Through their creativity and their entrepreneurial spirit, they changed the lines and managed to leave their mark on their worlds: Virginie Calmels in the big entertainment and media groups, but also in politics, and today with Futurae, their school dedicated to the 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 networks Women of the territories, Move your box and Move your group, welcomes on the podcast They dared these two entrepreneurs who chose a different career from the one assigned to them.
fork to undertake
Graduated from leading business schools – Sup de Co Toulouse and Insead – in accounting and auditing, Virginie Calmels intends to pursue a career in auditing. But that’s not the path she decides to take. At the age of 28, this native of the Bordeaux region decided to go abroad. “The team sometimes guides the professional”, he analyzes. Then Numericable’s CFO Virginie Calmels is offered to become CFO of Skygate BV, an Amsterdam-based high-tech satellite start-up. “I always worked on impulse, without having a career plan. And so, it was also a personal change,” she says.
A first risk that marks a turning point in Virginie Calmels’ professional life. With this international experience, she has perfected her English skills. A plus that will help her for the rest of her career, when she returns to France to lead Canal+, Endemol France and Endemol Monde, before embarking on a political career and becoming, in 2020, an entrepreneur and founder of the school. future, dedicated to the creative industries and digital marketing. Today, his school has no less than 200 students.
baker’s daughter, Celine Orjubin also went to high school and started a career that seemed all mapped out, before branching off. Prépa Hypokhâgne and Khâgne then at McGill University in Canada and at HEC Paris, this Breton woman multiplied her international experiences – in Montreal, Hong Kong and Dakar – and joined Morgan Stanley in London in 2006 as a financial analyst. in luxury and retail. Just before the financial crisis and a mass layoff of which she will be a part. “The great luck I had, that I had never dreamed of doing this job,” she confides. But her good student side could have made her stay there too long, instead of daring to venture into a field that suited her best. “During the next nine months, I took the risk of saying no to McKinsey and other investment banks, not even knowing what I was going to say yes to”, continues Céline Orjubin.
Finally, she met the other four My Little Paris founders and started a newsletter project with them in 2008 that would 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 a whole universe that comes in many offers (My Little Box, Gambettes Box, My Little Kids, My Little World, etc.). Returned to the TF1 group in 2018, the company employs 145 employeesships around 250,000 boxes a month and generates several tens of millions of euros in turnover, 30% of which is international.
dare to risk
If their early careers prove that Virginie Calmels and Céline Orjubin are fearless, what follows attests to 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 in New Aquitaine, Virginie Calmels rose to vice president 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 significant risks in bringing her My Little Paris media to e-commerce, with a checkout system inspired by gift 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 setup of My Little and our work”, explains Céline Orjubin.
But ultimately, it’s the desire to commit that motivates these two entrepreneurs. After politics, Virginie Calmels chose training 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 women entrepreneurs.