Updated: Mar 14, 2019
"Don’t stick with things that you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to say things that are true to you." is her advice to the new female entrepreneurs.
Let's meet her!
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Mathilde Gauvain, French, living in the UK. I’m the eldest of three kids in a family that moved every year to two years while my father was in the French navy and in 2005 I came to England to study and ended up staying. Since launching in August 2016, I create natural beauty & home scented products at MYTHYN. - When did your journey start? A few years ago, I started getting skin and allergic reactions to most of the products I was using. I worked in customer facing roles and as a woman you usually feel like you have to put the shoes and makeup on, but I couldn’t wear heels, and I was having a bad reaction to every product I put on my skin. I felt terrible really.
It’s funny but it’s when I realised I couldn’t use bath products anymore that I got tipped over the edge so to speak. I started looking at all the ingredients on all of my products to figure out what I was reacting to and then I started to look for products without each damning ingredient.
Before long three things became obvious:
First that there were a lot of chemical ingredients in every single product I was using, and these had dubious side effects. This included being carcinogenic, toxic and lowering the barrier of the skin which explains the heightened sensitivity to everything.
Secondly, that the word parfum on cosmetic labels means nothing at all, has no benefits and yet hides the worst things.
Third and last, that if your skin is sensitive already your options are slim. They are often plain, with none of the luxury and feel-good we actually want from these products.
I’ve always loved chemistry, so I started to learn how to formulate and make soaps and from there I was hooked. I realised that creating completely natural beauty, skincare, and since, home scented goods as well, didn’t have to mean any compromise in results and feel.
Fast forward to now and I’m finally getting ready to launch the MYTHYN facial skincare range which I’m incredibly excited about.
- What’s the idea behind your business? To create products that are entirely natural and nurture the skin & senses. I feel like we should care just as much about what goes into our skin & what we breathe in (especially in our homes) as we do about the food we eat. - Do you have a personal life motto?
You can always work things out. If you say that you can’t you close doors for yourself and that’s not your job to do so always switch the question around to HOW can this be done. Asking how opens more doors to things you wouldn’t even consider otherwise. - What is your main struggle in being female entrepreneurs? Probably perceptions of what you should be, look like or do as a female & as an entrepreneur. For example, we are conditioned to a certain look & feel when we think of the beauty industry.
- How do you overcome it?
I’d say I have no interest in conforming really so I don’t. I’m not saying I don’t get self-conscious sometime, but I decided to just do my thing since that’s what I can do best. If it resonates with others that is wonderful. There’s something to be said for not caring so much about things that don’t fit you, and then for caring about what actually matters to you enough that it only attracts like-minded people into your world. - What was your biggest professional achievement during your entrepreneur journey? Learning to create a product (not just formulate it) & bringing it to market from scratch. There’s something magical about seeing it come to life, and hearing that someone else really loved using your carefully crafted product at the end of that journey. - What was your biggest personal achievement? I used to think others with more experience knew more and that’s not necessarily true. They know what they experienced and it’s all entirely subjective, and not necessarily even the truth. Realising this is my biggest personal achievement because I found it to be entirely freeing in growing my business. - What is the greatest lesson you've learned from being an entrepreneur? You don’t have to say and do everything. You need to do the right/most important thing & say what’s most relevant – the stuff that actually yields results. For example, your product may do 10 different things, but really only 1 or 2 of those are what your customer is looking for so you need to hone in on those aspects. Otherwise you will get overwhelmed and nothing will happen. I still learn this every day because I want to do all the things but there’s only so many hours in a day. - How do you find inspiration on an average day? Do you have any rituals?
The first thing I do each day is identify the highest value task that I can tackle that day and do that. I mean something that will feel really good to get done, or that I’ve not tackled yet that I’ve put off to later. It’s a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day and sets me free to spend time on things that I’m not sure will achieve something. That’s the part I love – testing & trying things out really inspires me. - Who’s the female entrepreneur or leader that you admire the most and why? I’m inspired by Emma Watson’s approach to gender equality – I feel that her HeForShe speech at the UN was a wonderful catalyst for change. - How do you advertise yourself as an entrepreneur?
By staying true to what I believe – MYTHYN products are made with a simple straightforward ethos and I’m very transparent about how they are made and about the ingredients used. Good intentions + honesty + authenticity. - How did social media help you to promote your business?
Social media is a really good way to find out what message works and what doesn’t. It’s also been a great way to gain more visibility so it’s well worth using & learning. - Do you have any advice to give to the new female entrepreneurs? Don’t stick with things that you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to say things that are true to you. Chances are you are not alone with these feelings and that’s actually how you will attract the right people to your brand.
See more at www.mythyn.com.
Thank you Mathilde!