This BNI success story was submitted by Samantha DELLUC-MARCHAND, current member of 94-02 BNI Performance in BNI France
I was fortunate to begin my career with Google in 2002. It was an incredible opportunity to join a global industry leader. It’s not an overstatement to say that this was a dream job with a wonderful culture. Colleagues became friends, meals were free and it was truly structured as a flat hierarchy. I even got to travel to Google’s HQ in San Francisco for trainings.
Over time, like all organizations, massive growth occurred and changes were implemented. Our hierarchal structure became more segmented and our team grew from 20 people to 150! It lost a bit of the human touch that I came to appreciate.
After my stint with Google, I transitioned to Microsoft. Unfortunately, the culture and structure was very similar and mirrored my recent experience with Google. In addition to this, I had given birth to my daughter. That led to further stress, as I spent many long nights juggling work with personal responsibilities. Compounding this, recognition for a hard work ethic can be difficult to come by, especially in France.
So gradually I began to work on various business plans, with dreams of being my own boss… While I would certainly earn less, I would have control over my career.
So I asked myself… “What do I really want to do? What am I passionate about?”
I found inspiration from my daughter. A hobby and love of mine is baking and creating personalized pastries for events and parties that she attends. I soon realized that many of my fellow parents did not have time to organize their kids’ birthdays and desperately needed someone to take in charge. I knew then that I had to launch my own business!
Within 6 months, I took a leap of faith and quit my job. This allowed me to prepare for my pastry ‘diploma’ and start a new career from scratch. It was a challenging process and physically demanding but I stayed the course, I did not give up.
I’m proud to say that 14 months ago, I was able to launch my company, Drôles de tables. I’ve been able to invest in promotional materials and find an environment that is suitable for the success of my business. And while I occasionally work 18 hours, I have no regrets. I want to be an inspiration to my daughter and prove that her dreams can come true.
My ideal clientele included both business and individuals, and I needed to build a customer base. I had plenty of contacts for private events, but needed a stronger professional network. That’s when a friend recommended BNI. I realized the value of Givers Gain and recognized that it could help me build my business through referrals and build a global perspective. There’s no better international organization for networking. The opportunities are boundless.
And it has paid off! After my first year, 60% of my revenue comes through BNI referrals. An incredible testament to the power of a strong network.
It also helped me refine my business structure. I have refocused my efforts on attracting small and medium businesses. My goal is to regularly partner with them for the private events. However, the majority of my revenue stems from the delivery of personalized cookies that I can ship worldwide. My business is based on making personalized messages edible, which is not very common!
About My Business
I am a pastry chef and the name of my company is “Drôles de tables”. It comes from the movie “Charlie’s Angels” which in French is “Drôles de dames”, so you can say “Samantha et ses drôles de tables”, which is memorable!
One of my specialties is to create personalized cookies for people who want to celebrate an event or deliver a message. I can print your logo on my cookies, write your message, engrave your words… and ship them worldwide!
I am also organizing professional buffets and sweet tables with lovely treats and personalized decorations.