Sunday 22nd July 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude
I was lucky to be born in a good environment where everything was given to me by
my parents to receive an excellent education. The most important lesson that my
parents taught me is the value of work, commitment and respect for others. My
father is a highly demanding man whose adage is: “Perfect is the beginning of
acceptable”. This phrase remains present in my mind still today, like a mantra
inspiring me to go beyond my limits, continually improve, bound by the common
thread of innovation and people, which, for that matter, form the editorial matrix of
Sense of WELLNESS Magazine.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Teamwork. Because whatever your talent may be, without a good team you are
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
My best decision was to leave my former position to create MY magazine on Wellness
with my values, my vision of the industry and its evolution. It is never too late to
fulfill an aspiration, especially when it comes from the heart.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
First of all, my father and the level of demand he applies to everything. My first boss:
Mr. Bernard Chevry, a visionary publisher with whom I learnt enormously and, last
but not least, the passionate professionals I have met all along these years. In
November 2018, I will be celebrating 20 years working in this sector and your
interview has given me the opportunity to look back on some of these incredible and
passionate years… before the 20 more to come.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
It was both the worst and the best decision I have ever made: leaving the magazine
that I had created and led as editor for two successive publishers, to create Sense of
WELLNESS Magazine. It is difficult to leave your comfort zone, leave something you
have created and carried for over 10 years. However, it is important to seize the
opportunity when you know you have nothing left to expect. I closed a book to write
a new chapter in my professional life, a new chapter that reveals itself each and
every day, rich and fulfilling. Creating is living!
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait
Determination. Willpower is such a great motor…
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
For a long time, I was a victim of my own stress, which I would manage more or less
efficiently depending on the circumstances. I have changed a lot of things in my life
that enable me to handle it better. And if I feel that stress is getting the better of
me, my miracle solution is the Rescue Remedy by Bach Flowers.
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after
I have been living in the countryside for 4 years now and although I still work a lot
because my work is above all a passion, I have learnt to distance myself from
situations and people who cause anxiety. Twice a month, I receive an energy
balancing massage. I go Nordic walking with my little Yorkshire Terrier, Hope. I also
practice Sophrology and sometimes… I just do NOTHING.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry
what would it be and why?
I think the value of the position of Spa manager or Spa director isn’t sufficiently
defined in the hotel industry. The profession is still in its early stages in France and
there are grey areas in the position description, which varies according to the
establishment’s size. There is still a lot to do in this aspect, as is also the case with
employment in our industry. This is the reason why the UNSM (National Spa Manager
Union), chaired by my friend Katia Schaffhauser, director of the Ritz Spa Paris, and
Sense of WELLNESS Magazine are organizing a SPA Job Dating event on Tuesday
13th November during the EQUIPHOTEL trade fair, to facilitate recruitment and boost recognition of wellness professions in France.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever
For the quote: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” (Mandela)
For the advice, my father’s: “Believe in yourself, be audacious, surpass myself.”
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1.What’s your favourite book?
I particularly enjoy delving into a good crime novel with a complex plot. In France, we
have a very talented author who has received numerous awards and writes with a
unique style: Karine Giebel! You’ll be hooked!
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
The Lord of the Rings. This film will forever be one of the greatest masterpieces of
the 7th art. In 2004, it received 11 nominations and won 11 Oscars. Diving into
Tolkien’s incredible world is such a joy.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be
Simone VEIL. Holocaust survivor, feminist who actively stood up for abortion rights,
emblematic Minister of the 5th Republic, staunch supporter of Europe: her life was a
fight. She and her husband were recently reburied in the Panthéon. A woman who
made “France greater and stronger” as our President, Mr. Macron, said in his speech
in homage to her life.
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
Home, in the region where I was born: Touraine. I am lucky to live in Amboise, the
land of castles where a great part of the History of France took place. It is a
magnificent and rich region with its gastronomy, wines, culture and gentle way of life.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
One where I am cheerfully invited… just because it’s me.
6. Your go to drink is?
A glass of Saint-Estèphe, a red Bordeaux wine, powerful and structured.
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
A marshmallow, a concentrate of childhood in one bite… deliciously regressive!
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
I love Honeysuckle and am drawn to its smooth floral scent with deliciously honey-
sweet notes of jasmine and orange. I am growing one in my garden and it fills the air
with its fragrance in Springtime.
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
An Ayurvedic massage, ideally Marma therapy which is both relaxing and
invigorating. Or else a Tui Na massage to harmonise my vital energy.
10.What’s your favourite flower?
The one that is given to me.
11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
I only need a little sleep to feel rested so I read a lot in the evening before going to
bed while drinking a Bedtime Yogi Tea.
12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?
I make myself a fresh juice jam-packed with vitamins: ginger, carrot, orange and I’m
set to go!
13.The theme tune to your life is?
“Non, je ne regrette rien” ("No, I do not regret anything") by Edith Piaf, one of the last songs she sang, I love the chorus: Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrette rien - Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait, ni le mal - Tout ça m'est bien égal - Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrette rien - C'est payé, balayé, oublié, je me fous du passé."
14.What makes you laugh to your belly?
15.What’s your favourite season?
All of them, there is a unique charm to each season.
16. What’s your favourite colour?
I don’t have one. Beauty isn’t in the colour but lies in their harmony with one another.
17. Your favourite time of day is?
Evening, at sunset.
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you
Myself, intensely and fully.
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
I am addicted to Netflix and especially the current series Money Heist. If you haven’t
done so already, watch an episode and join me in the fan club!
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
After graduating from business school, Isabelle began her career working as a project manager for major groups. Along the way, she met publisher Bernard Chevry who passed on his enthusiasm for the world of publishing and sharpened both her creative and business sense. In 2004, with the surging development of the French spa sector and her desire to pursue her career independently, she created Emotion Spa Magazine, of which she was editor for 2 successive publishers, until October 2016.
Thanks to her triple expertise: editorial – business – marketing, Isabelle launched Sense of WELLNESS Magazine in January 2017, delivering a 360° vision of the wellness industry connected by the common thread of people and innovation. Isabelle also works alongside prestigious trade fairs, providing conference programmes that she designs and coordinates. Her versatile array of skills, extensive network and unique expertise of the French wellness market sets her apart as an unanimously recognized and appreciated professional in the industry, awarded with the SPA-A Trophy Personality of the year in 2015 (French Association of Spa
Connect with Isabelle: icharrier
Follow on Facebook: @SenseofWellnessMagazine