8 March is International Women’s Day — a day to celebrate the achievements of women in the different spheres globally. In this special month, we would also like to celebrate the 2 women behind Le Cuore — Elsa and Evelyn. In the interviews, they shared candidly what it is like being a #girlboss, the challenges they had faced just by being a woman and the advice they have for women going through challenges.
This is Part 1 of the interview with Elsa.
1. Hello! Can you tell us about yourself?
I am Elsa, the founder of Le Cuore and other businesses. I am an enthusiast when it comes to managing businesses and breaking the conventional thinking that entrepreneurship is only for men. I am also a firm believer that you can walk a long way with a good pair of shoes, just like how you can walk your way to long life with good health.
2. Why did you decide to start Le Cuore?
The idea behind Le Cuore is simple — it is to provide a solution for people with foot issues like mine — I have bunions and had suffered from ill-fitting shoes that I got off-the-shelves. I couldn’t get shoes that are my normal feet size because they compress my bunion making it painful. I couldn’t get a size bigger as I wouldn’t be able to walk properly. This thus led me on a search to find a good and reliable shoemaker who can make me shoes that allow me to walk in ease, grace, and comfort.
I was so happy when I found him and started making many pairs for myself. And I had a thought: I couldn’t be the only one with this problem — there must be many others who are suffering with ill-fitting shoes as well.
That is when I decided to launch out and start Le Cuore in 2018.
3. Can you share with us if you have faced any challenges/ adversities because you’re a woman in your line of work?
Besides Le Cuore, I own another business in the engineering field. It is very tough to have a female voice heard in an essentially male-dominating industry. I am often the only lady sitting in a meeting room full of men.
I have to constantly fight through assumptions that they know better than me (a female) and to always think of ways to gain their trust in order to be heard.
So that’s why I am always keen to know and hear about female engineers thriving in their field because I know how much they had to go through to be where they are now. I truly respect them.
4. How did you overcome these challenges?
I constantly feed myself with knowledge about the industry so that I am always in the know. I listen patiently — to understand and not to respond. As time passes, these people will know that I am not just a vase in the room but someone of value who can contribute.
5. Which is your favourite pair of Le Cuore shoes and why?
I always feel like a strong woman in these strong looking heels. This pair is my power and confidence booster.
6. Do you have a female role model who inspires you or you look up to?
Yes. Michelle Obama. I really admire her because despite being an African American who experiences much discrimination in the United States, she has never backed down on her destiny. She has successfully positioned herself and made herself heard by the world.
I love this quote by her:
“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.” ~ Michelle Obama.
7. What are you most proud of in your life?
It will have to be when I finally took that that first step out to start a business, against all odds and resistance. It was very difficult to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. I am very proud of myself that I conquered my fears and did it.
8. Lastly, do you have any advice or encouragement for women who are currently facing challenges in their lives?
Whatever negative thoughts that you have about yourself and your performance, the truth is that you are better than who you think you are. And I hope that you will see that. Be-you-tiful.