Annabel, the atypical #momtrepreneure behind Jululu!
If there's one thing I've learned from being around Annabel for the past year, it's that she's a real open book.
You saw her on "Dans l'oeil du dragon (Dragon's Den)", on her accounts @Annabel.jululu or live on the company pages, with her « what you see is what you get », as we say
Thanks to her great spontaneity and openness, Jululu's very first blog post is full of twists and turns ... just like her daily life!
Have fun getting to know her below!
I'll get right to the heart of the matter. Have you always had an entrepreneurial soul?
Yes! It's pretty innate with me. Maybe because my mom almost always had shops and I grew up watching her?
When I was 6, instead of playing Barbies with my friend, I took some knitting yarn and made braided bracelets. We made up a little table infront of my house and sold everything! We did it again every weekend of the summer !!! My mom still remembers that we managed to make $ 40 the first time, with 25 ¢ !!!
How did Jululu come into your life?
Clearly without wanting to! (laughter)
I wanted Julia (my first daughter) to have pacifier clips to "match" with each of these little sets, but I couldn't afford my ambitions!
So I decided to make some for her to save money. The beads came in sets and I was very hesitant to order any. Francis (my partner) told me to order plenty and sell, which I categorically refused! I didn't want to experience failure ...
Finally, I ordered some and my friends all bought some. Then it all happened!
Have you thought of other names for Jululu?
I remember we came up with a few names, but Jululu was my favorite for its meaning, as that was the nickname I used to give Julia when I was pregnant.
Honestly, it was decided in 15 minutes because I wanted to create a Facebook page to manage my "new hobby". Having known it would take on this magnitude, I probably would have thought longer! (laughter)
But i still love that name !
What convinced you to give it all up to be 100% self-employed?
When I went to work to plan my return after my first maternity leave. I was a cruise counselor. I just didn't feel like I belonged anymore.
What would you like to know BEFORE going into business?
Nothing !!!! To have known, I would never have started! (laughs) And I would have missed the best adventure of my life!/p>
Would you advise a mom to become an entrepreneur?
Yes and no ... I think entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I think it's a bit like a vocation... failing to find a less intense word !!!
When you become a mom, your world changes and it's normal to doubt everything and not want to go back to work. In this context, it is easy to idealize entrepreneurship ... flexible hours, freedom, work / family balance ...
What you need to know is that being an entrepreneur is, on the contrary, one of the most difficult livelihoods to manage with a family. It has no end!
Do you think I'm going to scare the world? I find my answer a bit stiff (laughs).
(rire) Stop it, it's perfect! Have you been able to limit your working time over the years?
More and more. It was long and difficult to get there, but I think I struck a good balance. It helps a lot that Francis is also present with the girls.
I will probably talk about this in another article, but motherhood isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I'm not a “mothering” mom… I don't know if you understand what I mean. The relationship I have with my daughters, I have worked hard. I'm still working on it, actually!
Maybe that's why the role of entrepreneur satisfies me so much. When I don't feel "right" as a mom, or have doubts, there is another way I can empower myself.
How do you manage to give time to the woman behind the entrepreneur?
One word… Spa ! (laughs)
A day at the spa with a book, I pick up 100% and it recharges my batteries..
You openly talk about having ADHD. Being an entrepreneur and having this diagnosis ... is it a plus or a minus? What does that imply?
A big plus for creativity, ideas, projects!
A minus for those around me, because I'm a tornado and I'm hard to follow, sorry girls (laughs) !
Like, let's say, we've been chatting for 15 minutes right now and you've gotten up 3 times without warning to go get stuff and tag toys at the same time!
Yes ! Exact! I'm interested in our discussion, but I have to keep my hands busy or my brain will spin! (tlaughs)
What's the best advice you've ever had?
My mentor once told me that you can say anything, but you just have to find the right way. I completely agree.
I think it helped me not to get stuck in what I'm doing, or I'm saying. People often talk to me about my transparency and my honesty, I think people like that.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
I have many ! Crossing the 5-year mark, which was a big “struggle” for me.
Go to the 'Dans l'oeil du dragon', the inaccessible star, in my head!
Having a full-time team in the office with me. That, I damn like that!
And on the other hand, your biggest regret?
Not having believed in me earlier in this adventure? Confidence in myself and my abilities came a year ago.
In one year, what is the ratio of good shots/bad shots?
99% - 1%...
It may be more than that, but honestly I don't realize it (laughter)
Give me an example of a bad move?
The bow ties! What a nightmare!
Everyone was asking for them. Everything went wrong on this project. We wanted to go too fast and we had to ask our points of sale to send everything back to us because of a defect. Nothing related to security, but still, it was a disaster!
We arranged everything quickly... to stay stuck with an impossible stock because in the end, people didn't want them that much!
And a good shot?
The dining area, definitely! This is where I started to really trust my instincts.
From memory, I was the first to offer these kind of silicone products. It started with the snack/drink lids, then popsicle molds, the giraffe utensil…to arrive at the diversified offer we have today.
It's still just as popular. It doesn't go out of style!
What has become indispensable to you over time?
Clearly my whole team!
Marie-Eve my assistant, my partner, my friend, my pillar, my eyes and my ears when mine are overwhelmed.
My writer and brain manager, Chrystel. My shipping clerk, Fred.
My multitasking marketing Laurence. My helpers...
At Jululu everyone is essential, really! If I had to start over, I would have delegate the tasks that are heavy on my shoulders sooner.
What would people be surprised to find out about you as a boss?
That I hate making choices and taking decisions.
Do you consider yourself a good boss?
Ohlala… You came to play with my insecurities today!
If I shut down the awkward little voice in my head, I'd say I'm a good boss for a certain type of person, but maybe not for others...
That's the kindest I can be to myself about it! (to laughter)
But why do you say that ?
My analysis of the thing is that, since a very young, I was told that I was "too intense" by many people, in many spheres of my life...
Enough that I ended up believing it and considering that as a big flaw.
There were situations early in my journey as an entrepreneur that made me feel like that was true. It hurt me a lot.
Then came amazing employees who proved to me that it could in fact be a quality... or at least that it did not make me an unlivable boss...
But the little voice is still there, unfortunately.
You, would you be able to become someone's employee again?
I have already thought about it because the mental load that comes with owning a company is heavy.
But I really like the freedom! I have my ideal morning routine, I train, "punch in", "punch out", take time off when I want... It's very precious. I wouldn't want to lose that.
Do you have other projects?
Yes, but it's a secret! (laughter)
OK, but let's say you give us a hint?
You're annoying! (laughter) I would say… it has nothing to do with Jululu. But it's not for tomorrow!
And so? Did you learn anything new about Annabel?
In the next post, we leave the interview format to help you prepare for sweet and memorable family holidays!
See you soon!
- The Little Colleague