"1 Woman, 1 Passion" podcasts - Episode#1: Osanna Orlowski, Founder of Collector Square
Valérie Bokobza: Hello everyone, I'm Valérie Bokobza, Director of Development at Societe Generale Private Banking and I'm delighted to present a new episode of "1 woman, 1 passion". Our goal is to share the journey of a woman entrepreneur who is moving the lines. Today, I welcome Osanna Orlowski. Hello Osanna!
Osanna Orlowski: Hello Valérie.
Valérie Bokobza: You are co-founder of Collector Square, an innovative platform that offers second-hand luxury items. After a successful experience in an auditing and consulting firm, you decided to launch your online site in 2014 with Nicolas Orlowski, chairman at Artcurial. Collector Square has established itself as the essential platform for second-hand products in the luxury goods industry in Europe. You are a visionary woman, offering a second life to timeless accessories. Your commitment combines profitability and circular economy(1) to contribute to a more responsible world. Osanna, how does one go from financial auditor to responsible luxury entrepreneur?
Osanna Orlowski: Listen, for me, financial auditing was in some ways an additional cycle after business school, after HEC, and after three or four years, I clearly wanted to move on and change quite radically. Entrepreneurship tempted me enormously and it was finally Nicolas Orlowski who helped me to take the plunge and to launch myself into this adventure with him. Obviously, in an entrepreneurial adventure, the casting is ideal and the presence of Nicolas Orlowski has been decisive, by his experience as an entrepreneur and also his knowledge of both the luxury market and the intermediation business. And I think that for them to take the plunge, you have to trust yourself, and then you have to take the plunge, sometimes without thinking!
Valérie Bokobza: Thank you Osanna. Protecting the planet by linking the economy and the circular economy, is this a vocation for you?
Osanna Orlowski: Listen, I think that we are thinking more and more about our behaviors, our way of consuming with regard to the environment and the planet. I am sensitive to this, but I notice that our clients are really concerned about very broad and deep issues and the sustainability axis seems essential to me. With Collector Square, finally, we have really chosen to focus on objects that have a long life cycle and therefore allow different lives. Our Collector Square model is to offer the possibility to these objects to have different lives, through resale. Finally, it is thanks to this fluidity that these pieces become investment pieces. Finally, they allow you to combine a pleasure dimension with an investment dimension because you enjoy these pieces, but at the same time you know that they have a real liquidity(2). Concretely, that we can resell them, if we want, to buy something else, or to do something else, quite simply. This axis of sustainability is really essential. We have also chosen to take the path of sustainability in the development of our company, through our business model, since we have been a profitable company for two years and we have chosen, certainly, to seek maximum growth - we have a growth between 30% and 40% - but at the same time, we have reasoned, with investments that are always oriented by logics of return and profitability. So we are not in a frantic race for growth at any price, but in a reasoned growth.
Valérie Bokobza: Osanna, what advice would you have liked to have been given as a woman at the beginning of your career?
Osanna Orlowski: First of all, it's pretty basic, but I would say, trust yourself, since, ultimately, I notice that many of the obstacles that arise in our journeys are obstacles that we put up ourselves. So, trust yourself and free yourself. And the second would be to give a lot of importance to people. Today, the talents at Collector Square, the team, are really key elements in the success of our project.
Valérie Bokobza: Very good. So, just on the human side, the health crisis has come and gone. What has Covid fundamentally changed for you?
Osanna Orlowski: It's mainly in terms of our business and our customers that we've seen an impact. We have clearly seen an acceleration in the digitalization of our business. Even if our activity has always been mostly Web, mostly digital - between 70% and 80% before Covid - Covid has really accelerated and removed obstacles for customers who were less used to e-commerce. We even set a sales record by selling a watch for nearly 90 million euros, a Patek Philippe watch that was 100% online, to a client who had not seen it. So we saw that this was a real gas pedal. Internally, finally, in our work organization, the Covid has not changed much, insofar as we have a commercial business and most of our teams are in contact with the objects, the customers and the physical presence is necessary. On the other hand, it has helped us to put in place tools to communicate more easily and effectively, especially at a distance, sometimes.
Valérie Bokobza: Thank you Osanna. Societe Generale Private Banking thanks you for these exchanges. I'll see you in the next podcast "1 woman, 1 passion". Thank you, goodbye!
(1) The circular economy is about producing goods and services in a sustainable way by limiting the consumption and waste of resources and the production of waste. It is about moving from a throwaway society to a more circular economic model. (Source: French Ministry of Ecological Transition - https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/leconomie-circulaire )
(2) These goods can be bought or sold quickly without any major impact on their price. (see the website of the AMF - https://www.amf-france.org/fr/espace-epargnants/savoir-bien-investir/cadrer-son-projet/placements-que-savoir-sur-la-liquidite-0#:~:text=Un%20actif%20financier%20(actions%2C obligations,cet actif peut être échangé)
Societe Generale Private Banking is the business line of the Societe Generale Group operating through its headquarters within Societe Generale S.A. and through departments, branches or subsidiaries, located in the territories mentioned below, acting under the brand name "Societe Generale Private Banking" and distributing the present document.
