Larissa Laudenberger

Larissa Laudenberger is a full-on, fabulously feminine force of nature. Founder of Beauty Beee, the twenty-something rising star is working hard to steadily build her beauty empire. Having already laid solid foundations in her native Germany, she eagerly has her sights set on international markets. She always has “a thousand different ideas” and is keen to see them come to fruition. Despite a hectic schedule, she manages to keep an impressive roster of social media followers – ever-growing – inspired by her mogul magic and eye-catching, Insta-ready personal style. It helps to look the part!

We sat down with Ms Laudenberger and fired a few questions at her. The Héroïne gives us an insight into her working life, shares opinions on the women who inspire her most, and talks style – including why a Maison Héroïne bag is just what she’s after…

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Different things motivate me in the morning. First and foremost just a lust for life – this drive I have to achieve my goals. Every day I have new ideas, often which come to me at night, and I want to realise them all at some point.

What are your top goals right now?

Right now I’m focusing on really establishing my start-up. I want to be able to reach every young girl in Germany. And then in the next few years, I want to expand to the European, Asian and American markets – to really build a small beauty empire. More long-term, I’m looking into anti-ageing cosmetics. And another goal is to have my children’s book, which I’ve just written, published.

What are the characteristics that make a good leader?

Blood, sweat and tears, plus passion and discipline. And what I think is really important is respect. Of course I have respect for all people as standard practice, but I particularly respect people when I know that they respect me too. Politeness is important – I’m very old school when it comes to these more old-fashioned values. As a leader, you have to set an example. People need to take you seriously as well; let’s not confuse friendliness with friendship – it’s important to maintain professional relationships with your colleagues. Most of all, you have to motivate – you have to instill enthusiasm within people. The same enthusiasm you have. Only then will you really achieve a lot.

Did you always dream of being an entrepreneur?

Yes. Always. I always wanted to be boss. I always had a thousand ideas in my head, and I still do – but this entrepreneurial spirit, this idea of being a “do-er”, that was always there.

What were the biggest challenges you faced as founder of your own company?

Firstly that it was such new territory – there is inevitably a certain uncertainty. Then also the pressure, to be very honest: I invested a lot of my own money, because I wanted to be totally independent. It’s a huge challenge to start without investors, to not blow all your funds and to be able to pay yourself back at some point. And then the level of responsibility too. To rely entirely on yourself, to guide yourself. These three things are the main challenges of being having your own business.

And what are the most rewarding parts of having your own business?

The most rewarding thing is definitely that you’re in charge of your own time. You can pretty much always be doing what you want to be doing – of course there are a few things that aren’t all that fun, but that’s all part of it. Part of the journey. Being able to divide your time the way you choose to is very freeing.

What would be your advice to young women looking to start their own company – in just three words?

“Have the courage.” Or even “just do it!”

How do you balance your working life with your private life?

To be very honest, I have phases where the lines blur. There are days when I’m working twelve or fourteen hours. I’m trying to change that – by working as little as possible from home, for example. I think it’s important to be able to come home and leave your work at the door. And sometimes I just have to turn my phone off. Ciao!

What does success mean to you?

Success means reaching the targets I’ve set for myself, and being able to stand for what I’m doing. I couldn’t ever sell a product I didn’t believe in.

Which women inspire you the most?

I’m always thinking about this! It’s tough because I totally know my own mind and I do have my own mind, so I don’t really have an idol as such. I’m inspired by women who have class, who are elegant and have a certain demureness. Grace Kelly. Or Brigitte Bardot – she’s always had this great mix of elegance and a touch of crazy. And I like Kate Moss, because she simply doesn’t care and just does whatever she wants. I like women who are strong and independent, who don’t care too much about what others think and just do their thing.

What about within the business world?

I guess I actually do have idols for business. As silly as it sounds, Jessica Alba. And Maria Hatzistefanis from Rodial Skincare. I admire them both for how well they manage to be totally “girly” and super into extravagant fashion, but are respected as strong, empowered businesswomen nonetheless.

How would you describe your personal style?

Elegant, chic and quite business-y, but always laid-back – I always have a little something-something going on. Like patent leather trousers to offset a classic turtleneck… there always has to be something that’s a bit unexpected.

And what draws you to Maison Héroïne?

What Maison Héroïne does so well is precisely to combine this business style with this less expected factor. That’s really cool. It’s a brand for a cool, modern working woman that won’t be pigeonholed. A Maison Héroïne bag equals confidence – super stylish, good quality and practical too.