview!

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How did it come to your mind to create French Mômes ?

This idea came to my mind almost a year ago when I watched Benjamin Carle’s documentary on TV about Made-In-France industry : as I’m mad about children’s fashion, I had the idea to have a look on Google to see what made-in-France children brands can be found. I was a bit disappointed at first : I just found a few children’s brands and all the directories were very austere! But when I deeply seeked, I found many beautiful smart children brands on Pinterest and on Instagram! So French Mômes began!

This project came to my mind at a transitional period of my professional path : I had been dismissed for a year and I was looking for another job (i.e. as a customer manager in a design agency) . So I was very attentive to new projects!

What do you especially like in this project?

It ‘s a very rich and interesting job! Intellectually, I love searching and finding new brands, writing and learning about digital communication. Humanely, I enjoy meeting extraordinary designers who create wonderful stuffs!

Are there aby drawbacks?

Working alone, without a team, is a bit hard for me because I love exchanging with colleagues! I would also like having more time : as my little girl hasn’t been yet to school (I just take her at the childcare center a few days a week), my working time is a bit reduced!

Can you describe us a typical workday?

Every day is a new day : one day, I work all day long, the other one, on the contrary, I go out searching for new shops and ideas, which is essential for my work!

I non-stop work from 9.30 -10 am to 4 pm, when I go and take back my kids from school. I start working again, after the dinner, at 8 pm. I also sometimes work during the weekend. It’s not very easy for me as I don’t have any nanny or someone else in charge of domestic tasks!

What projects do you have for French Mômes?

I’d like this webiste to become THE reference for Made-in-France children brands. I also have other projects dealing with fashion and design for kids 😉 … .

What would you advice a mum wanting to set her own business? 

  • Choose a job you REALLY like because it won’t be easy : you will waste a lot of time … and money!!
  • Be supported by people who care about you because there will be hard moments!
  • Be well-organised to maximise your working time : a day is just 24 hours!
  • Then, go step by step and draw a clear priorities’ outline!

To finish, do you have tips and smart addresses for a family living in Paris ?

  • Auteuil greenhouse : Especially the Cactus greenhouse and the tropical one.   Albert Kahn Gardens :  the amazing Japanese Garden and the Blue Forest
  • The Porte Dorée  Aquarium : a bit old-fashioned, but kids love it!
  • Brunch at Mama Shelter’s in the 20th : very kids friendly!
  • And for kids fashion, not only the brands I mention on French Mômes, but also   Caramel Baby and Child for its retro and elegant spirit, and Little Eleven Paris, very urban and cool.

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Thanks to Hélène for this very open interview! You can find her selection on French mômes!

Let’s see each other on Thursday to talk about ‘The wolf’ in children’s literature…

 Emilie.

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