Ex-Goldman Sachs employee Heidi Carneau is a young entrepreneur who co-founded the handbag and accessories brand Heidi & Adèle. She is the subject of our latest 60 second interview.
How long have you been in the industry, and what is your current job title ?
I am the co-founder of Heidi & Adèle, which creates handbags and accessories in eco-exotic leather. Before launching the brand in 2013, I spent 7 years at Goldman Sachs in Equity Derivatives Sales. I think my entrepreneurial spirit and approach to customer service greatly benefitted from the GS culture.
Did you have a mentor and, if so, who ?
Not really. I work as a duo with Adèle and we have had to learn everything from scratch - the designing, finding the best suppliers and manufacturers, and also IT and marketing. Numerous people in our circle of friends have offered invaluable help in specific areas, from creating our logo to putting us in touch with potential collaborators and giving tips.
Are you by nature an optimist or a pessimist ?
Depends on when you ask me! I have up and down moments; when up, I’m super excited and very productive, when down, I feel it’s even more important for our brand to be successful and I work even harder…
Which business leader do you most admire and why ?
I admire people who have the guts to walk away from a comfortable but unfulfilling life to give their dream a go. Since starting the business, I have met several of such people. Each story is unique and greatly stimulating.
What's the biggest lesson you have learned in your career to date ?
There’s always a silver lining. After leaving Goldman, I had no idea what I was going to do. I wanted a different challenge but had no experience outside of finance. The first business I started (semi bespoke leather jackets) had several fundamental flaws and I dropped it after 6 months but it looks like the second will go further!
What's your favourite business quotation or life motto ?
Our business motto is 'Happiness is the greatest measure of success' and both Adèle and I live by it.
What's the best business book you've ever read ?
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. I really enjoyed the smart analysis and hidden logic between seemingly random events.
Heidi & Adèle is an up-and-coming handbag and accessories brand specialising in eco-exotic leather. Combining vibrant colours, elegant designs and eco-friendly materials to create unique pieces for day and night wear.