This document is an advertisement and has no contractual value. Its content is not intended to provide an investment service, nor does it constitute investment advice or a personalized recommendation on a financial product, nor insurance advice or a personalized recommendation, nor a solicitation of any kind, nor legal, accounting or tax advice from any entity under the responsibility of Société Générale Private Banking.
The information contained herein is provided for information purposes only, is subject to change without notice, and is intended to provide information that may be useful in making a decision. The information on past performance that may be reproduced does not guarantee future performance.
The private bankers of Société Générale Private Banking entities are available to provide potential investors with further information on the variations of the themes presented in this document within the Société Générale Private Banking entity concerned.
This document is confidential, intended exclusively for the person consulting it, and may not be communicated or brought to the attention of third parties, nor may it be reproduced in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the Société Générale Private Banking entity concerned.
No Société Générale Private Banking entity can be held responsible for any decision made by an investor based solely on the information contained in this document.
Societe Generale Group maintains an effective administrative organization that takes all necessary measures to identify, control and manage conflicts of interest. To this end, Societe Generale Private Banking entities have put in place a conflict of interest management policy to manage and prevent conflicts of interest. For more details, Société Générale Private Banking clients can refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy available on request from their private banker.
S ociété Générale Private Banking has also implemented a policy of d he processing of claimsmade pa available on request from their private banker or on the Société Générale Private Banking website.
SPECIFIC WARNINGS BY JURISDICTION
France: Unless expressly stated otherwise, this document is published and distributed by Société Générale, a French bank authorized and supervised by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, located at 4, place de Budapest, CS 92459, 75436 Paris Cedex 09, under the prudential supervision of the European Central Bank ("ECB") and registered with the ORIAS as an insurance intermediary under the number 07 022 493 orias.fr Societe Generale is a French société anonyme with a capital of EUR 1 066 714 367,50 as of August 1, 2019, whose registered office is located at 29, boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, and whose unique identification number is 552 120 222 R.C.S. Paris. Further details are available on request or at www.privatebanking.societegenerale.com.
Luxembourg: This document is distributed in Luxembourg by Société Générale Luxembourg, a public limited company registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register under number B 6061 and a credit institution authorized and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier ("CSSF"), under the prudential supervision of the European Central Bank ("ECB"), and whose registered office is located at 11, avenue Emile Reuter - L 2420 Luxembourg Further details are available on request or at www.societegenerale.lu. No investment decision of any kind should be made on the basis of this document alone. Société Générale Luxembourg accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of the information contained in this document. Societe Generale Luxembourg accepts no responsibility for any actions taken by the recipient of this document solely on the basis of this document, and Societe Generale Luxembourg does not represent itself as providing any advice, in particular with respect to investment services. The opinions, views and forecasts expressed in this document (including its annexes) reflect the personal opinions of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or of Société Générale Luxembourg, unless otherwise indicated. This document has been prepared by Societe Generale. The CSSF has not carried out any analysis, verification or control on the content of this document.
Monaco: This document is distributed in Monaco by Société Générale Private Banking (Monaco) S.A.M., located at 11 avenue de Grande Bretagne, 98000 Monaco, Principality of Monaco, regulated by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution and the Commission de Contrôle des Activités Financières. Financial products marketed in Monaco may be reserved for qualified investors in accordance with the provisions of Law n° 1.339 of 07/09/2007 and Sovereign Order n° 1. 285 of 10/09/2007. Further details are available on request or at www.privatebanking.societegenerale.com.
Switzerland: This document is distributed in Switzerland by SOCIETE GENERALE Private Banking (Suisse) SA ("SGPBS"), headquartered at rue du Rhône 8, CH-1204 Geneva, Switzerland. SGPBS is a bank authorized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority ("FINMA"). Collective investments and structured products may only be offered in accordance with the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (Collective Investment Schemes Act, CISA) of June 23, 2006, and the Guidelines of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) on Information for Investors in Structured Products. Further details are available on request from SGPBS or at www.privatebanking.societegenerale.com.
This document is not distributed by the entities of the Kleinwort Hambros Group that operate under the brand name "Kleinwort Hambros" in the United Kingdom (SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank Limited), Jersey and Guernsey (SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank (CI) Limited) and Gibraltar (SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank (Gibraltar) Limited) Consequently, the information communicated and any offers, activities and financial information presented do not concern these entities and may not be authorized by these entities or adapted in these territories. Further information on the activities of Societe Generale's private banking entities located in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Gibraltar, including additional legal and regulatory information, is available at www.kleinworthambros.com.