Meet the Team: Marie-Hélène Lapina, Copywriter for Femme Fatale
While I'm officially the only company's employee, Femme Fatale collaborates with beautiful people and team all over the world. One of them is Marie-Hélène Lapina. She is a freelance copywriter and Certified Yoga Instructor based in Amsterdam. She is responsible for copywriting for Femme Fatale.
Who inspires you most as a woman, and why?
The world is filled with inspiring women. To name a few, I'd say Michelle Obama for her commitment to support women, Simone de Beauvoir for being a visionary and Audrey Hepburn for her generosity.
However, I believe in the power of girls-next-door. Every single day we meet inspiring women, but we forget to notice them, to give them the credit they deserve. Behind every woman, there is a fight, a struggle going on. These women are everywhere, the overwhelmed single mum who sits next to you in the metro, the social worker who brings daily courage and support to other women in needs, the cleaning lady, you met in the airport bathroom. You know this kind of woman who's struggling to make end meets.
The world is filled with local heroes. They are rebels, they are strong, they can make a real impact.
In short, all women inspire me, because in 2019, being a woman and aspiring to equal treatment is still a challenge.
How do you support gender equality and the cause of women?
I think I do it in many ways. I express my view on how women should be treated, when I feel something is not right, I speak up. I also do my best to live by these standards. For example, I avoid fast-fashion and prefer women-led brands instead. I also got to vote for each election. No matter what. As a woman, voting is a duty because 100 years ago, I would not have been able to do it. People died that I can acquire this right.
As women, we need to step up. Many outdated clichés remain, and you will often hear a sexist comment nobody will ever notice. Every time I witness a sexist act, I mention it. These small little actions can make an impact because the root of gender inequality clearly is lack of education.
It's the same when it comes to consumption. For decades consumers ignored the consequences of mass-consumption when it actually costs a lot.
I aim to live by what I preach and mostly purchase fair trade brands. I am a huge fan of See Me, a fair-trade jewellery brand. They work with Tunisian women who were excluded from their social circles because they had extra-marital sex or got pregnant after being raped. In my consumption, I try to support brands and artisans who can change lives. Obviously, I also apply these rules when curating my clients. I avoid working with brands that do not match my ethical standards or the way I see the world.
How do you contribute to Femme Fatale?
I met Gaëlle a few years ago in Amsterdam, and we became friends. She reached out when she started Femme Fatale as she needed a copywriter to help her create a compelling website. I am involved with all content things.
Why is Femme Fatale an exciting project to you?
As I said earlier, as a freelance copywriter, I need to collaborate with brands that match my ethics and values. I love the spirit of Femme Fatale. Not only it's a fantastic concept-store to create awareness on gender equality, but it's also a project that gives a brand new dimension to fashion and encourages people to dress green.
Femme Fatale embraces an international approach and truly has the power to change the industry and the way we consume fashion.
I also love the name, it refers to one of my favourite song, Femme Fatale by the Velvet Underground,
Another reason? Fashion! I love fashion in its most noble sense. I perceive it as a tool for liberation and self-expression. And guess what, Femme Fatale really gives me the feeling that fashion can be the answer to create a better world.
Why did you choose to work as a freelancer?
Ask anyone who knows me! I am disobedient. Not designed to fit the corporate world. Too much of a free spirit, I guess. I like to control my schedule and to work with the people I choose.
When I went corporate, the office environment was a bummer. I felt less creative and less motivated.
I also get bored quite quickly and working on a freelance basis enable me to taste the joy of diversity. Writing a fashion column, a case study about A.I or even interviewing the owner of a blockchain company. It also enables me to travel a lot and to do another thing I really like: teaching yoga.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
There are many, my friends often say I am funny despite myself. However, I have a cool story that really highlights my early passion for books and writing. And somehow also shows my entrepreneurial spirit!
I was kind of a nerdy kid. I taught myself how to read and write at the age of 4. My mum is still so proud of it! You know I was this geeky little girl who secretly reads at night with a headlamp and listens to the Beatles and tries to speak English. I was consumed by an irrepressible love for words, poetry, books and literature.
In middle school, I had this fantastic literature teacher, she was so knowledgeable. Unfortunately for her, we were only a few interested. Kids love maths, biology, but not many of them care about Balzac or Rimbaud. I did.
Every Tuesday, we had a special assignment. Each student had to present a book he or she loved. Nobody really liked to read, and that's how I spotted a business opportunity. With a rhythm of 2 or 3 new books every week, I was able to cover everybody's needs. I set up a small business and offered to my classmates to create their Tuesday's presentations and to coach them for as little as 5€. Those were my very first copywriting gigs!
What's your favourite quote?
'To laugh is to live profoundly' - Milan Kundera. I mean, I don't want to know what life would be like without a good laugh, or Milan Kundera!