Audrey is one of our Sassiest Mamas 2016…
French mama Audrey is Global Head of Fundraising and Communications for Positive Planet Foundation, an International organisation committed to offering a better life to people across the globe – and also CEO of the Positive Economy Forum, an international network of people working to secure a sustainable future for generations to come. With a beautiful baby girl, Mila – aged 13 month, Audrey is driven by a desire to be the best possible role model to her daughter while working hard yet still making family her first priority. She believes in manicures, in over-dressing and in the fact that happiest girls are the most beautiful. We couldn’t agree more.
Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
I was running a luxury brand in the Middle-East for ten years when I have been offered the opportunity to join the Board of Directors of Positive Planet, an international Foundation whose aim is to create a better world for future generations, running programs through its NGO all over the world but also highlighting long-term solutions to our very short-term shaped world through its Positive Economy Forum.
The president of the Foundation has asked me a year ago to help in creating and structuring the global fundraising department. This was a tough decision as I was 7 months pregnant and already very busy at the time.
My plan was to take a short maternity leave and work throughout. This was a bold move and a really hard one! I guess the key to success is to make your family a part of your business. We are sharing and taking all important decisions together. Dedicating time to a non-profit organization was also motivated by the fact that I am a mother now and I want to be as much as I can to be a role model for my daughter and teach her through my actions that life is not only about your own success but also about helping others while you can and make a difference in other’s people life.
I got so passionate about the organization and giving a meaning to what I was doing, give sense to my days beyond making money, made me truly happy. To the point I have stopped everything else.
What kind of cake would you order for your birthday?
Anything with chia seeds in it (or if my Granny is in town I will beg for her homemade “ile flottante”…)
If we handed you a concert ticket, who would you wish it was for?
A ticket to Glastonbury, then I would not have to choose…
What colour do you wear the most?
Very hard to choose one! I would say beige.
When did you last cry?
Last week when I had the chance to meet with with Dr. Denis Mukwege who lives under a death threat in his country since years now.
He is a Sakharov Prize Laureate, founded Panzi Hospital in 1999 as a response to the devastating war that surrounded his community in the eastern provinces of Congo. He has saved the lives of more than 40,000 women, many of whom suffered brutal sexual assault, including gang rape by soldiers and militias. I was extremely moved by that man who fights for those women who are rejected by their families after being raped. He is their only hope.
What’s the best thing you can cook?
The Crème brulee I promised my husband when we were dating 5 years ago, and that I have not done yet!
Where do you get your hair done?
For the past 10years I have done my hair only in Paris and finally found Slam in Dubai. Great products, great specialists, great place!
What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Building my own family with the man I love is my greatest achievement.
Professionally, having build a brand from scratched in the region when I was only 25 will definitely stay as one of the most learning curve but the biggest pride I have and luck is really to now head the Positive Economy Forum that was born out of the conviction that it is critical to restore the long-term priority in our decisions and actions. Because it is the only way to address the economic, environmental, technological, social and political challenges our world is facing.
To set up a positive society that redirects the economy toward the consideration of generations to come, our network gathers, raises awareness and thinks today’s world and tomorrow’s solutions.
We are gathering, several times a year in the Positive Economy Forum context, CEOs, NGO leaders, social entrepreneurs, thinkers, artists, idea-carrying citizens or innovating projects-developers. The aim is to facilitate the emulation between experts during brainstorming sessions on global issues and produce analysis and create measurement tools for a better assessment and understanding of the world.
Through our forum I am meeting the change makers, the people who are fighting everyday to make our world a better place for future generation. Meeting with those people brought me back to the essential.
As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!
I wanted to be writer
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
1-See my grandfather again and show him how positively he influenced my life
2- Bring Mary Popins to life and get her as our nanny for the next 15 years.
3- Replace hater and ego with kindness and altruism
What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
Sassy Mamas pave the way not only for their children, but also for modern women everywhere to follow in their footsteps! Being a sassy mama means being openminded, loving, caring, continue working hard for career we love, knows when family is the priority (which is always).
A piece of sea salt chocolate before going to sleep (don’t tell my husband).
Tell us about a typical day?
I travel quite a lot for my work and when I am in Dubai I have the luxury to spend the mornings with Mila. The two hours difference with Paris helps me to keep my early mornings free from emails. From 7.30am to 9.30 it is cuddling time, breakfast, laugh and play. When she goes to sleep, I organize myself for the rest of the day and spend the rest of the morning with her.
Afternoons are never typical as it depends on the type and amount of work I have, on the people I have to meet and on the sport I want to do. No one-day is the same!
Evenings are also dedicated to family time and often back to work after dinner to finally indulge with my husband in front of a movie or a book.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
I was lucky enough to have met many mentors along my professional journey who gave me many advices I have tried to follow. The latest one I have been given is that the best way to say not, is to say no.
Just as simple as it sounds, it is helping me a lot!
What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Breathe the fresh air. The beach is across the street from where we live and it is very important for us to connect with nature as much as possible.
This is not always easy when you live in a big city but Dubai offers so much in terms of outdoor activities.
What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, or something fellow mamas should know about?
The cold pressed juices KOLDPRESS JUICE KO, Dubai born and produce a beauty bomb with hydolised collagen, pomegranate, watermelon, lime, alkaline water and chia seeds. Directly delivered to your doorsteps 0563030336
If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
A compass, a pair of hiking shoes and a boat.
Describe your style?
I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in colorful printed outfit when it makes me happy. I believe in French touches. But most of all, I believe happy girls are the prettiest and most stylish girls
Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done?
Mila is convinced our little Pomeranian who is no bigger than her is a teddy bear which can lead to very big squizz or a few hair pulled out…!
How do you juggle work and family?
I think guilt is the enemy of happiness. Yes, working mothers can have a guilt-free work and life, but it’s a choice. It’s the choices we make that keep us happy, so as long as we are making the choices we think are right, combining work and family is not an issue.
I try to make happiness a choice each day. My husband is also extremely supportive of my career and we are doing this as a real team
A huge thank you to Monica Chindalia for the beautiful pictures of Audrey and Mila.
To book a photoshoot visit facebook/monicachindaliaphotography