In this article, we go through a bunch of questions with our latest guest Emna Everard, CEO and co-founder of Kazidomi, the online supermarket of sustainable and responsible products. Discover the personality of an entrepreneur that fears nothing!
What is your proudest achievement so far in your life?
It’s my team. It’s something that drives me a lot, to see that my team is motivated, happy and that people love what they do.
Is there one key thing you have learned since you started Kazidomi?
Resilience. As an entrepreneur, you have to be very resilient and patient.
Is there a company that particularly inspires you, whether it’s in its execution, innovation or communication?
For their values, I can mention Explora Project which organizes sustainable travel. There is also Time for the Planet. In today’s entrepreneurship, I find that there are many companies that take into consideration these sustainability aspects.
Are there any tools or apps that help you to be more productive?
We use the Microsoft suite. It’s a bit of a traditional answer, but they have a lot of great tools: to-dos, the whole mail interface, the calendar, it’s super practical. There’s Notion too, I’m a huge fan of it for documentation, process, et cetera. Within the company, we use Slack for communication. I’m a big app fan!
Is there one that you recommend everyone to have?
I’m not going to be 100% objective, but it’s the Kazidomi app!
Is there any entrepreneur you’ve come across in the world of innovation or tech that you would recommend to me to have on this mic?
Any advice you’ve been given so far that has come in handy?
Cash is king. It’s a piece of advice from my uncle who always told me watch your cash, spend it wisely, and it’s true. Today, many companies fail because they didn’t manage their cash well.
What is the music of the moment that you can listen to over and over again?
Look, I recently went to see Tones and I. I’ve been listening to all her songs for a week now. She has an incredible voice.
Is there anything people would be surprised to know about you?
I don’t like constraints, so I’m often late, because when I’m in my bubble I go off into my own thing, whether it’s working or doing sport. I’m really someone who has this ability to get into my bubble, to forget everything else. And when someone disturbs me in my bubble, it’s sometimes frustrating. It’s passion, not disorganization.
Is there a habit you’re trying to develop or stop at the moment?
I stopped drinking coffee a while ago now. It was a bad habit I had, I drank too much of it. I’m quite organized in general, so I think I’m doing pretty well.
Is there a book you would recommend from all the books you’ve read?
There are two that I really loved, which taught me a lot on the professional side. The One Minute Manager, which is a very small book, which teaches you in a very concise way how to be a good manager. It really gives you the keys to be able to manage your teams well and adapt your management to the person in front of you. There is not one type of management, but there are several, and you are not going to manage everyone in the same way, otherwise there will be problems.
The other book I recommend is Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh who is the founder of Zappos, a bit like Zalando but in the US, which actually gave me this desire to create a community and put the consumer at the center of Kazidomi’s concerns. In fact, it’s a book that really instilled in me a lot of great values that I try to pass on in the company.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who wants to have your career, what would it be?
I would say that you have to dare. I took the risk while I had no experience in business, entrepreneurship, retail or management. I think that if I hadn’t said to myself, « OK, go ahead, I’ll do it », I would never have made it. Today, I still hear a lot of people who want to be an entrepreneur, but who don’t dare, because they don’t know how to do certain things. But when you’re an entrepreneur, you get your hands dirty, you find ways to succeed in achieving your goals. But if you don’t dare at the beginning, it will be complicated.
I’m a fervent defender of the « it’s okay if you screw up » approach, and I know that it’s not yet very strong in European, French or Belgian culture. The most successful entrepreneurs I know today are people who have made many mistakes. I made many mistakes myself, and that’s how I did better the next time. There are very few people who succeed the first time. A little anecdote: I had met several times with VCs in London, and systematically, one of the first questions they asked me was « have you ever launched a company before? » And I could see that when I said no, it made them a little cold. Because they would have liked that to be the case.