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Boss Series: Interview with Léo Co-founder of Ardolé

Ardolé is born on the simple idea of two French friends Dorian (on the left) and Léo (on the right), who decided to make the beauty industry cleaner and more transparent. They believe in responsible beauty.

Ardolé is a clean beauty brand, but Léo and Dorian want to push this even further by being a responsible company. Responsible not only to their customers by providing them high-quality, efficient & safe skincare products, but also to the planet by reducing waste and plastic use, selecting organic ingredients, sourcing local & responsible suppliers. They aim at being responsible toward their employees and suppliers.

So, we asked few questions to get know them little more. I came to know from them, when Léo approached me through our email sign up form. I immediately felt that you guys need to know about them.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start your brand?

I'm Léo Fredon, I'm 23 yo and I'm the co-founder of Ardolé, a clean Do-It-Yourself skincare brand. We started to work on this project with Dorian Janvier when we arrived in the United States last September. We came here as exchange students from France and some elements of the US beauty industry shocked us. First, we learned that the cosmetic industry in the US is very little (if at all) regulated compared to the European Union market! Therefore our objective was to promote transparency and responsibility in the skincare industry. Do It Yourself is a popular trend in France that see more and more adepts, we decided to bring it to the US because DIY is the highest level of transparency. Everything is showed, we can't hide anything or cheat with the quality of the natural ingredients we use. It is also a great way to educate our audience on the ingredients inside their products. We re-thought the way skincare was designed by getting rid of all the unnecessary to keep only the ingredients your skin needs. I am a certified skincare formulator and was able to develop minimalist and efficient recipes with only 6 natural and organic ingredients for a face moisturizer that people can make themselves at home.

As a founder, what does your typical day look like?

A s a founder, my typical day varies a lot. Building a brand from scratch as we did, leaves us the possibility to work on every aspect of the development of the brand. We handle formulation, marketing, preparation of the orders, supply chain, etc ourselves so my typical day is divided between these tasks.

When you thought about this brand, what was your first “Aha moment”?

We spent a lot of time researching the US market and looking at the DIY existing solutions here. Our first "Aha moment" was after my skincare formulator certification when we realized how easy it was to create professional products from home and how many possibilities natural products could give us to create problem solving recipes with a strong experiential concept.

What does success mean to you?

We tend to celebrate every success, launching the brand mid-June was a success, signing a retail agreement for distribution was a success too. And most of all, success to us means customer satisfaction with the product. We take the time to talk to every person that used our product to collect their feedback and improving. We have been blessed by all the positive feedback and this is success to us!

How did You handle adversity and doubt? Specially when you started this brand.

With support! Dorian and I are very good friends and we've known each other for a long time so we know how to support each other in these moments. The feedbacks and support from early testers and customers also confirmed us to continue in that direction!

What were 3 things you wished someone had told you about being an entrepreneur?

The first would be that you have to be patient. I wanted to be able to do everything as fast as possible but when you build a brand, you work with supplier and others who doesn't have the same flexibility and it can get frustrating. Especially because we developed and launched our brand during this COVID crisis and everything got slower, unfortunately. And the second thing, we knew that it was important to talk to our audience, and random people to get feedback and insights but I didn't realize how crucial it was. This is why now we are constantly talking to or customers, to our followers, etc...

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

5 years from now, I hope I would have developed Ardolé and our DIY concept, still be running it with Dorian and that we would have inspired a more simplistic and transparent change in the industry.

One golden nuggest from you, what's one piece of advise you give who wants to start its own entrepreneurial journey?

It's pretty generic advice but you have to give it your all and be 100% dedicated to what you are doing because nobody will do the work for you.

Name 2 skincare/personal care products which you can live without!!

My DIY Vitamin E nighttime moisturizer, that has done so much good to my skin and the honey cleanser!


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