Interview: Charlotte Châtelet

March 8: International Women's Rights Day

Last March, the Exertier Trésor des Alpes team decided to talk to you about several women. Why these women? Because we admire them and because we believe their words can inspire you as much as they did us. Here's a bonus portrait.

Today, read Charlotte Châtelet.

Charlotte Châtelet founded the sublime Maison Orso boutique in Rennes then opened her second shop in La Rochelle with her sister Lila. Maison Orso is an eco concept store that brings together the best fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Charlotte is one of the most creative girls I have ever met. She has an incredible flair for spotting THE brand that will be a hit and I admit that her super cutting-edge selection always makes me salivate. As she is an incredible jack of all trades, she has also opened a great café a few steps from her shop: Café Ours. Charlotte and I have become friends over time, we support each other, we encourage each other and she is one of the people whose opinion is particularly important to me. If you live in Rennes or La Rochelle, don't hesitate to come and take a look at these incredible boutiques where, not only will you discover a superb selection, but also Charlotte and Lila have the gift of bringing you into the world of each designer and to share with you their love of beauty.

Who are you and what does International Women's Day mean to you?

I am Charlotte Châtelet, founder of the eco-luxe concept store Maison Orso since 2011 in Rennes and La Rochelle (my sister who is there). This day represents this notion of hard-won freedom for women and by wonderwomen. It is an important day for every woman, everywhere in the world so that we can be free to choose, choose our paths and gain equality.

Who is your biggest female inspiration?

In fact, there is not just one woman who inspires me, there are many in many different areas... Our mother who accompanied us in our choices, our grandmother for her assertive character and her tastes. . But I also think of those who fight or have fought for us in general or for strong convictions. For example Simone Veil, Rosa Parks (discovered in college), Greta Thunberg (very courageous and young today) but also Diane Fossey whom I discovered when I was little in the film Gorilla in the Mist and this woman who is beaten to protect the gorillas or even Scholastique Mukasonga who lives in my parents' village and who fights against intolerance...

What were the difficulties when you started your professional life and how did you overcome them?

Almost 10 years ago there were very few of us in this universe, when I set up the project a lot of people told me that I was going to fail, it's a questioning at every moment and that's difficult. What was also difficult was the transition from our evolution 4 years ago to the birth of Orso where we took a 360° turn on the choice of brands... a real human and ecological awareness . What was also difficult was to convince people at the start of the store project and it was never easy! It’s the love of risk I think! What's difficult is that as a woman and independent entrepreneur we have to present an ultra bright and organized image! Sometimes I have not been able to get around the problems and I prefer to admit my weaknesses because I am very sensitive. Otherwise, my backbone is my family: my husband and my son, my sister Lila and the people I love.

What is your ultimate advice for balancing your life as a woman and your work? Advice that I don't always apply due to stress or lack of time, but to let go and rediscover the essentials of life, return to simplicity and enjoy your loved ones.

Julie Exertier

News from Charlotte: Maison Orso has experienced a significant acceleration since January 2019 in terms of choices in the orientation of the boutiques, the conservation of iconic houses, those which are in ecological and social transition, those which play the card of transparency without neglecting the notion of pleasure... that's Maison Orso! The “EcoLuxuryPhilosophy” ;-)

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