Founder & CEO, Seraphine
This week we hear from entrepreneur, designer and mother of 2 boys, Cecile Reinaud. She is the founder & CEO of celebrated international maternity fashion label Seraphine.
Originally from Paris where she studied business, Cecile moved to London to work in advertising, but quickly spotted a business opportunity for fashion-driven maternity and nursing style solutions.
In 2002, she founded Seraphine and oversaw fast international expansion. Today, the company generates a turnover of over £20 million, selling online to over 30 countries and operating stores in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong & Dubai. In 2015, Seraphine won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding international growth.
Seraphine is a brand known for dressing the most stylish women in the world through their pregnancies. Catering to rock stars & royalty alike – their clientele covers everyone from A-listers like Gwen Stefani & Jessica Alba to the Duchess of Cambridge.
In 2018, Cecile Reinaud was nominated for City AM’s Business Woman of the Year Award.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
When I was first setting up my business, I was advised to focus on my strengths & hire people to fill the gaps in my knowledge. My background was in PR & marketing, but I’d never had much to do with finance before, so my top priority was to hire a financial director.
As soon as that side of things was taken off my plate, I had so much more time & energy to devote to driving the business forward by doing the things that I was really good at.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
As an entrepreneur (and particularly as a female entrepreneur) you often hear the words “You can’t do that”… I’ve always found it’s best to smile & nod, then go away & do it anyway.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
I’d tell myself to always trust my own instincts - whether it’s for my business, my family or anything in between. I could have saved myself a lot of time & energy in the early years by having a little more faith in myself & my own decisions.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
There are so many things to be excited about, but right now the move towards sustainability in fashion is at the top of my list. Customers are becoming more and more aware & interested in how their clothes are made & the impact that has on the planet.
This has opened up all sorts of exciting opportunities – at Seraphine we’ve recently introduced a brand new range of denim made with GOTS certified organic cotton. We’ve also introduced eco-friendly packaging for our denim collection, which is made in 100% FSC certified paper. And of course this is just the beginning… watch this space!
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I am very inspired by Arianna Huffington. The way she has built up her businesses as well as her own personal brand, always embracing new ideas, opportunities & technologies along the way. Also, for the way she now champions health, wellbeing & balance in business and in life.