Laetitia Kutob

Laetitia Kutob is a style influencer, and altogether worldly woman with a wardrobe that has her countless fans and followers green with envy. We asked her about turning taste and style into a business, and why Maison Héroïne is her new forever favourite.

Did you always dream of being an entrepreneur?

I feel as at home in a team as I do in a leader capacity. I like following somebody else’s initiative as much as I enjoy coming up with my own ideas and direction, and making my own decisions. It was never my dream to become an entrepreneur – that’s only developed in the last year and I’m excited to see where the journey as an influencer takes me.

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

Every day you can either do things exactly the way you’ve done it up until then, or you can change everything completely. I’m a fan of routine but I’m also a fan of switching things up – finding new ways to look at things, meeting new people. I’m becoming more and more about newness, and it’s enriching to my life and to the way I live it.

What are the characteristics that make a good leader?

A good leader expects and encourages. She recognises the strengths of her team; she is empathetic and understands that she is a role model; she shares responsibility and delegates tasks accordingly. A good leader has presence, even when not present, and is approachable – distance shouldn’t come into it.

What are the most rewarding parts of being your own boss?

Everything I do, every new decision I make, sets the tone for my future and determines my career and my path. I went with a lot of instinct and gut feelings in the past. Now I try to weigh things up more – I take advice from others and am more considered in my convictions.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

I generally have high standards for myself and for for my work. In the past I’ve fallen victim to my own perfectionism. I had to overcome this for creativity to really come into its own, along with the freedom for new ideas to emerge – initiatives I wouldn’t have thought to take otherwise.

What would be your advice to young women looking to start their own business, of any kind – in just three words?

Guts. Focus. Persistence. Have guts and believe in your idea. Don’t lose focus of your end goal. Be persistent in whatever you do. (Ok, that was a bit more than three words…)

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

The boundaries between work and life can quite often blur for me because I’m lucky enough to have made my biggest passion in life my work. That’s not always that easy on my private life though – on one hand as an influencer I want to share my life with my followers and I’m expected to do so too, but I also want to live “offline” as well. I try to be clear about what’s work and what’s not, so as to keep my social circles, my partner and my friends separate from and unburdened by my work.

What does success mean to you?

Success is relative. 11 years ago I made a decision to pursue what a lot of people saw as inevitable failure, and what turned out to be – personally – my biggest success. I followed my heart, quite unconventionally, and am now very happy to say I do what I love. Success, for me, means being at peace with oneself; doing what I want to do; being myself and only myself and following my own path.

Which women inspire you the most?

There are many women I find remarkable. Every woman is inspiring in her own way – my friends inspire me. Inspiration has to be something palpable, something authentic. It has nothing to do with glorification.

How would you describe your personal style? Who is your ultimate style inspiration?

I’ve only really found my style in the last few years. I think that’s a question of my age (36). I know now what suits me, which trends I’d be better off ignoring and that it’s always worth investing in classics. My look is elegant but I like to combine current trends with classic pieces, and accessories that provide an accent – that’s when an outfit becomes a look. My biggest style inspiration is my mother. My passion for fashion comes from her.

And what draws you to Maison Héroïne?

I associate Maison Héroïne with pure elegance. The clean, pure design of the bags gives my looks freedom and room for individuality. Efficiency is important for my working life too, and the combination of function and elegance allows me that. I can be feminine without compromising on practicality or functionality.