Community//

“I would love to develop a movement to connect and inspire people to help in any small way they can” With Valérie Grandury

“I’m often inspired by this legend: One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest.


“I’m often inspired by this legend: One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest. Frightened, all the animals fled to the river. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird. This particular hummingbird swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals mocked him, one of them shouted, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”

I would love to develop an App called “What I Can” on the Uber model, connecting and inspiring people to help in any small way they can! Imagine how the world would be if we all did “What I can?”


I had the pleasure of interviewing Valérie Grandury, founder and CEO of Odacité Skincare. Born and raised in Paris, Valérie moved to LA in 2000. After 14 years producing commercials around the world, health challenges gave me Valérie the opportunity to reinvent herself and create Odacité.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

The story of Odacité started after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a major wake up call and I knew that in order to heal, I would have to change everything, starting by removing all toxic ingredients from my environment.

I embarked in the most fascinating “detox” journey, quit my job, went back to school to become a health and wellness coach, adopted a raw vegan diet, and started yoga and meditation daily.

As most French women, I love bare skin! So when it comes to skincare we rely on products that truly perform, as they need to create that beautiful glow without the use of makeup. French skincare is all about concentration of actives and results, I wanted that without an ounce of toxins… not finding it I decided to create a line of products to bridge the best of two world, French skincare and the green California living.


Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

There are so many! What I find most interesting are those lovely surprises that keep touching your heart in the most unexpected way. Last month I was in London in a boutique that carries my line and a young woman came in with her Mom. I was about to leave and did not introduce myself, but overheard the Mom complaining about her skin being super dry. I suggested she try one of my Serum Concentrates. Her daughter turned around and said “OMG you are Valérie, you saved my skin” and proceeded to give me one of the best hugs I have ever received! Her Mom explained that our pimple serum completely cleared her daughter’s skin and helped her feel so much more confident about herself.

This is exactly why I do what I do, because I know that skincare is much more than skin deep, and how beautiful skin can make a difference in the way you see your day!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

As a self-funded company, when we launched we had to be mindful of were we put our money. Rent was were I felt we could save money and I turned part of my house into an office space and garage into our warehouse. When we got to the point of receiving much bigger deliveries of packaging, I had completely forgotten a small detail… my house is in a very narrow canyon and sits on top of a hill which is accessed by an even more narrow and steep street… The driver took his big rig up the hill and got stuck half way… could not go forward or backward without risking the truck to flip… police and fire department came to try to help to no avail… that truck was not going anywhere! Finally the delivering company sent their “best driver” and slowly backed up the truck down the street, kindly letting us know we would have to go pick up our boxes at their warehouse!

It was time to move 🙂


What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our French-California approach. I always say “we marry the best of two worlds.” I have traveled the world extensively in my life — still do — and strongly feel the fusion of different cultures is essential for creating something truly unique.

On one hand California is a ground where everyone is encouraged — and feels safe — to create something different. California also home to some of the highest and most inspiring green living standards and people. On the other hand my French heritage is at the heart of each products we create.

When I imagine a new product I often find myself chasing childhood memories of my two grandmothers. Jeanne in the southwest of France, who was wild foraging plants to create ointments and potions and Madeleine who was the essence of super-elegant Parisian women. Jeanne was kind of wild woman, all about nature, plants and spiritual energy (before it became new-agey.) Madeleine was all about elegance and sophistication, her skincare routine was so advanced for her time and until her last day she had the most amazing glow.

Odacité pitch could be Jeanne & Madeleine go to California J

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I have come to understand that functioning with efficiency without burning out calls for clarity, which can easily be fogged in by the never-ending-to-do-list.

For me it is about figuring out what minimum “off time” I need to not burn out (we all have different thresholds.) I schedule my off time in my calendar just like I would a meeting. Yoga is a 3 x week, life saving appointment @5:30 am otherwise it doesn’t fit in my day. Dinner with friend/family at least once a week and a two-week vacation with my family in France is non-negotiable. I block it in my calendar way ahead of time, otherwise I know there will be 1000 work reasons not to do it!

