Odile Roujol is the former CEO of Lancôme (L’Oréal Group) and the Founder of FaB BeautyTech. She left France a few years ago to move to Silicon Valley, where she built a community of 5000+ founders & funders from all around the world. Afterward, she launched her own Ventures studio, FaB Ventures, to support seed-stage and direct-to-consumer startups in the beauty, wellness, and fashion sectors. Odile is an investor in Bloomi and today we’re humbled to get an inside look at her life’s most vulnerable moments and invaluable lessons.
Any hobby or passion you were embarrassed to tell your friends about as a kid?
Pottery and silk painting: I was an energetic little girl and it felt like more of a grandma activity to me, but I really enjoyed it!
Tell us about a moment in your life when you decided to follow your gut. Would you have done things differently by now?
Coming to Silicon Valley without a job was clearly a risk. I took the time to meet many founders and Venture Capitalists at that time and found new roles as a Board member and Advisor. The first weeks in San Francisco were full of doubts and concerns, wondering if I had made the right decision! If I could go back and do things differently, it would have been helpful to better frame my first conversations with people. I wanted to make sure I was adding value to the conversation (the “how can I help you?”). What I learned is that even with being new to an ecosystem you can always help via your skills and network, even as a seed-stage founder. People shouldn’t forget this when having quick chats with inspiring leaders.
I always decided not to change my life’s trajectory based on my career:
I got recruited by L’Oréal while being 7-months pregnant. Later in life we had many “family councils” to take major decisions together as impacting each of us in our daily life. Since my children had just moved back from New York at the time, we didn’t want to move them again, so we made it work. The same for my husband (partner in consulting), he gave up some opportunities in Asia in order to keep the family happy and together during that period in a new city. You need to make work-life balance work for you and make decisions with your tribe or support system (your parents, nanny, baby sitters, bigger family, friends), especially if far away from home. I ultimately accepted the big job in NY in the middle of the year, which was a change for the family.
What are you most proud of today?
As you get older (a little) you care about impact. I’m excited by the new companies we backed with FaB and I am honored to count them as part of our portfolio. They fix problems. They take care of our health and the planet. They are change-makers.
Now I manage my time and my priorities right, with more flexibility and the ability to choose people with great energy.
What is your biggest fear as you get older? How do you overcome that?
I worry that I will stop growing as a leader and individual. I get over this fear by trying to continue to meet new people who have their own ‘superpowers” and learn from them. I always try to discover new territories.
What advice would you give young women about sexual wellness and intimacy?
You are the generation that breaks the taboos. Find the right information to keep learning about self-care and be confident.
Complete these 2 sentences: I wish someone had told me that…
“I should have taken more time for myself when I was a young mother and a top executive”
Life is exciting because…
What do you like the most about Bloomi?
I’m obsessed with clean beauty, and clean is especially important when it comes to intimate care.
Above all, I love the tone of voice of Bloomi, the fact that they educate customers and help them feel better every day with the right products. The future is brighter because of them!