This Fall, Women of Hope is honoured to present Ludivine, a woman of faith and entrepreneur who runs a stationery business. We will have the opportunity to chat with her Live on Instagram this October 29, 2022 (in FRENCH) but before that, I invite you to get to know her in the next few lines.
ELLE CROIT, Ludivine’s company is located near Bordeaux, France. As its name indicates it, it represents two essential elements in the life of the believer: To believe and To grow. ELLE CROIT specializes in the manufacture of Christian stationery such as guidebooks, planners and other tools to accompany believers in the small and big things of everyday life.
It is often said that to find your way in life you have to do something or act on your convictions. It doesn’t matter if what you decide to do succeeds or fails, because either way you gain experience. That’s why at Femmes d’Espérance we never stop encouraging our readers to start their own business.
For Ludivine, her business is the result of her relationship with God on the one hand and her professional experience on the other. “The more I grew in my relationship with God as a teenager, the more I wanted to do something that would allow me to serve Him full time, which for me meant being a missionary or something like that. But God led me instead to a “regular” path, that is going to school, to be an interior and event designer. That’s how I discovered entrepreneurship because I was self-employed,” she told us. She continued by saying this: “But I also had other burdens in my heart like creating tools to help people grow in Christ and cherish Him. All the pieces came together after the birth of my first child. I was able to combine my passion for books, writing, entrepreneurship and God into one job.”
In talking with her I realized that in fact God is able to do divine market studies. I’m not suggesting that you should go into business without doing your homework, but what I am saying is that the very fact that you have some inspiration or some sensibilities can already be indications that you might be able to provide a solution to a problem. Isn’t that the main goal of every entrepreneur?
In all my interviews, I like to ask different entrepreneurs what their biggest challenge is and how they organize themselves to overcome it. Launching and starting a small business is one thing, finding customers is another, keeping them loyal and staying relevant in the market are all difficulties that can destroy the business despite our good will.
For Ludivine, the entrepreneurial journey has many challenges. She told us that “taking it to the next level by seeking to expand by being distributed in bookstores, training myself to not only be a “creator, craftsman” but also a business leader. Learning to manage growth so as not to sink the company. Maybe a bigger challenge: the birth of my second child. He needed me especially during his first two years and it was difficult to find time to work.”
Growing as an entrepreneur and growing your business are two of the biggest challenges I see. That said, the common trait I observe in different women leaders is their resilience. They show a high capacity to pick themselves up after every blow and that keeps them in business. In other words, there will always be challenges, but your attitude in these moments of difficulty will determine the future of your business and of you as the business owner.
Keep honing your skills, keep refining your message and you will see, over time, that satisfied customers make the best advertising. That’s certainly Ludivine’s experience, and she told us that the people who use her tools have been her biggest win so far.
“My greatest victory is the testimonies I regularly receive from people who use the Elle Croit tools and all that it brings them in their faith. My credo: No matter where you are with God, we want to help you go further to know Him better, to serve Him better and to glorify Him. That’s the mission of the company!” I think designing a product, making it and seeing how it turns into a solution for someone you don’t know is also quite an achievement.
Finally Ludivine’s advice for those who want to start their own business:
“There are always solutions, and it is a state of mind that it is better to adopt if you want to undertake! We can be surprised to find around us people who want to invest in our business, lovemoney.com is also good way to raise initial capital. There is also participatory financing via different platforms: this allows us to test our offer and see its potential.”
Come October 29th, we will have additional opportunity to exchange with Ludivine – in French only.
See you all soon!