It was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to share my breast cancer journey with Living Beyond Breast Cancer [LBBC] for their article "Shop to Support: White House Black Market and Odacité". As many of you may know, Odacité was born out of a promise I made to myself after having breast cancer, to never ever expose my body to toxic chemicals - starting with the products I was applying to my skin every single day.
All through October Odacité is partnering with White House Black Market to benefit the foundation Living Beyond Breast Cancer and support women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer throughout their experience of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
To health and beauty, Valerie
Q: Why did you decide to start Odacité?
Odacité was born out of a promise I made to myself after having breast cancer. I promised myself to remove all toxic ingredients from my life, starting with the products I was applying on my skin every single day. I knew that in order to heal - and for my children to have a livable planet - I would have to make it my mission to live a toxin-free life, and encourage others to do so.
That promise was the inspiration and incentive to completely reinvent my life. I quit my high-stress job, went back to school to become a health and wellness coach, reconnected with nature, started yoga and meditation daily, and adopted a vegan diet.
As most French women, I love skincare and take it very seriously! Skincare in France is an “art de vivre” -- something that is transmitted from grandmother to mother to daughter, a few minutes morning and night where all is luxury, calm and creates beauty.
Not finding this French philosophy of skincare in a completely natural formula, I decided to create a line that would fuse French skincare with green California lifestyle, so that each formula can be as pure as effective, as natural as powerful, without forgetting the pleasure of the senses. I'm French after all.
Q: Were you aware of LBBC during your breast cancer journey?
I was not aware of LBBC during my cancer journey and wish I had been! I remember just finding a place to get a correct wig was harrowing! It was such an emotional moment to try on wigs in places that did not specialize in cancer patients... I wish I could have had access to LBBC resources.
Q: What is your involvement now with LBBC?
I was introduced to LBBC through our partnership with White House Black Market. When we started to brainstorm about this campaign, it was obvious that as a cancer survivor, I should do it during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and make it so that we could help support the extraordinary work LBBC is offering to people affected by breast cancer.
Q: How did you get connected to White House Black Market?
Nicolas Reynaud (French like me), senior vice president of White House Black Market, connected through mutual French friends, so I guess you could call it a French connection. Nicolas wanted to do a gift with purchase campaign. The idea was to offer something different, exciting and meaningful. We chose our Eye Contour Serum -- our best seller worldwide -- and a beauty product that is an essential part of growing younger every day. Our design department created custom packaging in honor of the White House Black Market partnership and Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Q: As an entrepreneur, what does it mean to have a large retailer like Chico’s FAS/White House Black Market behind you?
There is a great synergy between White House Black Market and Odacité. I’m a great fan of White House Black Market, because it fuses Parisian chic with the more versatile American lifestyle. At White House Black Market, you are always chic but never overdressed. The French/American connection is so relevant as Odacité is about marrying French cosmetic expertise with green California lifestyle. Furthermore, when I created Odacité, my endeavor was to start a new conversation about beauty, one that shows you can formulate completely pure products, without any nasty ingredients and create the efficacy we all want.
For me, partnering with White House Black Market is an occasion to bring awareness to the brand but most importantly educate women about the toxicity of personal care products and help them make better choices.
Q: Any future plans you can share?
Today as awareness is growing about toxicity of personal care products, the green beauty movement has become the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry. This is the future of beauty; nothing can be more exciting and interesting.
Odacité is one of the leading brands in the Green Beauty movement. We are launching in China in November. One product at a time, we are changing the world of beauty from grey to green.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It is our duty to our children and generations to come to take care of this earth. We cannot go through a single day without having an impact on the world. Let’s decide to have a positive impact. Small decisions have a big impact when we all practice them together.