Falling To Get Up, By Nathalie Lebas-Vautier


Driven by her dreams and commitments, Nathalie Lebas-Vautier has created two ethical fashion brands, Ekyog and Marie & Marie. Today she has a positive message for all women entrepreneurs or not.

Nathalie Lebas-Vautier

Nelson Mandela said, ” I never lose, either I win or I learn. ” It’s not easy to understand this philosophy when you’re crossing obstacles. And yet, to accept is a real strength, not a resignation. It is often very difficult to live with, but to this day I have not found anything more effective than accepting and moving forward.

Thirteen years ago, I founded Ekyog with my husband, an ethical fashion brand in a world devoid of any ecological conscience, with this crazy dream to be able to prove that another fashion was possible, fashion with style and meaning, while it is the second most polluting industry in the world.

  • 10 years to build ecological sectors;
  • 10 years to open 50 stores in France;
  • 10 years to recruit more than 100 employees;
  • and 10 years to prove that the strength of beliefs makes us climb mountains.

But the adventure will stop suddenly in 2015. I saw myself falling from above, to hit the bottom. A phase of mental isolation was necessary to regain power over my life. And then I had to rebuild myself. A real emotional exposure.

Boris Cyrulnik speaks of a ” wonderful misfortune “. This is called resilience, which refers to the ability to resist shock and bounce. I am convinced that the obstacles of life do not arrive totally by chance. There is necessarily a meaning. But which one? I do not have all the answers to my questions yet, but the search for meaning has never left me; it’s even my engine since I was a child.

Commitment means giving meaning to one’s values ​​and not being afraid to give up the risk of losing. If we did not understand that, I think we did not understand the commitment.

To want to go too fast, we waste time, but the failure, on the contrary, saves us time, it is the occasion to give meaning to our existence. It’s also a way to explore life.

We always have the choice to focus on the positive or not … It is not always easy, and I recognize it, we are always alone in front of his questions. But to rock, to stumble, to fail, that does not mean to question everything and especially not our own values.

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To undertake, there is one thing of which I am sure is that without dream nothing is possible. To dream is to be inspired by something that is beyond us and for which we are ready to go beyond ourselves.

Whoever says dream means commitment, who says commitment means meaning, who says meaning says performance, who says performance says mutation. That’s why the company is for me the most powerful vehicle to move the lines, provided to reconcile the opposites, the performance, and the human. The responsibilities are taken, they do not give themselves.

So, as I did not want to give up on my dreams, I decided to build a new one. That of creating a start-up of care, of doing good with cosmetics and creating a link between women through a community that I called “The Slashers”. This new dream is called Marie & Marie.

Women fascinate me, I admire them because I know what it’s like to be a woman! We are capable of realizing great things, making difficult decisions and assuming them. But we do not dare enough. We are scared. As a woman, you have to dare to say “yes”. There is no limit except the one we give ourselves.

Finally, I want to tell you that anything is possible … from the lowest to the highest. That you must want it with all your strength and all your heart, that you have to believe it and trust yourself. To trust is to give oneself the right to make mistakes, so dare to succeed!

I started with Nelson Mandela, and I end with a quote from Maya Angelou, a famous American civil rights activist: “Success is loving yourself, loving what you do and loving how you do it. ” In short, it is to be aligned, as the spring of a new impetus favorable to our life.

Also published on Medium.