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SME Founder Special: How Elise Pioch Created The Most Coveted Homewares Brand in Australia

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The Grace Tales

We're a podcast for women looking for style, substance, and solidarity. We celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, th 
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Welcome back to The Grace Tales podcast. I’m your host, author and editor Georgie Abay. If you’ve been following over the last few weeks, you’ll know I’m running a mini-series with founders of SMES. Because whether you’ve launched your own business, or have a dream bubbling away in the back of your mind, I know how much hearing other people’s experience has helped me personally. Because launching a business – especially if you’re doing it solo – can feel lonely at times. But you’re not alone – more and more women are launching their own businesses. They’re looking for more flexibility, a better work-life balance, financial independence and also for meaningful work. I know after I had children, I wanted to make sure that when I was at work, it felt meaningful. If I was going to be away from my kids, I had to love what I was doing.  

And on the topic of passion, today’s founder is full of it. Today’s episode is a special one – you’re going to meet my friend Elise Pioch, who is the exceptionally clever French founder of homewares brand Maison Balzac. If you don’t know Maison Balzac yet, it’s a very beautiful brand which started with candles, later expanding into beautiful homewares such as colourful glasses, vases and candle holders. The thing I love about Elise’s imagination is she dreams up unique objects which you didn’t know you needed until she created it. But what I love most about Maison Balzac, is that Elise’s authentic and kind nature can be felt. She’s always followed her gut instinct, is not afraid to take risks and leads with kindness and compassion. It was a decade ago I turned up at her office and photographed her for The Grace Tales. She just launched the business, and she’d just had a baby. Her daughter LouLou was only 6 weeks old at the time and it’s still one of my favourite stories. In this episode, Elise shares how the business has grown organically – she now has two retail stores - and what has kept her going over the last decade.   

Let’s meet Elise!  

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