Connection means a lot to us, and we believe that lots of little stories create big connection. The #Inu8women series is how we share little stories about women who inspire us through their active lives. Learning from and sharing wisdom with like-minded women helps us to feel stronger, to feel supported and to be free to follow our joy. We believe we are better together.
Marie France is Director of the Marie-France Group with over 35 years experience in the hair industry. Marie France started her professional career in Paris and in her early thirties made a bold decision to leave France and start a new life in Australia.
In her salon she uses a unique hair consultancy approach, specialising in Visagisme – the French word for harnessing the magic when connecting the hair, body, mind, and spirit, creating harmony between who we are and the image we portray.
Marie France creates a culture of continuous learning and personal growth in her professional and personal life. She thrives on being of service to others in her community, and lives her life with passion and purpose, guided by the wisdom of her intuition.
Can you use just a few words to describe how you live your life?
Simplicity, being of service, being aware and listening to guidance - self-reflection and never-ending growth. Focusing on the good but embracing the not so good for the lessons learned. Being non-judgemental and accepting what comes. I value my family, my fur baby, food, and stillness.
What is the work you do in the world?
I contribute to people's wellbeing through the art of hair design. I find out as much as I can about a person to understand how they would like to communicate with the world and then 'together we create'. This is the motto for my company. I allow my hands to be guided as I offer my clients my artistic flair.
What does a typical day look like for you – are you able to walk us through it?
I like routine, I don't necessarily like change all the time and seek balance throughout my day.
I wake early at 5.30/6 am and enjoy feeding my mind by listening to podcasts but also by listening to myself in stillness. I am very much in service to my clients and team when I am working so I need about 3 hours in the morning simply to be with myself, to nurture and restore.
After a day working at the salon, I enjoy cooking and sharing meals.
I enjoy another 3 hours of rest time at the end of the day before bed. I again listen to podcasts, or I dream and plan. I like to finish the day as I start the day.
I am an introvert and enjoy quiet time to myself. As you can see I don't dedicate time to sport or exercise as such.
What is your favourite way to move your body?
I enjoy walking my dog and I love being in nature. I do not feel the need to work out in the same way that some people need to make it a daily activity.
Perhaps this is cultural? I feel that I have been influenced by a culture that prioritises feeding the mind through education and the arts. I moved to Australia from France 25 years ago and I noticed that Australian's place a great focus on being in a sporting team or going to the gym. Although having said that I do have clients who come to the salon in their activewear who never do any exercise!
Sport was never a priority in my life when I was growing up even though my family was very active living on a farm, especially my grandmother. She was very hands on, harvesting grapes, feeding the animals, and tending to her veggie garden and general farm life. As a result, she was very healthy. I grew up in a family that maintained a healthy, outdoor life.
Is taking time for rest and rejuvenation important to you?
Early rising and taking time for myself in the morning and evening is what rejuvenates me. In the salon I am always giving and interacting with people, so I take the time when I am at home to go inwards to rest and recharge.
What have you learnt from the last 2 years that you did not expect?
I could write - I released a book! I have written a book on my journey of leaving France and coming down under to Australia. I write about the cultural differences I experienced, realising that even though we might look alike, we are very different. I was able to get quiet and allow the creativity to flow. I learned to go with the flow each day, some days there was a lot to write about, other days there was nothing and I was okay with that. When the creativity flowed I stopped only to take my fur baby for a walk.
The process of exploring cultural differences taught me to a lot about how we communicate and interact with one another and how we can interpret the same messages so differently. It also taught me a lot about myself. I realised that part of me was running away from tradition when I left France (and the feeling of being trapped). And even though in Australia I was free of traditions, I was confronted with a new set of challenges. I learned that until we are aware of the meanings we place on our experiences, and until we do the work on ourselves, the only thing that is trapping us is our own mind and how we perceive the world. When my eyes change, the world changes.
I also learnt about other people. In general, I observed that there seem to be people who have lost connection and trust with themselves and therefore hand over personal decisions and individual thinking to others. I also realised that it is very effective to control people with fear. I make a conscious effort to recognise when this is happening and to look at critical decisions through the lens of love, not fear. I am also aware that what I see in others is a reflection of me, so there is perhaps some fear and judgement also existing in me?
What do you expect from a new activewear company doing things differently?
To find the balance - to be congruent with your values yet be realistic. My own experience in business is that unless you are completely self-sustainable you must interact with the world. Control what you can control and get to know yourself so that you are authentic. I still have a dream of running a more ethical and sustainable business however I must be realistic in the context of the world we are living in.
What does simplicity mean to you? Is it important to you?
Simplicity to me means being authentic, letting go and being open to receive what is.
What does a feeling of being connected mean to you?
Connected to self, listening to my intuition, and trusting my inner guidance. I feel that when we are connected to self, we have a better chance of really knowing ourselves. From here we will automatically attract authentic people into our lives and feel the connectedness to others.
In general, do you seek out new products that are created sustainably?
I am hopeful that products are created sustainably however I am still a little skeptical. I love people's intentions however I feel money is still a key driver. I am still motivated to make sustainable choices.
Which influential women do you admire the most? And why?
Myself ... because what I see in other women that I admire is a reflection of myself and I can only ever truly know myself. I cannot truly know others.
What is exciting you at present?
Passing my knowledge on to others. Creating the space and conditions for my team to learn and grow. Being curious and continuously learning myself. I find that I can watch a movie or read a book 20 years later and see and hear a completely different message.
Is there a phrase or a word that you live by?
Let go - let the plan unfold. Let go of the past and the future, and be in the moment. Accept the darkness with the light, the yin with the yang. The light needs the dark to reveal itself.
Bring balance to your active lifestyle with our Inu8 Signature Cashmere Wrap - an heirloom piece that honours your femininity and invites you to slow down to experience the beauty of the present moment.