And if I don’t have the choice to clear my calendar, I have cultivated quick ways to clear my mind of the chatter that blocks creativity. Can be 5 minutes meditation in my car before a meeting, a walk around the block, rubbing a couple of drops of essential oil in my hands and taking a few deep breath, slowly sipping hot tea and enjoying it… all of these mini-pauses have the power to invite fresh perspective and create a space to reset.

And as my coach says: if you think the world revolves around your problems, find a beautiful tree, sit and contemplate it, because the truth is in that moment of awe.


None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

They are many people in my life I’m so grateful for, and when it comes achieving success I cannot thank enough all the incredible farmers, grower and pickers who love ingredients as much as I do, without them there would be no Odacité. On my personal journey, if I had to narrow it down I would say my two sons! They have made my life so much bigger, so much more interesting and have always been my inspiration to thrive. I could not be more proud of the amazing adults they have become!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Ohlala “goodness” may be a bit too strong, compare to the extraordinary work of organizations that are truly changing the world.

I think our “goodness” comes from pioneering the clean beauty movement. When Odacité launched in 2009 we were part of the first few brands that opened a new conversation about beauty, one that says you don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty. Today the clean beauty movement is thriving, supporting organic farming, saying no to chemical ridden personal care products, and in a way supporting the health of the beautiful bodies we were given and the extraordinary planet we live on.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Seneca
 Audacity –the origin of the name Odacité — has always been at the center of my life. You have a voice, you can’t be afraid of it, some people will listen, others won’t, but you need to dare to express that voice.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I often think that if I had listened to things people told me, I would never have launched Odacité. So part of not knowing also made it happen, so don’t think it too much!

But here are things I for sure could have done more efficiently

1- If you decide to self fund your company, it is going to take time before you can pay yourself, even more true if the company is successful!

There is a romantic idea about entrepreneurship; especially with the stories you hear about overnight success on Instagram… the reality is it is hard work with little pay at the beginning.

I had planned for no salary for one year, it took three! Odacité is a fast growing company since the beginning, to finance the growth we reinvest profits in the company, not in the CEO’s salary J

2- Hire the best PR — even if expensive — or do it yourself!

For the launch I thought I had signed a great deal with a girl who gave us a six-month PR representation. She turned out to be so useless paired with an arrogant “I know better” attitude! Still today it hurts to have wasted money and time with her… Then I realized we had such a newsworthy story and product, I could go direct to beauty editors in NY. Thanks to google if I figured out their names and emails, sent an email entitled “Meeting you while in NY”, booked a ticket for NY, stayed with friends to limit expenses. On that first press tour managed to meet Vogue, Elle, People, Departure, Glamour and InStyle and it was the beginning of great relationship with the press. I still go once a year to present newness, this time with the best PR person.

3- Be careful about hiring friends in need

We all have those friends who need a little help with work! I fell into the pit once by hiring a childhood friend to run operations. After three months it was total chaos, took a while to bring operations back to balance. I also took the sad task of letting him go, I wanted to help him, but at the end I did not!

4- Find a coach

You are easily distracted in urgent operational issues; I wish I had someone to help me refocus on the big picture since the beginning. Three years ago I started coaching sessions with the director of executive education of HEC (best business school in France.) I love his approach, which is always refocusing on “why I do what I do,” at the end of each session I feel like I hit the reboot button.

5- Make sure your life partner is on board

When I started I had no idea I would be traveling so much. I spend almost 6 month of the year away from my home. I’m super lucky and grateful that my husband understands my vision and why I need to be away so much. It takes a very smart and confident partner to allow you to thrive and support you in what you do.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m far from considering myself a person of great influence, but so appreciate the compliment.

I’m often inspired by this legend: One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest. Frightened, all the animals fled to the river. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird. This particular hummingbird swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals mocked him, one of them shouted, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”

I would love to develop an App called “What I Can” on the Uber model, connecting and inspiring people to help in any small way they can! Imagine how the world would be if we all did “What I can?”

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@Odacite on Instagram and Facebook or online at www.odacite.com

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Originally published at medium.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.